Thought i'd rekindle this debate, as the only other thread I could find did not go far.
What are your thoughts on the usefulness of kicks in self defense?
I've done some adrenalized training with armor here and there over the years, I consider it the closest thing to real violence I've done in my training, and a lot of my conclusions about what "works" for me personally come from those, and the actual violent encounters I've had in my life. Some half -ass muggings and beatdowns, not like I'm some operator, I'm a round 43 year old. I've been on the receiving end of violence though and feel like if nothing else I have practical but somewhat conservative viewpoint about "works" when the rubber hits the road - gross motor stuff you can do with extreme violence, and very little complexity. Everything else is training and "fighting" of one sort or another, lots of cool stuff to do in training of course but the "meat" is pretty minimal...a small collection of basic skills in practice. Of course as we all know the physical part of self defense is not the major skillset needed anway.
I had to use my de-escalation and fence type the other day for the first time in many years, and it reminded me of how greatful I am that my martial arts teachers included this sort of thing in their teaching. People are really on edge right now.
Anyway, onto the subject: I am dubious about the usefulness of kicks generally. I feel like situationally you can use something akin to a fast rising front kick to the groin ( I have successfully defended myself 20 years ago or so with a hard groin kick+ eye punch combo, not like it was planned, and I was a lot younger - maybe an unfair bias), and you can kick or stomp legs and joints at close range. Everything else seems so situational you might as well throw it out. Roundhouse kicks for instance (even to the leg) seem to be 85% a "fighting" thing to me as they happen at a distance that just doesn't happen for very long in chaotic situations. If there's anything that defines the violence i've personally experienced, it'd be chaos.
What do you think?