Another Machida mae geri?
Lyoto Machida has delivered another keage geri (snap kick) win - this time a body shot (a kick to the liver) - to finish CB Dollaway at only 1:02 into the first round (after some punches on the ground).
Copyright © 2014 Dejan Djurdjevic
At first I thought the kick contacted with the ball of the foot but closer examination shows that the kick landed on the instep near the top of the toes.
It seems possible that Machida was going for a toe kick but changed angles at the last second.
[The toe kick might seem strange until you realise that it's been done before - see my article on this very technique.]
Anyway, I've often taught this very application for the Chen Pan Ling taijiquan kick (which seems to use the toes but with the right target uses the instep).
Alternatively, Machida can be said to have effected a kind of hybrid mae geri / mawashi geri: the so-called "triangle kick".
I prefer the former analysis, ie. a "late conversion" from one to the other - highlighting the fact that in the traditional martial arts the front and roundhouse snap kicks are really just minor variants of each other depending on what opening presents itself at the relevant split second (this "morphing" of kicks is something my brother Nenad frequently demonstrates very effectively).
Whichever way you look at it, the kick Machida used here was definitely a snap/shock kick - and a variant of the front snap kick. It definitely wasn't the "teep" - a pushing action. Nor is it a "swing through" roundhouse typically used in Muay Thai etc.
Hopefully the idea that the front snap kick and its variants/adaptations somehow aren't "effective" in fighting - particularly in competition - should well and truly be put to rest now.
There's nothing wrong with the snap kick - which clearly works - depending how and when you use it. It's all in the timing. Most people today don't have the skill to pull off such a "simple" technique. But mastery is often expressed as simplicity...