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Types of Kicks in Martial Arts

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Types of Kicks in Martial Arts.

Simply speaking, any martial gesture involving one or two legs, targeting any of your opponent’s body part, is considered a kick. Okay, we hear you: “I don’t need a degree for understanding such a basic thing!”. This basic understanding is as simple as necessary to point out, as sometimes Martial Artists tend to spend so much time in searching – and training – for the ultimate twisting-tornado kick, that they forget why kicks are essential and how to throw a kick correctly.

It’s in the simplicity of the most basic kick that lays the victory in combat

Kicks are better than punches for the following reasons:

  1. a kick is more powerful than a punch. Always.
  2. punching calls for diseases, if we consider a real situation (not a regular or sport tournament) so always be careful.
  3. if you are crippled in your arms, you can still kick. If you are crippled in your legs, you just don’t have many other options…
  4. a kick keeps the opponent away, allowing you to stay away from short-distance combat, while punching undoubtedly exposes you more, under this point of view.
  5. kicking is like sparring wearing heavy gloves 100% of the time, as it’s common sense to always wear shoes when you are not at home. This means further protection, more damage, and less pain on impact.
  6. If you apply the exact training for kicking to your arms, you will be always one step ahead of your them, as a well trained lower body not only makes your kicks more effective, but increase your chances of moving faster during a fight (or even stepping away if fighting is not what you want).

The Types of kicks in martial arts can be virtually infinite: just like music, seven are the musical notes, but infinite the combinations you can get.

Types of Kicks in Martial Arts. Regardless of the style you are studying, we can divide kicks in the following macro-groups:

  1. Front Kicks
  2. Side Kicks
  3. Roundhouse kicks
  4. Spinning Kicks
  5. Flying / Acrobatic Kicks
  6. Guard-Opening Kicks
  7. Sweeps

Front Kicks: when Simplicity meets Deadliness

First and foremost, let’s get the difference between a front kick and a front throw straight, as despite both gestures share the same principles, huge are the differences between them.

Extremely efficient, front kicks are those types of kicks that don’t require you to be warmed up to be thrown (unless you are searching for high-kicking) and can be executed at a very high speed due to their simplicity and the total absence of stwisting of supporting foot.

  1. A kick, to be effective, must be hard to block: and this is the first difference. A front kick is supposed to be charged first, and then extended in a direction that is parallel to the ground. To be 100% effective, force must be straight, from A to B (from one opponent to the other). To perform a front kick, the knee must be first lifted, then the foot pushed towards the opponent. Foot can be flat or pointy, following the rule of the hammer: you can use the head or the peen according to the effect you wish to obtain.
  2. Front throw. A front throw, on the other hand, can be performed in two ways: by first charging it (like in the front kick explained above) and then thrusting it, or by thrusting the whole straight leg. The main difference compared to the front kick is clearly its direction, which is mainly a curve. So, the question is: which of the two is the most effective? Here’s your answers:

Front kicks:

  • Extremely hard to block
  • Extremely powerful when thrown parallel to the ground
  • Does not require extreme flexibility
  • It’s limited in height when targeted at its highest range
  • Perfect for short and long range combat

Front throws:

  • Easier to predict, and therefore to intercept
  • Not as deadly as a front kick, due to the nature of the impact
  • Requires a very good flexibility
  • Has no limits in height if thrown by an athlete with very good flexibility
  • More practical in long-range combat

More explainations and pictures with Shi Xing Long Performing for Martialartsexplained in 2020. Please come back Q1 2020, thank you!

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Fabio Zambellihttps://www.martialartsexplained.com/master-fabio-zambelli/
Founder of the Shunlian Shenghuo Kungfu Academy - Master Craftsman of Heart of The Orient - Designer of Martial Arts Explained

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