A compilation of one of the most beautiful/dangerous kicks being used effectively in Full-Contact Karate, Kickboxing and MMA.
Aside from the Spinning Hook Kick, this one in particular led me to many knockouts.
The reason this kick is so powerful and the cause of sick knockouts is because it puts the user’s whole weight into a solid strike.
The two main variations are the Front Roll (Tate Kaiten) and the Side Roll (Yoko Kaiten):
– The front roll is safer, makes you stand up while rolling and works like an Axe Kick.
– The side roll is more risky and only a select few people are capable of doing it properly in the air, but is extremely powerful and acts almost like an overpowered Spinning Hook Kick.
Wherever it hits, it will ALWAYS stagger the opponent. The main flaw of this kick is when it doesn’t connect, as the sideways…
Most of us spent a huge portion of our childhood being told to do things we didn’t want to do. We had to be told every day to get out of bed, get ready for school, eat our vegetables, do our homework, brush our teeth. And on it went on for years, until we finally struck out on our own in the world, fully capable of doing it all for ourselves.
As adults, we continue to do all sorts of things we don’t want to do, because we know they’re for our own good. We pay our taxes, mow the grass, and change the oil in the car. We go to the dentist, to family gatherings we’d rather skip, and to jobs we don’t like.
So how is it that, when it comes to taking care of ourselves physically, people just can’t seem to muster up the gumption to do what’s necessary, even if it isn’t always enjoyable?
Honor Your Human Potential
We use a whole lot of words to describe the various concepts and nuances of health and fitness, but the essence of physical improvement is simple: don’t eat crap, move a lot, and get adequate sleep. But to hear many people describe it, there is an immense metaphysical chasm that separates those who bear the title “athlete” from those who watch them on TV.
Part of that fallacy is understandable. The athletes we see in the media are peak performers who have spent a lifetime honing their skill and physique. The distance between the average lite-beer-swilling couch potato and the Olympic sprinter he just watched set a world record isn’t vast. It’s inconceivable.
But in what other area of life do we set ourselves against such a standard? We don’t tell our first-graders they should stop writing stories because they’ll never be Kipling. We take our kids to piano lessons and soccer practice, with the full knowledge that we aren’t raising the next Rachmaninoff or Messi. We still go to our jobs every day, even if we have no realistic expectation of ever being the CEO.
When someone looks at an athlete and says “I could never do that,” what they’re really saying is “I don’t want to put in the work that you did to get where you are.” The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire. Michael Jordan might’ve made a fine accountant. But his desire was basketball, and so he mastered it as fully as anyone has before or since.
To be sure, not everyone has the level of athletic talent, desire, and determination displayed by the world’s elite athletes. So if someone doesn’t have the desire to be an athlete, isn’t that okay? Not really. The human body was undeniably built to walk, run, climb, lift, and jump. We have specific physiological adaptations, like enormous lungs and the ability to sweat, that are only relevant to athletic organisms. The human body is, by design and construction, an athletic machine. To neglect the required maintenance of that machine is to deny its nature.
Choose Your Path
In truth, everyone wants to be an athlete, because they don’t want to be the alternative. People don’t want to sit around, decaying prematurely, unable to challenge their meager physical capacity. People don’t want to be in pain or on a half-dozen medications for the myriad ailments that accompany a sedentary lifestyle. They want to be able to eat without gaining weight, sleep without a breathing apparatus, and go to the grocery store without a mobility scooter. People don’t want to be miserable.
So why do they do it? Because they perceive the chasm. That inverse mirage between where they are now and where they’d like to be. They are convinced of their own inability to undertake any sort of training at all. Or they believe if they did train, it would be so painful, and the progress so infinitesimal, as to not be worth the effort. So instead of sweating in some dungeon of a gymnasium, trying to chase down a physique they just weren’t meant to have, they go to great lengths to justify rotting away on the sofa.
But those of us who stand on the other side of that imagined chasm know it isn’t impassable, because we had to cross it ourselves. We had to do it of our own will and for our own reasons, but the same basic principles applied. We made changes to our diet, a little at a time. We found ways to move ourselves that challenged and stimulated us mentally as well as physically. We prioritized our sleep to make sure our bodies had time to repair and grow from the stimuli we threw at them during the day.
We didn’t give up when it was hard right away, or when results were slow to come. We sweated, sacrificed, and gritted our teeth through every manner of discomfort, inconvenience, and even embarrassment. We fell off the wagon, then got back on and started again. Through grim, consistent determination, we made our bodies subject to the will of our minds, rather than leaving our minds slaves to a rebellious and complaining body.
