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Thread: Northern Shaolin and kicking

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  1. #1
    YoungForest Guest

    Northern Shaolin and kicking

    I ma currently studing northern shaolin and I have 2 years of experience in ITF taekwon-do..and when i transfered to shaolin, i was very disapointed to see that we hardly practiced kicking..

    And when we do...its low kicks, never higher then your this how the system is or just something stupid the teacher made up cause he's too lazy to kick high

  2. #2
    Grays Anatomy Guest

    Low Kicks

    No - this is not something your instructor made up. Though there are higher kicks in many Kung Fu styles - you will find (prticularly in comparison to TKD) that the Northern Shaolin kicks are lower (knee to hip/abdomen). This is also true of many of the Kung FU styles (certainly so for Lung Jop Pai (Northern Dragon) and for Hung Ga)

    Many Northern Instructors teach that as you go above your own waist you begin to lose power. This is assuming you are standing - there are kicks with you down on all fours, kicking backwards at an opponent in Fu Jow Pai (Tiger) for example where you are obviously kicking above your own waist but you will find that most of your NS kicks hover around the waist or below.

    Hope that helps

  3. #3
    Jaguar Wong Guest
    I've been doing Northern Shaolin for about 5 years now, and there are plenty of high kicks. They're all up in the forms we practice.

    Some people show up with a TKD background, and seem to fit right in with the kicking methods. As far as application, the kicks are mid to low level (solar plexus to knee/ankle with the occasional thust kick to the sternum). If you train your kicks at all levels then you increase your flexibility, and power.

    Of course the higher level kicks don't have as much power, but they're still powerful. If you keep practicing your kicks high, then as they get stronger, so will your mid to low level kicks, which are the kicks you would use anyways. Flexibility helps you to relax when kicking lower, and the more you relax, the more body you can put into your kicks.

    But, I really don't think your Sifu is "too lazy" to kick high, he's probably just showing the more technical side. Of course, I don't know the guy, so I can't make any judgement. I guess you would have to ask him, or stick around and watch the more advanced students, or the forms.

    Jaguar Wong

  4. #4
    Ben Gash Guest
    It all depends on what school you go to. You will get less power from a head kick, but then the target is more fragile. Many people only teach lower kicks until you are ready and have done the necessary groundwork.
    I came from an ITF TKD background, and it took me ages to iron out all the flaws in my kicking technique, so that now I have a great deal more power and stability in my kicks at all levels.
    The higher kicks must come, as it is very hard to do low butterfly and tornado kicks.

    "Weapons are the embodiments of fear,
    the wise use them only when they have no choice"
    Lao Tzu

  5. #5
    Grays Anatomy Guest

    higher kicks

    Definitely true guys. JW - you may be right that the higher kicks are taught later when the foot-work and stances are more solid.

    I didn't mean to imply that there weren't ANY high kicks in NS just that the lower ones are stressed more. In Lung Jop Pai I learned inner and outer crescent kicks - essentially a slap to the face using your foot.

    We definitely had them its just that my Sifu tended to stress the lower ones.

  6. #6
    Black Jack Guest
    I think your missing the point.'

    High kicks are not practical for a streetfighting situation and can often lead you to a number of nasty asskickings if you try to perform them outside of your safe training hall.

    Your instructor might be teaching you the practical side to your art. By teaching & working you on the low-line kicks he is giving you better tools for a real life encounter.

    If you are looking for high-kicks just for fun and conditioning than I am sure there will be some in your up-coming sets, but take the time to learn the low-line kicks as "most" of them are very effective & street practical for self defense as for obvious reasons of balance and mobility.


  7. #7
    Kung Lek Guest
    I do Bak Sil Lum (Tams style, Kuo Yuo Cheong Lineage).

    There is an incredible variety of both high and low kicks in North Shaolin of this style.

    Double front kicks, inside /outside crescents (used as head shots or to clear arms before using hand strikes), tornado kicks, broom sweeps front and back, heel kicks at all levels, toe kicks at all levels, sole kicks, knife edge kicks... you name it and north Shaolin has the high kick you are looking for in one of its iterations.

    I have found that Nam Sil Lum puts way more emphasis on low kicks than North Shaolin does.


