The role of kicks in professional fights

I recently found this video (see at the bottom of the post) on YouTube and I was impressed simply because it’s rare to see somebody using his legs in such an efficient, powerful and effective way.
When I started karate and kick boxing, in the early eighties, it was noticeable a strong predominance in kicking techniques.  At that time people like Bill Wallace and Dominique Valera were dominating tournaments worldwide and most people entering competitions felt they had to be great kickers.  I remember my master going to seminars run by these legends of kick boxing and coming back with more and more tricks about strategies and combinations of kicks to be used in training and competitions.

Then, within a few years, a new generation of kick boxers started to populate the world.  These new people were not excellent kickers, not very flexible in the lower part of their body, so they started to develop techniques and strategies to use a minimum amount of kicks in any given fights while using more and more boxing techniques.

By definition a kick is a powerful technique: it delivers a lot more power and damage then a punch but it also uses a lot more energy and it’s usually slower.  These simple rules changed completely the trends in full contact and professional fights: in the last few years you can see all fights being dominated by good punching, a few round and front kicks and literally no much else.  In K1 or in MMA people tend to punch, kick and knee in the former or, often, looking for the grappling in the latter.

Nonetheless it’s nice to see that occasionally a good kicker enters the professional arena and when that happens he/she usually dominates for a some time, at least until a better kicker comes out or somebody studies very carefully how to avoid being kicked and defeat the kicker by using different techniques.