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Low Round Kick Defense (Using The Shin) – Calf Kick Defense Variation

The Low Round Kick Defense (Using The Shin) is traditional taught as a defense when your attacker is targeting your thigh or knee with their round kick. What do you do when they target your calf?

This video explains why both beginner and advance fighters often will target your calf when they throw low round kicks. Then it shows you how to modify your defense to address this problem.


“Hey everyone. This is Glenda, I’m Randall, KravMagaTraining.com. In this video we’re going to go over how to defend the low round kick using your shin as a blocking tool. But specifically, I want to address how to defend when someone is trying to kick you in the calf, not the thigh or the knee.

Now, the reason why I’m addressing this is because this question actually comes up a lot with my students. More than you would realize. And the reason why it comes up is because of a couple of different reasons. So before I get into how to modify your defense to address that, I want to explain why this happens.

First of all, when you’re dealing with a more experienced fighter they’re not just going to be kicking you in the thigh or the legs. They might be targeting your calf for a couple of different reasons. Glenda, if you could get into a fighting stance. All right. So she’s used to defending the kick to the thigh so as a more experienced fighter will start kicking her in the calf to cause damage there. I might be doing that to change the levels up a little bit.

Another reason a more experienced fighter might be using this is they might be using this as a sweeping tool. Sorry Glenda, I had to do it! All right.

Another trick that a lot of more experienced fighters will do is Glenda is more in tune with defending the kick to the thigh. So she knows to bring her knee up and defend my kick up here. So my potential counter to that is when she starts raising her knee up because to think I’m kicking her in the thigh, my counter would be, go ahead and defend Glenda, would be to chop out the other leg underneath as well.

So these are just a few of many examples of why a more experienced fighter might be targeting your calf instead of your thigh for the round kick.

However, we are going to take this on the other end of the spectrum. And here’s the funny part is you actually have to deal with this shit more with beginners. And the funny thing is it’s not because they are so slick and realize this is a target as well. It’s, quite frankly, it’s because their accuracy sucks. It’s funny. I get kicked more in the shins when I spar with beginners than anybody else. And the reason why is their sense of distance, the timing and the height is not very good. They mean to kick in the thigh but they are so focused in sparring and they are kind of new to this stuff, their accuracy is just not very good. So ironically, that comes up a lot in sparring just because beginner’s accuracy is not very good.

Okay. Anyways. Now that I’ve explained the reasons why this particular kick might happen, let me explain the simple defense for it. It’s very easy.

As you guys already know, when someone kicks you in the thigh you’re supposed to block with the top part of your shin. And the height of that is adjustable. So for example, if Glenda kicks me up higher in the thigh, up in the hip area, I have to bring my leg up higher. However, if she’s kicking me in the low thigh or potentially in the side of the knee, I don’t bring it up as high. So that part needs to be adjustable to make sure that we block with the top part of the shin just below the knee because that’s the strongest part of the shin that can absorb the most damage and actually cause damage to their leg.

Now with that principle in mind, when someone kicks your calf you’re basically doing the same thing. You’re keeping your shin, that particular part of your shin at the same level. But to do that you can’t raise your leg. Instead, this is how you modify it is you get up on the ball of the foot and you pivot with your shin pointed in the direction towards the kick. By doing that not only will it hit the top part of your shin where it’s supposed to be, but by doing that and bending my knee it creates a little bit of a ramp as well. So even if you guys were to go shin to shin, which is not ideal but, it is going to create a little bit of a ramp so you won’t absorb the damage full impact.

So with that in mind, let me demonstrate. First, Glenda’s going to kick the inside of my thigh. If I didn’t do anything, ‘boom’, it’s going to get buckled like that. So watch how I get up on the ball of the foot, pivot, and just turn it in like that. It’s simple. It’s as simple as that. Notice how my knees bent. One more time please Glenda. ‘Boom’. I absorb and then I should recoil as I go back to my fighting stance. And then if she does it on the other side I just pivot my knee to the outside. So here comes the outside low kick. Just like that. One more time please Glenda. And that’s it.

Honestly, I wish I could yammer on for another five minutes, but really, that’s all there is to it.

So I hope that suggestion helps. So the next time someone is trying to kick your calf or try to sweep your leg, that’s all you have to do. Don’t raise your leg. Get up on the ball of your foot. Pivot. Like that. Or if she does the inside kick. Or even if she kicks the back leg, it’s the same thing.

That’s your, that’s how you modify this particular defense to address that problem. So the next time you spar and you face that problem, now you guys know what to do.

Thanks for watching guys.”

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