4 Things You Need To Know About Kicking

by: Dynamic Defensive Arts

Kicking may seem like an easy enough thing to do.  After all, we’ve been kicking one way or another since we were kids playing Soccer, Kick Ball, etc.

However when it comes to kicking for self-defense, there are more wrong ways than right ways to kick.  How you position your foot and/or toes, how to deliver effective power and speed, the correct angle of kick delivery - and not least of all - how to do all of this while maintaining balance is critical. 

 If you don’t deliver a kick correctly in a competition, you can lose the match.  If you don’t deliver a kick correctly when defending yourself, you could end up in the hospital or worse.  An attack on the street can force you to face multiple attackers, weapons or both in addition to several other life/safety threatening factors and any mistakes made can result in your attacker(s) gaining the advantage.

The larger part of my experiences and training still have me believing that kicks should never go above one’s own belt line as there is a big difference between street defense and competition.  Kicking above the belt line, in my opinion, is extremely risky in a street attack. 

Almost all kicks are a 4-step process.  Most people don’t think to break down the necessary steps of a kick to keep it quick, powerful, and most of all – in control.  The steps are not difficult, but would-be kickers should understand that the steps must be done in order as follows:

1.  The Set Up. 
Often this is simply picking up the knee of the kicking leg.  Almost all kicks originate from picking up the knee.  The angle of how the knee is picked up depends on the type of kick selected.

2.  The Delivery. 
This step is where power, speed, accuracy and balance need to come together not only for effecting the target, but also for controlling the kick during as well as after the impact.

3.  The Recoil. 
Recoil is where most practitioners can make a major mistake.  Targets move in the real world and Fight or Flight, fatigue, even anger can result in an uncontrollable kick - often resulting in the kicker falling forward – very often into the path of an opposing attack.  As said in Step #2, kicks need to be delivered with power, speed, accuracy, and balance so if a target moves, the kicker will not fall forward.  Rather they can choose to land forward or retract the kick altogether in favor of another response.  Just like any other strike, kicks should have sufficient recoil.  Much like cracking a whip, a kick has more shock wave, resulting in greater power, if it returns quickly after impact.

4.  The Recovery. 
This is simply returning the leg/foot to its original position.  If the foot is not replaced on the ground, a second kick will not have as much shock since the foot could not spring from the ground to help generate power.

If you’re forced to defend yourself and you decide to use a kick, kick smart and don’t let emotion, adrenaline, or bad technique get the best of you.

This is Jack from Dynamic Defensive Arts reminding you... "We don't do helpless!"