July 13, 2006

Zidane's Head Butt Fu

So the sports world is all abuzz about French soccer hero Zineidine Zidane's head butt of opponent Marco Materazzi in the recent World Cup final.

TV screen capture of Zidane head butt

Sure, the head is used a lot in soccer, and maybe that's why you see head butts on the soccer field, but the headbutt isn't a great martial arts technique.

It's hard to practice.

We don't practice head butts in our training sessions, just because it's usually an up-close, in yo face (literally) move, to be done when you're clinched and thus have your hands, elbows, knees, and legs busy. Not like you can use any other appendage as a weapon in such cases.

There are better techniques to use

And in such situations, we'd probably bite the other guy's ear or nose off. I do practice this in a grappling round and with my mouthguard on I won't maim my training partner, but he will get the hint that I'm not totally weaponless.

Mike Tyson certainly subscribes to our vale tudo doctrine in that regard.

But as a technique used in open maai, meaning at kicking range? Why not just throw a nice front kick, or a spinning back kick, using the heel (with your spikes) as the impact point?

My theory is that Zidane wanted to give Materazzi a little love tap but didn't want to do anything really flagrant, like kick the guy in the balls or something. It's one thing to be tossed out of the game, and another to get tossed out of the sport.

Far better though, would've been for Zidane to do something to show his indignation but still make Materazzi look like the cad. Too bad no one had a handbag handy--he could've had a funny allusion to that other weird euro-football sport, rugby.

Posted by jameshom at July 13, 2006 11:33 AM | TrackBack
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