Hello, Fred! Good to have you stopping by.
f.Channell wrote:If you put a soccer ball in front of most of my young students they would naturally use the hip and kick with great power.
Bingo! This is a point I make about kids (myself included) who grow up on baseball. The reason for this is because of the automatic feedback. When you kick a soccer ball or throw a baseball with good mechanics, it goes far and/or fast, depending on what matters. If you don't, it won't. The ball will not lie to you the way we can deceive ourselves when crushing air molecules in our kata or technique drills.
Then when you actually analyze movement of professionals in these sports, you see them naturally displaying all the principles we try to teach in martial arts, such as sequential summation of movement. It's all the same, only we try to make it smaller/faster in martial arts.
f.Channell wrote:The way the kick is taught for form takes away this natural sequential movement and replaces it with unsequential mechanics that must be closely followed.
I would preface that by saying that the USUAL way the kick is taught. Not everyone teaches this way, Fred. I certainly don't. But you are correct in that the "vanilla" kicking template for most dojos results in a kick without caffeine. If the core mechanics aren't there, the power will be insignificant.
f.Channell wrote:My way of dealing with this is to have them spend a lot of time kicking the heavy bag where the proof is in the pudding.
You're inserting a feedback loop. And that's a good thing.
f.Channell wrote: But if a lot of seniors saw them kick in their kata they may take issue with their kicking more naturally.
I'm not sure any teacher would be so stupid as to correct someone for "kicking more naturally." That may be the net of the "over-teaching" that happens in many dojos, but it certainly isn't their mindset.
It DOES help to critique. Just because you can kick a bag hard/far doesn't mean you have a kick which can be used. There's also the issue of the technique getting on a real human target. In that case factors like being able to hide your intent (so your leg won't get grabbed), not losing your balance (so you can continue), and having a fast start-to-completion time come into play.
f.Channell wrote:I think a good front kick can not only injure an opponent but can be used to crush through their defenses and enter the striking zone.
The Uechi shomen geri and Muay Thai roundhouse are classic examples of this. Both stylists are well conditioned. Both aren't afraid to have shin bone hit forearm bone. (I accidentally broke someone's arm one day who did a gedan barai against my shomen geri. It wasn't intentional and I felt badly about it. But it was eye-opening.)
f.Channell wrote:This is why the machine that measured striking power was so popular last year at sensei Mattson's camp.
This is a very useful teacher - up to a point. That device measured total power, but didn't measure pressure. Pressure is force per unit area. Remember that one thing which makes our style unique is being able to concentrate energy on a point. It's why we have techniques like the toe kick, one knucle punch, etc.
But point well taken (no pun intended...).