The Round House Kick is perhaps the most difficult kick to master. There are several reasons for this, the most obvious is the need to trust yourself and commit to the movement of the kick. Whether it is a standing, jumping, front or reverse round house kick the commitment is the same. In any round house kick there is great power but also significant exposure. IF the kick is not executed with excellent technique and extreme speed your opponent will have ample time to slide in close where the round house kick is useless. That truly is the only defense against a round-house kick other than getting out of the way. Since the round house kick delivers a force that leverages almost all of the attackers weight plus the momentum behind that weight trying to block a round house kick is often foolhardy. The best defense is to not be where your attacker thinks you are going to be! Move!! The second defense I already mentioned which is to get in close, slow dance close to your attacker. If you succeed their round house kick will be ineffective, you will make them lose their balance, surprise them and typically be behind them or to their side with ample of targets to exploit while they recover from the surprise. If you fail, then the fight might just be over…for you…
While the round house kick is a beautiful kick, I always caution my students to only use it after they perfect it. When practicing the round house you should work with a heavy bag. You need to learn to commit to the kick and follow through without hesitation. This is best accomplished with a heavy bag so you learn proper control. Once you are skilled with the kick you can work with a partner using a arm/target bag, this way you can add the dynamics of trying to execute a round house kick on a moving target. The more you practice the better you will get. Have your partner move in and out, try to evade, etc. This will help you judge if your speed is sufficient to make the round house kick and effective sparring/fighting tool. If you your the round house in a fight, remember to help your opponent find medical attention after the fight!
Train hard, Train often. OSU!
I couldn’t resist posting this picture of a cat executing a flying round house kick to the head of this young Sumo wrestler!