Ten Ways to Improve Your Front Kick
Ten Way to Improve Your Front Kick
The front kick we learn is introduced in the third Taekwondo pattern Do San.
These are ten ways to make your front kick more effective:
10. Strike with your hands! Learning to land a strike with your hands teaches principles of timing, distancing, and application of power - all great skills to have whilst trying to launch a heavier, less responsive striking tool (i.e. your leg).
8. Use a variety of training methods. If you just stick with one type of equipment, you are not doing yourself any favours. See the above picture where we've ditched the kick shields and are landing controlled kicks on the body. Kick under water. Kick the air. Kick different types of targets. Kick the base of a heavy bag. Kick whilst in the shower.
7. The striking 'tool' as you see it is a leg extended out to the opponent, so when you try to increase power, you 'juice' up the leg muscles - your quads. The way I increase kicking power is to connect my support foot solidly to the ground, to shift my hips forward providing structural support, then tightening my abs to transmit this mass shifting, and then lastly to accelerate my foot towards the opponent. The secret to good kicks? Good kicks start from the ground up! Great kicks use the entire body connected with the ground!.
6. To gain more control over your front kick, try to understand the flight path of the foot as it shoots toward the opponent. This flight path has to bypass obstacles through 3D space to land solidly on the opponent. Lots to think about, so when you start sparring, make sure you spend time observing how your opponent moves to block your kicks.
5. The end bit of your kicking tool (your foot) is not very large - you can make the weapon fit into a very small area. When you train, ask your partner to cover his core as well as he can with both forearms leaving a small gap between then. Then fire your foot right between that gap and land it on the body. This drill helps you calibrate your front kick for angle of entry.
4. Start with less power and aim to get more control over the flight path of your front kicks.
3. No front kick is going to work if you're firing it from a huge distance. You need to step up to the opponent and then fire the kick! Do it quickly and smoothly.
2. People don't like to get punched - so make like you're going to punch your opponent and then launch your front kick.
1. Most beginners move or shift their upper body up and back to haul up their kicking leg. Worse still their arms open up and or shift downwards. This telegraphs any kick! So don't do that. Kick lower if you have to. but the top way to improve your front kick is to get it so that the opponent doesn't see it coming.
What other tips can you add which have helped your front kick?
Principal, Joong Do Kwan (Perth)
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