Basic Kicks in Sparring.
by Sevastian Campos
(Carlsbad, NM, USA)
I strongly support basic kicks in sparring.
I believe that one of the reasons basic kicks are used so often in sparring is because they are quick, simple, and effective.
Yes... tornado kicks and hook kicks and all that stuff are cool to watch and such, but the point is that in sparring they are not always that effective. Hooks kicks for instance, when you throw a hook kick you are left with one leg high in the air and are balancing solely on your back leg. If your opponent moves in you will fall back very quickly and very hard.
And tornado kicks... they involve turning. When I spar, if my opponent turns, even just a little bit, I quickly back straight away. Turns are always the first sign of a powerful spin kick and if you back away when you see that turn you can avoid the kick. And right after a tornado kick or a back kick there is the perfect opportunity for a counter.
They are left wide open when they land the kick because they pull their hands up to execute the kick and when they set it down their hands stay up and they stay open.
Basic kicks generally don't have this problem because they are quick and straightforward.
A roundhouse leaves a small opening that can be quickly corrected by keeping your arms up. Front kicks and push kicks are the same, they have few openings and the ones they do have can be quickly fixed.
So Olympic athlete sparring competitors probably know that the basic kicks are the ones most likely to gain a point and least likely to get a counter. So in short, the basics are proven to be the most effective when sparring.
Competitors should not be forced to do certain kicks to entertain the crowd. That is not what they are sparring for. The Olympics is not a demo show, it is a competition. Therefore, the most effective kicks and sparring tactics must be used by every competitor at their discretion.
Their actions should not be forced to meet the wants of the audience because the audience is not the one kicked. The competitors are.
Thanks giving such a detailed opinion. And just for the record, I stick to roundhouse, axe and back kicks when I'm sparring for exactly the reasons you state.
I wonder if anyone agrees or disagrees with Sevastian? We'd love to hear from you :-)
Thanks again Sevastian.
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