ball of the foot vs the shin

Discussion in 'Taekwondo' started by michael mckenna, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Grasshoppa

    which is technically more effective the ball of the foot or the shin ? the ball of the foot focuses on a smaller target then what the shin does and is slightly longer range and is also sharper. the shin is more of a blunt weapon and from what ive seen is designed as more of a push kick (correct me if im wrong) both does alot of damage in full contact what are the pro's and cons of both ? any help is great thanks.
  3. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Grasshoppa

    this is for ring kickboxing as in self defense you would have shoes on lol
    Sneaker likes this.
  4. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    Depends entirely on the target, range and kicking technique I'm utilizing. I don't throw any "showtime" kicks as they are low percentage and/or the risk vs reward is too skewed to take the chance since I typically spar with mma guys and/or fellows with strong grappling backgrounds. Let's start with the two head kicks I'll utilize mostly for "sporty". Roundhouse where I set them up to target the ear/jaw or behind the ear with the ball of my foot and let the shin push/sweep the hands/guard if it's still up. Front snap kick targeting the face/chin with the ball of my foot as well. Torso: front snap kick with the ball, roundhouse with the top of the foot/shin, teep or spinning back/side kick with the bottom of foot/heel. For the legs/knees I never really use the ball of my foot. Stop-type kick to the knee area with the bottom of the foot at various angles or roundhouse with the top of the foot/shin. NOTE: my top-of-foot kicks probably are not a good idea for everyone. I did borderline torturous conditioning of my hands, feet, elbows and shins in my youth and even tho I do much less now I still have some good density and calcified "bumps" on top of my caveman feet...
  5. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Grasshoppa

    yeh i probably wouldnt use the ball of the foot for a turning kick to the torso as its a big target for that angle
  6. Sneaker

    Sneaker Warrior Monk

    :love: Love those stop-type kick techniques ... sweep-slip or pin attacker's foot

    PS ... I am not allow to use that stop-type kick in points sparring ... Grrrrr :mad:
  7. Ivor Godley

    Ivor Godley grasshopper

    i think the target is very relevant to whether you use the shin or the ball of the foot - Thai boxers do some VICIOUS shin strikes to the knees / thighs of opponents but seem to then use the top of the foot for body strikes.
    i have found that i can only really develop any good power using the ball of the foot - but then i've never really trained to use the shin :notworthy:.
    Dave76 and Martialist like this.
  8. Jovan

    Jovan Disciple

    I personally like the ball better. I can put more power in with a kick from my ball then with a kick from my shin. I dont know about you guys :p
  9. Martialist

    Martialist Each One, Teach One

    Ball of the foot vs Shin - It comes down to the intended target.
    The ball of the foot has a higher percentage of injuries compared to when using the shin.
    The shin has more blunt force and it is safer to pull of "with-out" injuries.

    I use both depending on who I am sparring with.
    Also, some people have preferred targets for the ball of foot and shin.
    Depends on your foot flexibility(being able to pull the toes back far enough to clear them).

    I use the ball of foot to hit targets like the thigh, depending on the angle I'll go for the mid-section.
    Just watch the elbows and hard bony areas when using the ball of foot.
    From my experience I am able to develop a lot more power using the ball of foot vs the Shin but at a high injury risk. :)

    I use the Shin more because of it's effectiveness and low injury risk.(and like CANEMAN said you can only use the shin for a turning kick/roundhouse and variations)
    It is powerful enough to do damage and it is safer(in case a person hits the elbows etc...)

    For the face it all depends also on the person sparring with. If the person is slower than me I will go head hunting :)
    Otherwise to risky :)

    Both are effective. Choose and use them wisely.

    Bow out with respect,
    Kuyaken likes this.
  10. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    Depends on the target; depends on the kick; depends on the range.
    The shin can't be used in any kick other than a roundhouse. It requires a closer range than the ball or the instep. Short of that comment... my answer for roundhouse is shin for all except head shots. Many don't like the instep, but when you train to toughen the instep it works very well against the head.
    In some altered reality, if I were to need to break a concrete block with a roundhouse... I would use the ball of the foot.
    As it was mentioned, the accuracy with the ball is pretty narrow... and it would be VERY effective if contacting the "triangle", temple, jaw or skull... or ribs or thigh outside nerve cluster, etc...
    But below the head, the shin is just as effective and easier to maintain target.
    Martialist likes this.
  11. DeeD

