dave lowry

Front Thrust Kick

It's the Kick That Gets No Respect, But It Works!

The front thrust kick isn't the most dynamic technique in the dojo. Perhaps it's because there isn't a lot of excitement in seeing or performing it.

Unlike a front snap kick that flicks up to head height or even higher, the front thrust kick looks more like you're stomping at a door that won't open. It just doesn't have the elegance. And unlike the snap kick, it's nearly impossible to make an effective thrust kick any higher than you can raise the knee of your kicking leg.

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If you're a martial artist, chances are you already know the key to prepping your body and brain for self-defense on the street, but in case you don't, read this!

Telling other people how to use self-defense skills to survive a dangerous or potentially lethal encounter when you've never experienced one can be pretentious. No matter how much experience you may have in the dojo, it cannot compare to those occasions when you're facing an adversary bent on doing some massive or terminal damage.

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The search for an answer to this seemingly innocent question can lead you to a deeper understanding of your place in the martial arts!

The caller's question was simple: “Who is the best karate practitioner in the world today?" The woman on the other end of the phone line said she was a writer working on a piece for a general-interest magazine about the best practitioners in several sports and physical activities. “What makes you think it isn't me?" I asked. There was silence on the line, so I tried another tack. “Let me ask you this," I said. “Who's the best musician in the world today?" “Well, that's really impossible to answer," she said. “There are so many kinds of music." Exactly. There's a natural inclination to want to know who the best is. In some aspects of life, we can make fairly accurate assessments. The best miler in the world has a track record as proof. In other areas, however, a qualifier like “best" is impossible. Such arbitrary assignations often cloud the issue rather than clarify it.

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Grappling arts produce a kind of pain response that can catch strikers by surprise. The best way to prepare your body for the shock is to feel the joint locks of aikido. Repeatedly.

There are many reasons karate stylists should make friends with people who practice aikido. Here’s a good one: A major fault of the modern martial ways is the narrow-minded view of combat that’s fostered in many dojo. For example, Joe Karateka believes his art is the final word in self-defense or character development. Therefore, even if the highest-ranked black-belt aikidoka from Tokyo were to put on a demonstration on Joe’s front lawn, Joe would rather be in the backyard whacking his makiwara.

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