Some Tips On Kicking

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Andy Murray, Mar 20, 2008.

  1. Andy Murray

    Andy Murray Sadly passed away. Rest In Peace.

    A good kick is a valuable weapon in anyone's arsenal, be it for competition fighting, or 'real world' situations.

    A good kick has a number of aspects; Accuracy, Speed, Timing, Power and Surprise! Before I give you some ideas about improving your technique, let me first explain these aspects.


    The ability to hit the target. A kick, which misses the target, is useless, and potentially an opening an opponent can exploit. You also wish to pinpoint the area of the opponents' body you wish to strike, as opposed to simply kicking in their general direction.


    Speed is part of the power equation. In most cases a kick, which is too slow, will be 'read' by your opponent, who may simply avoid it or counter-attack.


    The ability to predict or even dictate your opponents movement patterns. Put them on the end of your foot, as opposed to putting your foot on them.


    The ability to combine your body mass, moved at speed, into the target. E=mc2. Energy is equal to mass times coulombs squared. Or, roughly translated. Good weight behind your kick, sent in at speed, can hurt! Small guys with skinny legs can usually kick quicker than big/heavy guys. For a lot of kicks, smaller guys actually hit harder and have a better chance of hitting the target.


    If your technique is telegraphed, your opponent will negate it. A good kick has no superfluous movements or clues as to what is actually happening until it strikes. Which is more dangerous, the dog which growls before it bites, or the dog which wags it's tail?

    Training your kicks.
    Always warm up properly, then stretch before you practise kicks.
    Practice all kicks equally with each leg. If one leg is poorer on some techniques, then you need to train it more.
    Repetition is nine tenths of the law. A good kicker will throw at least a hundred kicks per day.
    Your kick is never perfect. Practise, practice, practice and practice again.
    If your muscles become too tired to throw the kick properly, then train something else, as you may be starting to practise with poor technique.
    Never throw 100% power or joint lock into kicks unless you are training at hitting an object (pads, bag etc).
    Visualise an opponent when kicking. Imagine what they may be doing to you while you are throwing your fancy kick.
    Keep as good a guard as you can when kicking. The reason for this should be obvious.
    In competition, higher kicks usually score more points. In the street, high kicks may get you killed. Make sure you are training effective techniques.
    There is no substitute for an experienced training partner/instructor to 'spot' for you. They may point out bad habits you don't know about.
    Practice different angles of attack. Lead leg, back leg, with a step, with a skip or jump. Hard as you can, or fast as you can.
    Stretching and flexibility are important. Leg strength even more so. Train squats, horse stance, and sprints.
    If you have, or can borrow one. Use a video camera to record all your kicks. You can then sit and analyse them in slow motion. This may shock you!
    When training pads, try to hit a specific spot, not just the pad in general.
    Analyse the technique of other people, but be wary of adopting the kicking habits you see in most martial arts films. What looks good, may not work!
    If possible train combinations. Hands to legs and legs to hands.
    I personally find' isometric' or 'pnf' stretches to be more effective than static or passive stretching
    Finish off your training session with a light stretch and cool down.

    Paper Tigers.

    A lot of us read articles about various aspects of martial arts. Do you always go and practice what you have just learned. If you have read this quick tips guide, I really hope that you have found something new or something helpful. What you have picked up is of no value to you unless you actually go and do something with it. Too many people just talk the talk. A true martial artist will apply everything they have learned, with a thirst for yet more. 'You don't learn how to swim by walking round the pool'.

    Article written by

    Andy Murray

    Three Dragons Kung Fu
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 13, 2010
  2. Mongrel-Molotov

    Mongrel-Molotov New Member

    an important part of kicking is kicking from the hip, though trying not to use your leg too much like a whip, and remember about the muscle in your body. I find it easier to kick if I visualize what I'm hitting being rock solid - it makes me hit harder. Kicks though are really hard to figure out if you've never used them in a real life situation before. Timing in practice is so different from the real life situation, I've never seen a good kick in a real life fight (except once really). Though I have used the wing tsun style knee kick against aggressive opponents quite alot.
  3. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    You offer sound advice. However, I would suggest the following sequence of efforts for any athlete engaging in a kicking workout:

    1. Joint rotations
    2. General warm up
    3. Dynamic stretching
    4. Sport-specific warm-up (kicks at reduced height and speed)
    5. Technical training
    6. Speed training
    7. Strength training
    8. Endurance training
    9. Isometric stretching
    10. Relaxed stretching

    The wrong sequence of efforts is a primary contributing factor to plateaus and regression in progress, as well as exercising too hard too often, or not enough. The key is balance.
  4. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    This is one of the most ridiculously nonsensical attempts at ignorantly attempting to use physics equations that I've seen in a long time.

    The equation E=mc2 is one of mass-energy equivalence of a mass, not necessarily one specific to kinetic energy delivered to a target. In that equation, the energy E of a mass m is equal to that mass multiplied by the square of the speed of light c.

    If your kicking leg were somehow perfectly efficiently matter-annihilated or otherwise similarly changed purely to energy, and the energy to which its mass were equivalent were to be then directly launched into your opponent, then yes, perhaps that equation would be somehow relevant to kicking techniques.