    DeeD Nak Muay

    As the others have said depends on range, when throwing a solid headkick i normally use the instep/foot when i throw a headkick off a inside combo, because of my height off the front leg i can throw a head shot with the shin from close, its more of a stun shot to setup heavy right hook, but besides that, SHIN all the way, my shins are pretty conditioned from the years of conditioning so i normally just hack away at guys legs, so they worry about how sore it is to block or get kicked that they forget about their head. If you are going to be wanting to go into k1 style fighting I would suggest getting that conditioning of the shins moving quickly , first of all for striking and 2nd of all so that after the first few solid shin blocks you decide to try take the shots on the leg because the shin feels like its on fire, literally it burns

    Dave76 likes this.
  12. Sneaker

    Sneaker Warrior Monk

    what was the second one ? I see nothing but knee thrustings
  13. DeeD

    DeeD Nak Muay

    the continuous round house shin kicks to the leg
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  14. Kuyaken

    Kuyaken Karate for the streets not just for trophies

    Yeah this is a nice thread

    Supprised noone has mentioned the sterotypical top of the foot kick that many schools teach. Also does noone use the shin to strike the groin?

    As a knock-down Karate we ALSO kick with our shins, its a very damaging kick to the opponent especially Shin Kicks to the ribs . Inside and outside thigh kicks are awesome but the "tippy tappy bouncy bouncy strike and Shout" brigade have disallowed this kick in the "game of tag" kumite (fighting) that occurs around the world of "Sport Karate"

    But we also utilize the ball and the the top of the foot depending on the designated target.

    Rather that repeating what others have said I agree with everything stated above

    One of the biggest fears of many Shin Kickers is highlighted in the videos above
    michael mckenna likes this.
  15. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Grasshoppa

    i didnt know that sport karate has its own tippy tappy stuff or as i like to call it a foot slapping contest lol. also a little off topic does anyone else think semi contact gives you bad habits for full contact like the constant trying not to get hit instead of learning how to get hit ? i think its important to learn how to take a hard strike
    Kuyaken likes this.
  16. Kuyaken

    Kuyaken Karate for the streets not just for trophies

    I agree, which is harder trying to hit as hard as you can OR trying to hit as hard as you can WITHOUT making contact?

    I think that it would be:
    Trying to hit as hard as you can WITHOUT making contact as pulling your strikes before contact will filter through into the street
  17. Dave76

    Dave76 Deheuol Gwyn Dragon

    As already stated by most others, depends on target. Myself, I don't like to kick above waist height in a real fight if I can avoid it somehow. But insofar as sparring goes for training purposes, I can hit with either shin or the ball of foot off of the same type of chamber to almost any target on my opponents left or right side. My most unorthodox kick would be my heel kick to face using a crescent style kick off of the lead leg, that starts from a standard front kick whipping out and then in once past waist height, but instead of 'slapping' the face, I extend and push out with my heel when at head height.
    Anyhow, a bloody hard liver shot with the shin....devastating.
    A kick to the knee cap with ball of foot as some one plants their foot, debilitating.

    My advice is nothing new, try to master them both, because they both have their advantages in different circumstances.

    PS......shin conditioning is quite possibly the most painful thing in the MA world that we voluntarily put ourselves through.

    PPS.... Other than those weirdoes who develop 'super human' tolerance to getting kicked in the twig 'n' berries. :eek::wideyed::inpain:
    michael mckenna and Ivor Godley like this.
  18. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    On this side note, keep a rolling pin (yes, the baker's tool) next to your bed to roll up and down the shins and over top the feet at night. It has a conditioning & desensitizing (NOT the same thing) effect and it helps get out the bumps from sparring and/or conditioning drills.
    Void_Karateka likes this.
  19. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Grasshoppa

    i think conditioning the forearms are more painfull. and yeh i dont care who has mastered being kicked in the meat and two veg but they need serious proffesional help lol
  20. Dave76

    Dave76 Deheuol Gwyn Dragon


    I always kind of enjoy forearms, once a buzz of numbness gets going in your arms:LOL:
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  21. michael mckenna

    michael mckenna Grasshoppa

    what kind of forearm conditioning techniques do you do ? i just smack it off a tree with a sheet tied around it. maybe your ways more comfortable lol
    Dave76 likes this.

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