Tuesday, November 14, 2006

How to Kick Harder

I think the simple answer is: put your butt/hips into the kick. The hips generate a lot of power, and this has to be made use of while kicking as well as punching.

For example, in front kick, thrusting your hips forward gives the kick power. Imagine that at the instant of throwing the kick, someone slaps you forward hard in the small of your back. That is how our instructor gets us to kick with more 'snap' (see also the comments section for a reader's suggestion about how to think of the hip action). In roundhouse, during the kick, your hips should be moving 'into' the kick. To do this, bend the balance knee so that your hips are free to move forward in the direction of the kick. In back kick, try to keep your hips low while kicking and use your hips to thrust back, while you hold the kick for a vibration.

I want to say that I'm a beginner and learning these things for the first time, so I don't want it to sound like I'm an authority of any kind. I wrote this post because I felt it might be helpful for me (and hopefully other beginners) to put what I am learning about technique into words as precisely as I can. So if readers have corrections, suggestions or thoughts, do comment!

92 comments:

John Vesia said...

The front kick comes two ways: One is the front snap kick which is based on speed and recoil. The other is the front thrust kick - it's like you're kicking down a door. The focus of power is in the heel, not the ball of the foot like in the snapping variety. Thai boxers like the front thrust kick because it has more knockdown power. In principle, the snap kick can do more damage.

Writing is similar to teaching in that eventually you really do become an authority in your subject matter.

Little Cricket said...

Thanks for pointing out the distinction in the front kicks. Though we're encouraged to thrust out with the hips, I think the front kick we have been taught matches the front snap kick more, striking with the ball of the foot making the action like snapping with a wet towel.

Gordon White said...

Something that can also help for both a thrust or snapping front kick, is to focus on the standing foot pivoting in the direction of the kick. Thinking about this, rather then thrusting the hips forward helps the kicker keep balance, while still having the hips go foward.

Little Cricket said...

Hi Gordon,

Thanks for the tip. Could you clarify what you mean by pivoting for front kick? Does the heel of the standing foot come up off the ground?

LC

Miss Chris said...

Thrusting with the hips for the front kick was hard to get used to at first for me but now it feels like the only way to di it.

Gordon White said...

the heel of the standing foot would come up slightly - just enough to pivot on the ball of your foot.

Try this:
Stand feet parralel
Raise one knee, waist height, in front of you.
Your shoulders and hips should be square to the front to get the "hip thrust" motion you are talking about.
Now, pivot the standing foot 30 - 45 degrees to the front - now look at your hips. the hip of kicking leg should be forward.

You would repeat this motion fluidly while doing front kick.

hope that helps!

Gordon White said...

Sorry for the double post, I just realized I had these documents. There are much better books and documentation out there but thought this might help get my point across.
Documents in PDF Format:

Knee Raise (initial motion for front kick)
http://tinyurl.com/yfymna

Front Kick
http://tinyurl.com/ymxfcm

Little Cricket said...

Gordon sir,

Thanks for posting, the pictures were indeed very helpful. And I understood how the pivoting motion of the foot affects the hips. And you are right, it is better for balance than just thrusting the hip out. I will incorporate this into my practice.

Regards,
LC

Amanda said...

That "twisting" on the supporting leg when doing a roundhouse kick (dolyochagi) is what's killing me. I can't seem to get myself to do it, no matter how many times Kwanjangnim tells me to. When I DO manage to get it right, I can SEE how much more power I get out of my kick, but I haven't been able to internalize it yet...

Don't even get me started on the jumping double roundhouse kicks, where he has us do a jumping roundhouse with the right then left leg before landing. "Amanda! Oen, oh ruen! Ohngdongi!" Trying to twist my hips in midair is just about going to make me lose my mind...

Little Cricket said...

Amanda, thanks for visiting. For techniques I find difficult to do in real life, it helps me a *lot* to visualize myself doing it in detail in my head many times. Amazingly, practicing actions in your head allows you to do them better in perrson.

Amanda said...

I've been practicing these moves in my head since 2004, when I picked TKD back up. I study 10 hours a week. This seems to be beyond my head... ^^

Danielfitri said...

I think the powerful of any kicks involves:

1. Application of powerful force in short period of time to the ground with the kicking leg. Using the ball of foot, applying the powerful force to the ground will effect the power of your kick. We called this, "ground reaction force". The ground will return the same force that u applied to it. So, the most powerful force, will achieve the highest speed n explosive power for your kick.

This technique must followed by:

2. "summation of forces" from the smallest muscle groups to the largerst muscles groups. For instance, From your calf and tibialis muscles followed by hamstring and quads muscled and finally hips muscles. If sum up all of these muscles forces, u will achieve the most powerful kick.

Please comment abt this situation. It is applied biomechanics for the taekwondo practicioners. Good luck ;)

matt_do said...

I really need to learn how roundhouse kick harder because every time i try to kick harder i loose my balance.

MP said...

If you want to kick harder you are right in thinking that your technique has to be right. As in the hip is a crucial part of the movement in any kick and particularly roundhouse. So please continue thinking about your hip and its position and use.

Two things i would like to add to think about while you try and perfect this kick.
First is the timing you turn your hip in your kick. WIth all techniques there is a certain order you need to perform each movement, and your hip is no different.
Second is power and kicking harder is not just the movements you put in your kick, but how you take a hit or the execution of those movements. In short its physics. With greater masse plus moving that masse at higher speed will create more power.
ways to do this, practice once you get your technique hitting harder or heaver things at higher speeds.

Hope that makes sense.

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