Coup de pied Pointe – Defense dans la Rue’s point kick

By Craig Gemeiner © 2013


Defense dans la Rue (DDLR) first developed into a method of French self-defence during the late 1800s. Renowned as a simple but brutally effective system of street defence, the emphasis on DDLR was not to engage the opponent for long periods of time but to end the conflict in the quickest possible way. Techniques included open hand blows, finger strikes and gouges to the eyes, elbow and knee hits, head butts , bare knuckle boxing , skills from Savate – French boxing and western grappling techniques. These distinctive skills distinguished DDLR as a truly “boots and all” approach, and since its early development the method has gone on to acquire a unique style and tactical application.


The kicks from Savate- French boxing that were adopted into DDLR are kept low, impacting targets no higher than the groin. They are not the untrained rough house kicks used by the likes of skin heads or soccer hooligans. Instead, these kicks consist of specific principles and bio mechanics that govern their application in both practice and self-defence.

Coup de pied pointe: An instinctive choice for humans defending themselves, the coup de pied pointe (also referred to as the “coup de pied direct”) is one of several kicks that comprise the DDLR system. It can be used to create openings and facilitate follow-up combinations. It’s a versatile strike and is useful in controlling distance and bridging the gap between you and an opponent. This kick can be used to strike various points of the body, but the most common targets are the groin, knee and shin.


The coup de pied pointe could be approximated to a front kick, except the knee is raised no higher than the level of the enemy’s groin with the foreleg trailing. The boot is quickly extended into the target along a vertical plan using a flinging action of the foreleg. This kick can be executed while stationary, stepping forward, passing back or side stepping. It can be used as a stop hit to the groin against a high kick, or to chase an opponent (by redoubling the kick while using advancing footwork), or at just about any time that a suitable distance and target presents itself. Delivered at its full extension and using the point of the boot the coup de pied pointe is executed at the “longue” or long-range.


As with most kicks, the coup de pied pointe is best used in combinations that distract the opponent from the strike to come, by firing high then low. For example, attack high with a hand strike before throwing the point kick to the groin.


There are variations on the coup de pied point, designed for use at different ranges and in various circumstances.

Coup de pied pointe- diagonal: This variation is executed like the coup de pied pointe, except the boot travels along a diagonal path. The kick is useful in the event your opponent is standing with one foot forward and you can’t strike the target with a vertical kick, simply deliver the kick diagonally upward.

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Coup de pied pointe with the shin or instep: The striking surface of the coup de pied pointe is not limited to the point of the boot. At a closer distance the shin or instep can be used to crush the testicles. Keep your leg slightly bent, as a straight legged kick when using the shin may impact the bottom of the pelvic girdle and not the groin. Because the shin and instep kick is delivered at the “moyen” or middle range it’s important to keep the hands up high to protect your face against the opponent’s counter punches.


Training the coup de pied pointe: To train the coup de pied pointe, be it with the point of the boot, shin or instep, you will need to develop not only the correct technique but also the ability to execute the kick at various ranges. One simple method is to use a small striking pad placed at groin height. Next, move around and have the student adjust his or her distance in order to maintain either the “moyen” or “longue” ranges, suddenly stop, this will cue the student to explode with a coup de pied pointe to the pad. The student follows immediately with hand combinations or further kicks.

When training any of the kicks of DDLR use appropriate foot wear, ideally boots, allowing every section of the foot to be used as a point of percussion. Experiencing even light blows from someone wearing boots and skilled in the use of low linear kicks can produce debilitating results.

Real world application of the shin/ instep kick to the groin.

In this clip accidental kicks to the groin either incapacitate or heavily slow down highly trained MMA fighters