Kakou Geri

A habit that begins to form with students as they approach the mid-belt rankings is that they assume once they have taken a training partner to the ground that their task is complete and they have somehow won the competition. This is not a valid way to look at things. Once an opponent is on the ground they can still do a great deal of damage to you. Oh, and did we mention that they could stand up again.

If you are the person being taken to the ground you will want to consider ways in which you can simultaneously defend yourself and weaken your opponent. Much of this should be done not after you have been thrown, but while you are still on the way to the ground.

The word ‘Kakou’ means to fall or descend. The kicks in this section deal with kicking as you fall or immediately upon landing. Because how you land can be unpredictable there is no set position from which these kicks are initiated. Instead, look for opportunities to deliver these kicks from any position or at any point during the falling process. These movements may seem unnatural at first, but they will become quite easy to perform and will seem instinctive over time.

In all cases, you must find a way to immediately gain control of your opponent, gain distance from your opponent, get back onto your feet, or pull your opponent down in such a way that you have a dominant grappling position. You cannot simply kick and forget. Your opponent won’t.

You might deliberately fall to deliver one of these kicks. This strategy is often used in kicks such as the Kakou Doujime Geri. The element of surprise coupled with the heightened effectiveness of this kick makes this a viable strategy in some situations. If performed as a result of a deliberate fall, the kick might be better described as a Kaiten Doujime Geri.

Kakou Yoko Kekomi Geri

If you are falling toward your side, and if your legs are not somehow trapped beneath your opponent, then you may have the opportunity to deliver a Yoko Kekomi Geri as you fall. Timing is a factor here and you may find that you have landed before you can deliver the kick, but you can be positioning yourself (drawing in the leg, rotating the hips, etc.) as you fall so that the kick itself can be delivered while you are still in the air or immediately upon landing.

Such a kick will have more impact on the opponent if you have landed, but you should not assume you will be afforded the time to deliver the kick upon landing. Your opponent may move or otherwise compromise your ability to deliver the kick. Generally speaking, you should position yourself and then deliver the kick at the earliest opportunity.

The kick could be used to target the face (if your opponent makes the mistake of leaning forward during the throw), the torso, or the lower extremities. Often your opponent will be quite open to attack during the throwing process and you would not want to lose this opportunity.

Kakou Ushiro Kekomi Geri

If you are falling forward and will have the opportunity to land on your hands or elbows then you might deliver an Ushiro Kekomi Geri back toward your opponent. Again, an opponent that is leaning forward might be readily struck in the face, but the torso is a more likely and consistently available target. The lower extremities are possible attack areas, but they are difficult to target with any precision in this position.

Kakou Mae Geri

Falling onto your back allows you to deliver a Mae Geri as you fall or immediately upon landing. The groin is an obvious target, but the face (another reason we stress you should not lean forward when throwing), and abdomen are also target-rich areas. The lower extremities are possible target areas but you may find them hard to reach in most situations.

Kakou Mae Ura Mawashi Geri

The Falling Heel Hook delivers a Mae Ura Mawashi Geri to the ribs, inside, front, or back of the knee, or even the head of the opponent. If you were turned more face downward the kick could even be used to strike up into the groin.

Kakou Doujime Geri

An extended version of the Kakou Mae Ura Mawashi Geri is the Kakou Doujime Geri. In this kick, one leg performs the Kakou Mae Ura Mawashi Geri while the other leg moves like a Mae Geri in the opposite direction, much like a pair of scissors closing. Doujime is Japanese for “scissors maneuver”.

If the heel strikes the back of the opponent’s knee and the other leg strikes their ankle then the opponent’s leg is likely to collapse. Be aware that he or she may fall directly on top of you, depending on your relative position and which of their legs you are attacking.

If the heel hook strikes the back of the ankle and the opposite leg strikes near the knee then the opponent may suffer a leg injury or fall backward.

Experiment with these two different versions to determine the circumstances where using one might be preferable to using the other.

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