Written by Bob Martial
During New Year’s Training — at World Kanreikai Headquarters — a young blue belt delivered a devastating knee kick to my liver.
“Shake it off!” Shihan Jose yelled. “Don’t let a 12 year old beat you up!”
Instead of getting up, I cried.
A healthy buck, I had never considered any of my organs, much less my liver. But at that moment, I felt its whale-like shape slowly swell from the right half of my abdomen to my eyeballs and brain.
Seconds later, I was fine, However, it is my first and last knockout, a learning experience I will never forget.
According to Sensei Michelle , a mae hiza geri is an in-fighting technique, one delivered at close range like a punch. Unlike punches, easier to predict, knee kicks are harder to see. They are quick, powerful, and very effective, particularly if they land on the opponent’s right side during his/her inhale. Sensei Michelle’s tip: listen for the opponent’s kiai, when he/she exhales to make the noise. After the yell, know that your opponent is about to inhale, releasing abdominal muscles and exposing his/her vulnerable liver. Once landing one, go for two, three, or four kicks.
A simple move that makes a grown man cry. Not that I’d know.