But for now, check out this video and tell me what you think! Summary below.
Kicking Range in Self-Defense - YouTube
Kicking Range for Self-Defense
It’s common in the martial arts to talk about different “fighting ranges”, like kicking range, punching range, and clinching range. But is that a mistake?
Consider punching range for a moment. Sifu Matt Ember of Rising Fist Kung Fu points out that a jab can be thrown at different distances and with different purposes—to measure, stun, or cause damage.
So, then what exactly IS punching range?
The same question applies to kicks. You can use kicks to keep an attacker away from you, hyper-extend a knee, or blast backwards through a window. If the same kick can be thrown at different distances, does it make any sense to say there is only one set “kicking distance”?
It’s also true that if you’re close enough to blast someone through a window with a kick, you’re also close enough to use elbow and knee strikes. So, would you call that kicking range or clinching range?
The answer is simple—according to Sifu Matt, we should think about our legs as multi-purpose tools—just like your arms. That means you should be able to kick at close range, not just a step back at what most people call “kicking” range.
How do you do that?
Practice chambering your kicks “inside” and “outside”.
Chambering OUTSIDE is how most people are taught to kick. You just raise your knee naturally, allowing your hip to swing up.
Chambering INSIDE means raising your knee as close to your body as possible. This position allows you to throw kicks at a distance that most people don’t expect.
Chamber “inside” to kick at close range!
Another way to think about this is imagining a hula hoop around your hips. You can either set up your kick with your knee outside the hoop or inside the hoop. If you can do both, then you have doubled your kicking range.
TRY THIS: Can you hug your knee into your chest and balance on one foot? That’s a good way to get the feel of an inside chamber.
The big idea here is to not set limits on yourself. Blur the lines between ranges until they don’t exist anymore.
After all, there really is only ONE range in self-defense—fighting range. You’re either fighting or you’re not!