Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How to Improve Your Kicking Skill - Part 1

Just how do you improve your kicks in the martial arts?

I received a question on Twitter reference improving kicks, and thought I'd post the answer to share with all of you. Cause I'm nice like that!

About developing kicks:
  1. They are unnatural: An example of a "natural" kicking motion is, walking along a road and seeing a can, then kicking it down the road. Natural. Learning to knock someone out with a 540-degree roundhouse kick. Not natural. Most of the kicks in the martial arts (and all martial arts) are "unnatural," in that the motion has to be learned - they are not the types of mechanics that are used in everyday life, so they have to be taught, and we have to build muscle memory. That takes time.
  2. You're not born ready: Along with mechanics (technique), you need conditioning and attributes, like muscle endurance, strength, and flexibility to be an awesome kicker. That takes time.
  3. Even if you can do them, can you use them? Kicks are not a static exercise for most of us; they have a purpose, namely to impart some accelerated mass at a particular point in time and space-meaning to blast someone, and do some damage! So you need to learn the distance required to throw a particular kick in your arsenal, and then you need to learn the timing required to hit at the point of maximum power. For example, a baseball bat is weakest at the beginning end of the swing. We need to learn to time our swing to hit the ball at the point of maximum power. Kicks are the same. That takes time.
So, how to do all of this:

Get qualified instruction:
Learn from someone who can teach well, knows all of the mechanics, can teach you how to develop the muscles needed, and how to develop the flexibility required. Just as important, it should be someone who can teach you how to include them in your arsenal of skills.

Know the context of your kicks:
A SWAP operator, like most military infantry may have a massive arsenal of skills, including long and short guns, non-lethal weapons (pepper spray, Taser, and baton), as well as training in close combat, including some kicks. Those kicks may not be fancy or pretty, but they are easy to master. The important thing is that they fit into a range of techniques for use in different circumstances. A front kick to take down a door, followed by use of the handgun, verbal commands, holstering the weapon, cuffing, and then searching a suspect are all part of a skill range. All of us have those, so kicks should be learned in the context of their use, not as a singluar skill. I will detail the best use of different kicks in another post.

Part 2 will be:
How to Improve Your Kicking Skill - Part 2
The Proper Order for Developing Your Kicks

Like this post? Subscribe to our feed or by email and you won’t miss a thing.
Please interact with us at our TDA Training Facebook page!
All original material is copyright of their respective authors.
All rights reserved. Permission must be obtained before use. Copyright 2011

1 comment:

Char said...

Great info --- another great post to read --- thanks!