The martial arts are known for various methods and philosophies on kicking. Do you need to know kicking for self defense? Not really. You could learn boxing and mix in some judo/wrestling and you’d have good self defense skills. In kickboxing back in the day, there was a mandatory kick count of 8 to make sure fighters would kick. If not, it would turn into a kickboxing match. Folks watch tournament karate and taekwondo and see spinning, jumping, double and triple kicks and say, cute but not effective. Now I always say if I can land a spin back kick on a world class fighter, I sure as hell could in a self defense situation. But when you look at most fights, it usually boils down to who as the better hands. The main reason being, is that it takes a lot of practice to be a good kicker. You have to be in good shape and you have to get lots of practice under pressure. Going back to kickboxing, even though it’s called kickboxing it is more like box kicking. Now, I want you to develop and practice your kicks because if you can land a leg technique effectively the dividends pay well. Here’s a nice clip of some kick KOs.