    Coulombs here are pretty much entirely irrelevant. A coulomb is a basic unit of electrical charge, equal to the negative of the charge of approximately 6 * 10^18 electrons.
  5. Fire-quan

    Fire-quan Banned Banned

    I think that highlights one of the pieces of 'folk wisdom' that goes around as regards 'power' - i.e. that speed will inevitably mean power, and more speed, more power.

    But it just doesn't work like that. I know myself, I've had periods where I focussed on flashy, fast, snappy kicks. They were fast, but they didn't drive in to the target and they didn't have body power, structure or intent behind them.

    Equally important to me is the intention - 'mind is force'; meaning, you need that intent to really hit hard, through the opponent, and much of your training needs that mental focus.
  6. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    Actually no, it highlights complete and utter cluelessness about physics formulas. That formula he used has nothing to do with the speed of any given kick or of any moving mass. The formula E=mc2 is about mass-energy equivalence of matter.

    The speed and "power" thing is a separate thing, and is often brought up in the form of someone mentioning the Newtonian equation KE = 0.5mv2; the kinetic energy KE of a moving object being equal to one half of the product of the mass m and the square of the velocity v.

    As you say, however, these formulas should not be abused and mangled into 'folk wisdom'.

    However, I do not know enough about the relevant kinesiology, and nor do I have that particularly deep a background in physics, to really continue along this path and give a good explanation of the physics of kicking, so I'll stop here. I just hope the kid who posted this up learned a lesson from this.
  7. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    Feel free to disagree with Andy Murray. I frequently do. But he's no kid.
  8. Strafio

    Strafio Trying again...

    Bronze Statue is right with the physics.
    The formula he provided for kinetic energy was the more appropriate one for the topic at hand. The E=mc2 that Einstein used for his theory of relatity is something different.
    Doesn't take away from the article in general but I guess it's worth changing as people do pick up on quirks like these and it steals their attention from the point you were trying to put across.
  9. tophalf69

    tophalf69 New Member


    The ability to combine your body mass, moved at speed, into the target. E=mc2. Energy is equal to mass times coulombs squared. Or, roughly translated. Good weight behind your kick, sent in at speed, can hurt! Small guys with skinny legs can usually kick quicker than big/heavy guys. For a lot of kicks, smaller guys actually hit harder and have a better chance of hitting the target.

    Here we go again, apart from the very poor, in fact completely incorrect use of E=mc2, coulombs are a measure of electrical charge.
    How many times does the same thing have to be said, a smaller weaker person CANNOT kick HARDER than a larger more muscular person with equivalent skills/length of limbs etc, just accept it, more mass travelling at a similar velocity to less mass will carry more energy into a given target and that is without taking into account the muscular power that continues to drive the mass through the target after impact. :bang:
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  10. lordy

    lordy New Member

    Okay, I don't think I need any tips from you.
  11. Whitecrow

    Whitecrow Valued Member

    ..every step is potentially a kick & generally most effective when used to set up the hands.. this is especially true when using kicks as a distractionary manouevre to "draw" your opponents mind away from what your (generally more effective) hands are doing.. a pertinent example would be kicking the opponents ankle or shin whilst the hands strike their head..

    ..also, in order to gain entry into your oponents outside gate (- safest angle of attack), a sidestep combined with a low kick to the knee whilst simultaneously applying a hand technique is most effective.. but please remember that if an attack of this kind is successful, then you have most likely crippled your opponent & both of you have to live with this..
  12. tideliar

    tideliar Valued Member

    Wait...what... Sorry for random acts of Threadomancy, but E=MC2... Seriously? The C is the constant for the "speed of light" not coulombs...they share a symbol, but little else!
    Energy = (mass) multiplied by (the speed of light squared)

    Nothing to do with coulombs. A coulomb is a unit of electric charge, which has nothing to do with kicking. Figure out a power law derived from mass & speed = power/energy. The bigger you are the harder the hit. Period.

    Last edited: Jul 10, 2009
  13. chof

    chof Valued Member

    yea ,rght pal small guys with toothpick legs can kick harder, not
  14. Radharc

    Radharc Valued Member


    I suppose that if a skinny guy can kick faster that does have some influence in the final impact, as speed is one of the variables in the equation for kinetic energy. A big guy that kicks slow but has more mass, and a small guy with less mass that kicks faster - doesnt that affect the end result? Just asking. I figure muay thay fighters can kick pretty hard...
  15. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

  16. KMA

    KMA Valued Member

    I consider myself a fairly big guy that can take a hit 6'2 200lbs, and I have been kicked by a guy 5'5 120 lbs. The kick hit me so hard my speech was slurred for a few minutes (yeah, I know that explains a lot!)
    The odd thing was I thought I was speaking just fine, but no one else could understand me.

    Yes a small skinny guy/gal can still kick %$$! This is why martial arts is awesome with a side of awesome!
  17. 7heTexanRebel

    7heTexanRebel Valid Member

    e=mc2!?!!? Like others have said, this is for converting mass to pure energy.
    The equation you need is f=ma (force=mass X acceleration)

    So the force of a kick depends on speed just as much as weight. Meaning than a small guy can, in theory, kick harder than a big guy if his leg moves faster.
  18. adscottie

    adscottie Valued Member

  19. Commander Nitro

    Commander Nitro Valued Member

    which is a better kicker a taekwondo expert or a muay thay fighter? Just curious
  20. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    the one that kicks better

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