As well as altering my punching, after encountering Steve Morris the way my round kick is delivered has changed. It is significantly better than when it was a standard mawashi geri. The whipping action delivery ramps up the power for a kick as much as it does for a punch and we end up with something much more akin to a Muay Thai round kick than the standard mawashi geri.
Whereas the whipping punch used a hip-shoulder-arm sequence as the basic movement, in the round kick the sequence is arm/foot-hip-leg, once again with the head leading the action
The non-kicking foot moves out and across to the side with the head moving (posting) over it. The arm on the kicking side is raised so it can pull in the opposite direction to the kick, rotating the upper body and transferring momentum into the hip and then leg creating the whipping action. The lower segment of the kicking leg is left behind and in effect is thrown into the target. For the kick to be thrown the body is first elongated and then contracted rotationally.
Hopefully that makes sense, it’s easier to show than describe; as usual the written word is clumsier than a demonstration. The rotation of the upper and lower body in opposite directions is perhaps counter-intuitive as one would think that everything should be going in the direction of the target. However, it’s easy to get a feel for how this kick works by sitting on a computer chair; it has to be one that revolves though. If you lift your feet up off the floor and stretch your arms out to the side, you have the equivalent of the starting position. Now sharply pull your arms into your centre and you’ll see that the momentum is transferred to the lower body and your legs twist in the opposite direction to the upper body. Ta daaa!
This instructional clip of the Thai round kick is pretty much it, although there are a few details missing. Steve describes the kick in some detail here in #6 and goes into great depth on his Round Kick Clinic dvd. This dvd is great, it’s the first one I bought and is really excellent, well worth a look.
There are several examples of this kick or similar in MMA/Muay Thai/K1 fights, such as the one Steve Morris mentions when Cro Cop was knocked out by Gonzaga, shown in this UFC 74 preview clip. Thiago Alves is using a similar kick a lot against Josh Koschek creating plenty of power. But the power of the kick is clearly illustrated in this clip from a pseudo science show called Fight Science.