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).

9. Train to improve your own innate abilities - increase your flexibility, spatial awareness, strength, and endurance. Always apply your strengths, not your limitations!

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?


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SooShimKwan said…
Thumbs up on your points.

The technique I scored the most points with in tournaments is probably the front kick. I would stay close, in punching range, and the moment my opponent start tp retreat out of the punching range I would come through with the front kick. To do this properly one has to lift the knee high and then basically push-kick the opponent as he starts his retreat. If you lift your knee high, you can do the kick while your opponent is so close that he would not expect a kicking attack.

His backward motion combined with your push-kick looks quite dramatic and almost always scores points.
Colin Wee said…
Nice one!

I like firing off a mid-level front kick when the opponent goes for a high section turning or roundhouse kick.

Because the head high kick takes longer to travel, the front kick gets there first. Hitting just above the hip with one leg in the air is ...

... a visual feast!


SenseiMattKlein said…
The front kick is the first one we teach. It is the easiest and one of the most powerful if done correctly. Anderson Silva just proved that recently in the cage.

I was winded big time in my first tournament with a front kick. I always kept my hands where they should be after that!
Colin Wee said…
C'mon Matt ... how about tips for success? :-)
SenseiMattKlein said…
Here's one Colin. "People don't like to get punched - so make like you're going to punch your opponent and then launch your kick". By the same token, you can set up a punch by kicking first or faking the kick, then firing the punch.

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