This drill is done in an open stance to get feedback on how the front kick lands on a human target. The striking area is on the side of the oblique abdominal muscles above the belt line.
Problems yesterday encountered:
1. Kicking too hard
2. Kicking too high
3. Kicking with sub-optimal foot position
4. Guarding hands not providing coverage
THe kick is done as a way to get feedback from the opponent, having a balanced power output and not kicking the opponent too hard means you can kick him many more times before he gets fedup of the entire exercise. Furthermore, kicking light to moderate allows you to calibrate distance and accuracy to 'group' the kicks onto the target area.
Much of the problem last night stemmed from just wanting to kick. Many people ... beginners, just focus on the primary kicking motion. Unfortunately, with the upward front kicking leg snap, this means that the kick seems to be travelling upward. So instead of kicking the side of the abs, you end up kicking your opponent's chest. With this trajectory, little penetration or effect will occur. This drill is about driving the kick horizontal and punching or punctuating the upward motion with a forward thrust. The strike is perpendicular to the body - not something to give your opponent a breast lift.
Front Kick as Hard as a Side Kick