One of the trademarks of taekwondo is of course the kick more specifically the high kicking that is involved both the sparring and the patterns of the art. This is alos one of the main criticisms of TKD when people discus the practicality of the art. People will bring up all sorts if stat to show how ineffective kicking is and therefore how ineffective the art of TKD is.
An awful lot of the people that talk bad about kick do so to make excuses for the fact they can’t kick high. They will come up with many many excuses for not kick simply because they haven’t spent the time developing their legs. They will quote well worn lines such as “you won’t have room to kick” or “kicking to the head takes too long”
To be honest they have a point, all the reasons that are commonly stated for not high kick are valid. In a real situation it is very unlikely that there will be the space to kick high, or even the time. However does this mean we should abandon all high level kicks?
Aside from the reasons already mentioned I believe high section kicks are a very important part of training. For a start the technical ability and body control required to perform a kick to a person’s head will help all your kicks become technically better and therefore more effective.
Also if you have the strength and flexibility to kick high the your mid and low level kick will be much more powerful. If your strength and flexibility are lacking then even your mid level kicks will lack power as your lack or flexibility will inhibit any power generation, akin to trying to punch while holding a kettlebell.
Lastly the ‘flashy’ kicks are fun. They give a break from the more serious aspects of training and offer some fun challenges without stepping too far away from martial exercises.
So how do you stop yourself from try to use high section kicking techniques in real situations? Simple, don’t practice them in that manner. If you keep your practice based in reality and when practicing applications doesn’t include head kicks then there is no reason why you will be tempted to use them in real situations.
In short, as a training exercise high kicks are very important. However, they should stay in the dojang