    Kung Lek

  8. #8
    Jaguar Wong Guest
    Gray's Anatomy, I know you weren't saying NS has no high kicks. For the most part, I was just agreeing with the low/mid application of most kicks. I was just adding more and pointing out that the style does train high kicks for other reasons not just for the KO [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    BlackJack, I don't think we're "missing the point". I'm not gonna walk around in the mean streets looking for that sweet spot high roundhouse kick under the ear. It's not always like Yvel vs Goodridge (Pride 10 man that was something! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]). All the kicks I learned can be used as head hunter shots, but they generally are aimed at areas like the hips, knees, stomach (has anyone ever taken a clean thrust kick to the Tan Tien? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]) and solar plexus. There are even kicks aimed at the ankles. Then there are the sweeps... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] I personally use my kicks along with the hands (grabbing/pulling a limb while kicking the thigh, or stomach, or punching high and follwing with a low kick/knee) so it's faster to use low line kicks, cause they're already down there. BUT, my low kicks have all gotten faster and stronger, because of the strength and flexibility gained from practicing them high as well. There's more to it than just the surface. Don't get me wrong, I try hard to use or set up my high kicks, because you never know when you may need it.

    Kung Lek, You sound like a kick salesman [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]. Yes, Northern Shaolin does have it's fair share of high kicks, but the higher applications tend to be the more advanced stuff. The basics tend to be low-mid level with a few high kicks (crescents, toe, or heel thrusting kicks). Like I said, I love putting a knife edge side kick under the arm, or to the throat, but the one I'm relying on is aimed at the stomach, or hips (I use round house kicks, and cross kicks for the knees). I've landed spinning hook kicks in sparring and tournament settings, but those were set up, and again, I wouldn't put my life on the line trying to use it. I know it can be done, so I keep practicing it, hoping to make it second nature, but I'll always use my bread and butter side and round house kicks.

    BTW I'm also learning the Kuo Yuo Cheong Lineage (Johnny So, Ken Hui, and my Sifu Steven Baugh [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]).

    Oh yeah, I agree that the Southern styles stress the lower kicks more, but I learned a white crane set (Ark Wong's lineage) that has one or two low kicks and the rest are high (crescents, tornadoes, toe kicks, side kicks, hook kicks, etc.) What makes it even harder is the stances are so frickin' low!

    Jaguar Wong

  9. #9
    no 1 Guest

    think about it

    take any kick done higher than waist level.
    you could hit your target faster using your hands everytime. they are closer to your target than your feet are.


  10. #10
    Kung Lek Guest

    Kicks for Sale... get em on a stick.

    Yeah yer right Jag, I was sounding like Ron Popeil there for a sec. ahahahaha..

    "Say Kung...can I get that kick with the accesories and spice rack?"

    "why yes you can, and it comes with a cappacino maker and a video about how to set up your satellite dish in 3, yes 3 easy steps!"


    Kung Lek

  11. #11
    Kung Lek Guest
    I don't exactly agree with that no1.

    It depends on where you are at in your training.

    I know a few dudes who can get high kicks at yer head before the dukes are up. I know guys who prefer kicks to punches.
    What you are saying is true about those who are at beginning and intermediate levels. Once the Lower Tan Tien is understood, the body tends to be balanced and highly mobile regardless of the striking appendage you choose to use.

    High Kicks don't have to be slow just because they can take a little more energy to use.


    Kung Lek

  12. #12
    Grays Anatomy Guest

    No. 1

    Also - don't forget that there are situations where the hands are not the best choice or they are unavailable.

    In the scenario I explained in my earlier post regarding Fu Jow - the hands are holding you up.

  13. #13
    Jaguar Wong Guest
    no1, I don't mean to jump all over your statement as well, cause for the most part, I think it makes sense. BUT just because my jab or snapping backfist is faster, and closer to my target than my right cross, doesn't mean it's automatically ruled out ...... think about it [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Other than that, for the most part, I mainly use kicks low, and punches high, and both in the middle. There are exceptions (I got a mean knifehand to the outer thigh in close).

    Jaguar Wong

  14. #14
    Rolling Elbow Guest


    Hey Jicga, have you ever thought that your instructor does not teach high kicks because he knows how impractical they are? Your views are very typical o someone who has not matured or grown out of tae-kwondo.. i do not know enough about northern shaolin, but i do know enough about tae-kwondo. The percentage of people who can get away with speed and power kicking without losing balance in a fight are very few...even many amateur kickboxers and many many black belts telegraph those kicks a mile away- hence the beating they have taken by people with quick hands and grappling skills..I know far too many fighters and bouncers that are on you so quick the kicks have got to be delivered quick- really quick.

    This is not to say that high kicking is inneffective, but you really have to know what you are doing...most taekwondo students do NOT. I wouldspend more time learning the ohter concepts he is teaching, space, distance, timing, zoning,etc...from there you can make the art your own and do whatever the hell you want with it. If you don't like it..walk away and go back to Tae-kwondo...i am sure they'd be willing to let you hit pads and pay them 300$ for your next red stripe [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]..

    Michael Panzerotti
    Taijutsu Nobody from the Great White North..

  15. #15
    YoungForest Guest
    that's why I quit TKD, because of the stupid belt system..

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