Use of legs in a street fight

Should we use legs in a street fight?

Does it make sense to use a war tank during a field battle (against similar war machines)? Of course, but only if:

  • We are able to drive it
  • It is in good conditions
  • It has ammunition
  • It has enough fuel

In all the other cases the risks become greater than the advantages: for the kicks is the same.

Why is dangerous to abuse of legs in a street fight

Legs are very important, we need them to do vital things like:

Even (good) kicks could be so effective it is totally wrong to employ legs without a more than adequate preparation (read How to prepare legs to kick effectively).

Are there no risky kicks?

In a self-defense context we have 2 options in terms of kicking:

  • Below the knee – If we have a good balance, we can use kicks below the knee height “with a certain tranquility” (to stop, channel, hit, etc.); the important thing is to remain aligned with our gravity line (read How to improve balance: tricks and exercises, for example, if we do not know what we are doing, we should not lean forward to reach a target that is out of our reach)
  • Above the knee – To be able to use the legs above the knee height (kick to the head, etc.) we need a high martial standard (read The use of legs in a real fight)

Why high kicks are for experts only?

These are the reasons why to kick above the knee (outside a safe context, in the street, etc.) is only for advanced practitioners:

  • The absence of stretching – To use medium / high kicks without stretching we must have a daily training standard; in particular, if we are not very flexible and / or we are no longer young, the occurrence even only of a disabling tear is very easy (if this happen our prevailing options decreases drastically, read Always be ready to fight: extreme conditions)
  • Waste of energy – Our legs consume a lot of energy (they are more powerful but heavier to use dynamically, especially if we do not know how to manage their inertia); we need a lot of stamina to do not end with heavy breathing in a few instants (this means hours of training each day)
  • Predictability – Legs (without adequate training and tactics knowledge) are generally slow and much more predictable than arms; if an opponent grabs our leg may be the beginning of the end (ground fighting, lethal fallings, etc. read The fundamental concepts of the fallings)
  • Balance risks – Even if lower limbs can deliver devastating blows, it’s easy to lose balance if we have never developed dynamic balance (read The concept of Dynamic Equilibrium)

To improve you kicking level you can  read:

About the effectiveness of martial arts in self-defense you can read instead:

In-depth articles


Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • Do you feel able to use your legs to kick over your knees (in a self-defense context)?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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