A great deal has been written and said about kicking in today’s age of modern martial artists. Many people who are cross training seem to mainly focus on low Thai kicks because of their effectiveness and they present less risk of being taken to the ground by the grappler.

When it comes to kicking you really have to decide what your purposes are for training in the martial arts, it might be that the art you practice in encompasses a lot of kicking. If you are aiming for competition then kicking might be an important element, or you may be hooked on the Kung Fu movies and like all the flamboyant techniques which are generally kicks.

When I was a junior, kicking was my best technique and I quickly realised that I also need to be able to punch after being beaten by the puncher on several occasions. I then set about developing my hands to the same leveI as my kicks to be an all round fighter.

I personally enjoy kicking very much and find it rewarding, I am confident enough of my kicking ability in a real situation, because I have had the unfortunate pleasure of using them on several occasions, but you must train your kicks for this test and not just competition to give yourself any chance of success.

1. Front Kick

The front kick is a good powerful kick that is good for stopping attacker coming towards you. Practice chambering your knee, so your knee faces the ceiling. Extend your leg out bending your toes back and striking with the ball of the foot. Keep your hands up and if kicking with the back leg change your guard over. You can snap your kick or push kick (we will go into different ways to kick in a latter column). Good areas to strike are shin, knee, groin, bladder and abdominals.

2. Roundhouse Kick

The roundhouse kick is a circular techniques and is good for throwing in combinations, beware that you can open yourself up when kicking to the inside of your opponent. When executing your Roundhouse Kick chamber your leg so that it faces to the side. Extend your leg and point your toes strike with either the top of the foot or the shin. Areas to strike are thigh, body and head.

3. Side Kick

The side kick is a very strong and fast kick, great for points sparring but you need to work on this technique to fire strong and effective combinations because you turn side on whilst throwing the kick and this can slow the next technique down. Chamber your leg the same as a roundhouse kick, extend your leg and strike with the heel or foot sword. Areas to strike are the knee, body and head.

4. Back Kick

If you know Master Bob Sykes you will know this is his favourite technique, and bob has a great back kick, this can only be achieved through lots of repetition. Its one thing to have good form in a kick and another to actually be effective at putting it into practice. If you get this kick right it can probably be the most powerful kick of all. Keep your feet still and turn your body, look over your shoulder, chamber your leg and throw a sidekick and you have your back kick.

This technique can be used to counter if timed correctly or it should be used in a combination with other techniques to set it up.


Practice your balance by chambering your leg tight.

Keep your hands up at all times

Practice your kicks using different methods to develop different attributes – shadow for form, pad work for power and speed, partner work for distance and timing.

Remember to focus on Quality not Quantity

Stretch and strengthen your legs to develop flexibility and strength to allow greater movement and use less energy in your kicks

Practice with both legs – when I was competing the front leg was mainly used and because of doing many more repetitions on one side I have developed a back challenge. So practice both sides!

Remember the harder you work the luckier you get. I look forward to working with you next month.

Author's Bio: 

Lee Mainprize is a martial arts teachers, teacher. He helps beginners and students learn martial arts online and gives martial arts home study.