Outside & Inside Low Kicks With Henri Hooft!

Outside & Inside Low Kicks With Henri Hooft!

 

The low roundhouse kick is one of the most common and versatile techniques in fighting. The low kick can be used to counter your opponents attacks or can be used in tangent with the hands to create a combination that attacks high and low targets. However you plan on using this low kick, Henri Hooft has some great details to make sure you are hitting fast, hard and safely to avoid damaging your own leg and to avoid being easily countered by your opponent!


 

This first video is all on the low rear leg roundhouse kick aiming to the outside of your opponents lead leg thigh. First thing, where do we land this kick on the leg? Henri Hooft explains that placing the kick in a real situation is very difficult but no matter where you land it should hurt and do damage. Two spots he shows in the bottom of the thigh, right where it connects above the knee joint and the top of the thigh under the hip bone. These two spots will cause extreme pain to your opponent if you land your kick, the risks though are that if you kick towards the knee, your opponent can block your kick by checking it with their shin. The risk for kicking higher on the thigh is that your foot can catch your opponents hip bone or they can catch it.  The third spot to kick is right in the center of the thigh, it will do damage and hopefully keep you safer from being checked, hitting the hip or getting your kick caught. 

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Henri Hooft then goes on to show which part of his shin he prefers to make contact with. First, it should be noted that when throwing this kick, Hooft relaxes his foot, pointing the toes down. Henri does not like to throw this kick with the toes flexed towards the shin. When the toes are pointed towards the shin this leaves a bit of muscle on your shin, meaning that if that kick gets checked, instead of your boney shin meeting your opponents boney shin, their boney shin meets your muscle which can result in an injury on your end. Pointing the toes down keeps your shin nice and sharp, unobstructed by your muscles. Now, the location of your shin to make contact with. The upper part of your shin is thicker but you cannot generate as much power. The lower part of your shin is thinner, meaning it is weaker and more likely to be damaged by a good check. Hooft looks to make contact about half way up his shin. Henri does not make contact with his foot, there are too many small bones in the foot that can easily be broken.


When throwing the leg kick, you have to remain balanced. Henri Hooft explains that too many people turn into their kick too much. It seems correct but is actually the wrong way to throw your kick (Hooft explains that some styles do teach it this way though, but he does not). When you over turn into this kick, your support leg completely turns to the point that your heel faces your opponent. This leaves your body in a position of off balance and places the wrong part of your shin on your opponents leg. From this position it is difficult to remain balanced, you can be easily knocked over. Henri would rather you take a small cheat step with your lead leg, toes pointed slightly out and all you are doing is placing your shin where you want it on your opponents leg, no over turning needed. This method of throwing the keg kick allows you to quickly land your kick and quickly return to your stance. 


Notice one more detail on this kick. Hooft’s student is extending his kicking side arm to Henri’s rear shoulder. This does a few things. The first is defensive. Having that arm up helps guard your own face from counters. The second is that it helps generate power. By posting that arm out and pulling back, it helps your hips follow through the kick allowing you to transfer more of your body into the target without over committing and losing balance. Finally, if your kicking side arm can touch your opponent's shoulder, you are in range to throw this kick. 


We looked at the outside low kick to the lead leg, now let's take a look at how Henri Hooft likes to throw his inside leg kick to the lead leg!


 


Henri Hooft explains that unlike the outside leg kick which you throw more often and use the middle part of the shin, Hooft likes to use the foot for the inside leg kick. Henri throws this kick almost like a slap with the foot looking for speed and accuracy over power because the inside of the thigh is more sensitive than the outside so it does not need as much force to deal damage. This kick is aimed at the inside of the thigh. Hooft lifts his knee over the opponent's knee so his foot is not as easily checked by the opponents shin. If his kick is too low it can easily be blocked and checked, hurting the kicking foot.


The danger with this kick is being countered by a hard right hand. If Henri stands right in front of his opponent he can get hit (as well as accidentally hitting the groin of his opponent), so he looks to make a slight angle by stepping with the rear leg to the outside of his opponent's lead leg. Henri also looks to keep his guard up high on this kick, using his lead arm as a frame, looking to use his forearm as a shield to prevent his opponent from connecting with any counters. If Henri Hooft just walks straight in to kick, he will get countered. So, Hooft uses his hands to distract the opponent with punches while the rear leg steps up and makes his angle, positioning Henri in a safe spot to kick. Hooft looks to distract the opponent upstairs to open up the legs for a kick.

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