Hey, Guy! Thanks for dropping by.
I've seen this video before. This guy is like the mini Randy Johnson of TKD. He's all arms and legs, and so has whipping crane power in his technique.
For the record...
- I practice and teach this kick. A left spinning hook kick was in the "old" dan kumite. Okinawa officially dropped it because too many people were getting hurt by it. I re-instituted it for the very reason they dropped it. If Uechika were getting hurt by this kick, well maybe the bonehead choreographers got the defense wrong. Indeed this is the only technique I've thrown where I accidentally knocked someone out. I figured out what the problem was, changed the defense, and now have taught it for decades without anyone else ever getting hurt.
- I tend to do a near-full-chamber version. Why? Conservation of angular momentum. The more you extend the leg out, the slower you spin. Meanwhile in Uechi dojos you're fighting people who salivate at the thought of a fighter exposing the back. What rules?? Expose the back and you are toast. Same goes if you're facing a grappler. I tend to combine Uechi and grappling methods to find the RNC hold like a laser-guided missile finds its target. So the way I teach it you sacrifice just a little bit of power so your spin is lightning quick with a full leg chamber. At the last second you extend your leg out to execute a snapping hook. Trust me it works - as I accidentally found out one day.
- In teaching the spinning hook kick, I spend a bit of time trying to explain the "old" and the "modern" way of doing it per the explanation on this video. And that's the subject of TSDguy's thread.
Alrighty then... let's get down to it.
By his explanation, the "old" method with the dorsiflexed ankle is inferior because you're exposing your Achilles tendon and you might get an owie on it. Hmm...
Yes, Achilles tendons get hurt. So do shoulders, knees, wrists, fingers, toes, necks... Sheet does happen.
But - IN MY OPINION
- he's way off base on the reason to do the "old" vs. the "new" approach. To use an analogy, it would be like saying we do seiken fists instead of shoken fists in our sparring because we don't want to hurt our fingers. Hogwash! The reason I accidentally sent my partner to the ER is because my heel bone connected with his jaw bone. After the two connected his jawbone grew a golf-ball-sized hematoma and he had amnesia for a day. Had I instead hit him slap-style with the bottom of my foot, I merely would have knocked him on his bum with a nasty bitchslap. The former situation is dangerous and could lead to permanent injury or death. The latter situation will keep Johnny showing up to the dojang and paying his TKD dues.
So - IN MY OPINION
- the "new" approach is like target practice with a reduced charge in the shell. There are fewer injuries to the recipient, and so folks will keep on throwing them. Keep on throwing them at each other and you get better at them. Presumably you can dorsiflex your ankle at any point.
Furthermore... When you instead extend your ankle and hit with the flat of the foot, it is true that your Achilles tendon isn't as exposed. But your plantar facia is. Oops!
(The plantar facia is the band of tissue in-between the heel and ball of foot.) So there's no 100% safe situation here. If you miss you miss, and bad things can happen. Moral of the story? Don't fuk up!
We Uechika regularly condition parts of the legs and arms we expect to get bashed. With that in mind, I have a routine I do in my dojos every day. Since I teach and we throw spinning hook kicks, I have partners alternate in-between throwing roundhouse and spinning hook kicks to each other in a back-and-forth fashion. We slam our legs into their two-armed "blocks" - both arms up in the case of the spinning hook. We get our Achilles tendons hit in a controlled fashion - over and over. No problem. Over time it and the calf muscle get pretty well conditioned to the contact. So one "cure" to the "problem" is the hair of the dog that bit you. The difference between a Uechi and a TKD dojo is we do it without pads - and love it. More contact = more endorphins = more pleasure while we galvanize our weapons. Yea, we're sick in that way.
On the defensive side here, there's a lesson to be learned. Whenever there is a looping technique, there are exposed tendons that can be attacked. The "knife hand block" of karate isn't. It is an attack to the biceps tendon of the everyday haymaker that any emotionally-hijacked drunk will be throwing at you on the street. In all of our partner conditioning exercises, there's a yin and a yang component. We're both building our iron shirt and understanding how to hurt our naked opponent.
Whenever you attack, you create vulnerabilities. Understanding all that and exploiting it is what we do.