End the Excuses
The chasm is wide and deep, and it’s made entirely of your excuses. It is teeming with your busy schedule, your bad knees, the weight you’ve put on since high school. It is your distaste for sweating and breathing hard, your fear of looking stupid, your self-defeating low self-esteem. It is every rationalization you’ve ever made for not doing what needs to be done to properly care for the only body you’ll ever have. It is the misguided modern notion that anything uncomfortable isn’t worth doing.
Everybody has that chasm, and everybody should be training in spite of it, or even because of it. Find something you can do, and then do it. Then do a little more of it. And then do something else. Take up cycling, or yoga, or weightlifting. Take a spinning class. Go for a hike or take up rock climbing. Adapt your chosen activity to the skills and weaknesses you might have. Instead of sitting on your hands, paralyzed at the immensity of the chasm you’ve created, find ways to get over, or through, or around it. And then get going.
If you get off the couch tomorrow and work hard for a long time, will you ever become Rich Froning? Probably not, but I’d be willing to wager that’s not your real goal, anyway. Being a vastly improved you, on the other hand, is still on the table. It will not be easy, it will not be fast, and it will be decidedly uncomfortable. You will not be immediately impressed with yourself. Quite the opposite, you will probably be horrified and disgusted with yourself for some time.
Train anyway.Conquer the Abyss
Now it’s time to do your homework. Get out a blank sheet of notebook paper and your #2 pencil, and make three columns.
In the first, write down all the things you wish you could do, if you were fitter.
In the second, write the obstacles that are keeping you from getting there.
In the third, write down how you’re going to get around those obstacles.
It’s time to get across that chasm. Right now. If you get off the couch tomorrow, you will be better than yesterday. If you do it again the next day, you will be better still. If you keep doing it, consistently and intelligently, no one can tell you what you may achieve.
Maybe you’ll lose 100 pounds. Maybe you’ll rediscover the pure joy of riding a bicycle. Maybe you’ll be able to run a mile, or ten miles. Maybe you’ll regain the dignity and confidence you haven’t felt in too many years. But if you wait a week, you’ll wish you had started sooner. Just start today.
Respect can be a difficult thing to actually describe – if you take a literal interpretation it means to offer an individual, a place, or even a thing, a positive feeling of esteem or deference and then conveying this feeling in certain actions, words, or gestures. But where does it fit in on the mat or maybe, more importantly, in a competition? Does respecting your opponent in a match really provide you – or the other competitor – with anything of worth?
A military general from antiquity might well have pondered that not to show respect to your enemy courts danger and thereby the possibility of defeat…
A clue here?
As a competitor you have some choices on how you regard your opponent. You can purely regard them as an obstacle you have to overcome – this could be called a neutral approach. You can view them with some measure of disdain and try to use this to fuel your performance – this could be termed a negative approach. Or, you could view them as a fellow competitor who has, as you have done, entered the competition to test their skill and try to win – we can call this a positive approach – a respectful approach, if you want.
Can you discern a pattern here?
If you adopt a neutral approach you run the risk of being under aroused – of not really focusing on what the other opponent has to offer in terms of their performance. The neutral approach doesn’t really have a place in top level competition because the competitors will certainly be aware of what the others can do and should have prepared accordingly with some form of match plan that works to their best advantage when competing against a known fighter with a certain set of skills.
The negative approach is the one that rewards you the least. It puts you at a disadvantage to begin with because it stands a much higher chance of pushing you into an over-aroused state of mind and as we should now know (check my last article) this can lead to a drop off in your performance level.
A positive approach may help get you into the zone you need to be in to effectively perform but we are trying to respect our opponent, not be in awe of them, and there is a big difference. You can respect another competitor but also be able to take the fight to them following your strategy and using your game plan, executing the moves you know you can pull off. Having a healthy measure of respect will also guard against you underestimating your opponent, which could lead to an upset. If you view them neutrally or with disdain then you run the risk of underestimating what they bring to the mat. Remember they entered the competition just as you did which means they want to get on the mat and test themselves – the fact they have done this should get some acknowledgement.
If we take a quick look at MMA and boxing, sometimes before a big event the two fighters concerned will begin a ‘trash talking’ dialogue, using media moments to disrespect each other, sometimes using really strong derogatory and inflammatory language. Why do they do this?
