Thinking Outside of the Box

Testing at Contact Kicks

The Author on promotion day, at Contact Kicks Dojo

I take a staycation for a week and wouldn’t you know it, I get sick. I came down with a nasty cold and was on the fence about attending class at Contact Kicks dojo. I knew the results would be out from Friday’s test, and I didn’t want to let people down by not being there, but on the other hand I was concerned about spreading germs. I decided to suck up and go, and I was so glad I did!

Despite feeling under the weather (sore throat, achy, etc) I felt great! After the belt ceremony, we did some serious leg conditioning, el la frog walks, etc. We then began kicking drills, from Kokutsu Dachi, using the lead leg, and later the rear leg.

Fogarasi Sensei explained that though this is a traditional fighting posture, it closely resembles what we do in modern fighting stances and Muay Thai. We worked mae geri and mawashi geri, at different heights and combinations.


We also partnered up for conditioning drills using the same kicks. As I mentioned, the cold wasn’t bothering me once I got my mind into “dojo focus” and I was really enjoying the experience.

Sensei then wanted us try more unorthodox kicks. Kicking from unnatural positions, distance, off balance, etc. It was tricky, but oh so much fun. I was able to get a few switch kicks in, fakes and delivery, etc. It was very physical but I had a huge smile.

migi mae ashi no gedan mawashi geri, uchi mawashi geri no konbineeshonFogarasi Sensei explained that it is important to be able to delivery a strike from any position, for various reasons. The obvious being off balance, but others include messing with your opponent, so he or she never knows what to expect.

This unorthodox way of fighting can help one create their own style, and what works for them and makes a fighter become very unpredictable.

Citing great fighters to study, like Australian Garry O’Neill, one of the first to begin using Kaiten mawashi Geri in competition. Here is a clip of an amazing fight of Gary O’Neill

Romanian Marius Ilas, who has some really sneaky moves:

And Norichika Tsukamoto, who at times can look sloppy or like a capoeira fighter, but has proven that his unconventional way of fighting works, based on the many championships he has won. Take a look here in this Shinkyokushin video Memorial Training of the 20th anniversary of Sosai Mas Oyama. Tsukamoto is on the right:


At the end of class, Sensei lectured on the preceding evening. The importance of being unpredictable. Though we study a very traditional form of martial arts it is good to think in an unconventional way. To think outside of the box. As it will not only confuse an opponent, but it might also help you out of jam, just when you think there is no other solution.



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