Three reasons spring to mind;
1) They genuinely do dislike each other and are using the media to telegraph their mutual dislike.
2) They are trying to gain an advantage by seeking to upset or off-centre their opponent.
3) They are engaging in a mutually agreed ‘hype’ process to stimulate interest and thereby increase monetary profit from the fight.
Or it could be a combination of all three…
Each of the three reasons diminishes the integrity of the fight and ultimately of the fighters themselves. When we talk about or discuss respect in this context we are also talking about integrity. Integrity and respect are closely interlinked with each other. Integrity is a quality of character – you might call integrity the modern version of honour which ultimately means you are a person of your word – if you say you will do something then you will. Someone that freely gives respect to another, based upon their judgment and appraisal, I would argue tends to have a healthy amount of integrity.
Issues in a sporting context of respect and integrity are part of a wider realm of ethics in sport. Fair play and following the rules are important if we as competitors are to retain our integrity, which is a measure of how we regard ourselves and want others to regard us. Winning is important as it’s one of the reasons why anybody enters any type of sporting competition, but should we aim to win at any cost? I would rather win fairly and squarely than by using spurious methods to increase my chances of winning, because if I win or lose fairly I maintain my integrity and that is as important to me as actually winning.
This view is not shared by everybody involved in high stakes sporting competition especially when that competition blurs into business, as we see in professional sport. Other athletes and coaches in other sports view winning as the only goal and will use any method -including those outside of the established rules – to win. Whilst they might win, they ultimately lose their integrity and if found out will lose most, if not all, of the respect and esteem they may have held before.
In one of the recent main UFC events in Japan two fighters failed drugs tests, one reportedly for banned stimulants. These guys are professionals who earn their living from fighting – whether for sport or for gladiatorial competition/entertainment (which is what I would argue the UFC is – I’m not sure I’m comfortable calling it ‘sport’), rules and guidelines to ensure fairness should be respected. When the stakes are high, integrity and mutual respect often get overlooked.
What sort of competitor are you?
One with integrity?
Or one who would win at any cost?
And if you are the latter are you truly comfortable with that?
Being a top competitor does not make you a top instructor.
I realize this is going to step on a lot of people’s toes. There are plenty of examples of top competitors who are also great instructors whom people will defend. But, there are also a lot of top-tier fighters who are absolutely horrible as instructors. People just don’t want to admit it.
The latter ground of instructors will ask, “What do you mean I’m not a good instructor? I’ve been training for nine years and I’ve won thirty different championships. Just look at all of my medals!”
This is exactly my point. You have been training to compete, not to instruct. Sure, you may have gleaned a bit of instructional skill from your instructor, but your main focus has been to compete, not instruct, and these are very different skillsets.
Qualities of a top competitor
The ability to put karate above everything else in their life
Unyielding drive to compete; and to win
Desire to be a perfectionist
Willingness to sacrifice other aspects of life (such as friends, family, and romantic relationships) for competition success
Qualities of a top instructor
Willingness to help their students
Large amount of content knowledge
Interpersonal (communication) skills
Interpersonal (self-reflective) skills
Passion to support others over themselves
Skill sets have little overlap
As you can clearly see, the lists above are very different. If you want to see a great example of this, ask a top student who has never taught before to teach a class some time. They will likely do one of two things: they will teach exactly the same way they were taught, or they will be at a complete loss and utterly fail. This is a great example of how training to “do” and training to “teach others to do” are very different.
“When you’re trying to be a world champion and you have that burning desire and that extreme focus and you’re isolating yourself, I became socially unaware of my surroundings. I wasn’t the most friendly guy. I may have trained too hard with people who weren’t there for the same reason as me, and that was just a product of what I was trying to do.” Jordon Schultz (multiple time world champion at brown and purple belt), lamented the way that he treated his students and training partners at his old academy.
But, what is really cool is that we see fighter start to move away from the single-mindedness of a top competitor and toward the mindset that will likely lead to him being a top instructor in the future. A great teacher has to not only understand what they are teaching, but how to communicate it to others. In Jordon’s case, his instruction suffered because he was not able to effectively communicate with students. Communication isn’t a vital part of being a top competitor in the same way that it is to be a top instructor.
In addition, when technique and ability are outside of your conscious awareness, you may not know how you do what you do. This is a huge barrier that keeps many top competitors from being able to teach what you know to somebody else, especially people who learn kinetically, while other students in the same class may learn visually or verbally.