kicks

Learn the mechanics and do the drills, then unleash the beast that is your round kick!

Because of its versatility and power, the round kick — known to some martial artists as the turning kick, the saber kick or the roundhouse kick — is one of the most common leg techniques in our world. No matter your particular interpretation, the basics are the same: You swing your leg along an arc until your foot or shin strikes the target.

Keep Reading Show less
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

How it stacks up agains 3 other go-to responses to an attack

In hand-to-hand combat, you face a constant and undeniable danger. Among other injuries, you can sustain broken bones, torn cartilage and ruptured organs. You also can be knocked unconscious or killed.Over the millennia, various cultures have developed their own techniques and strategies for dealing with such threats. One of the most pervasive is punching. That's the case because in most unarmed encounters, a properly thrown punch is the most efficient and effective tool a martial artist can use.

Keep Reading Show less

One very effective tool in a martial artist's toolbox is the roundhouse kick. This kick is seen in a variety of styles, from taekwondo to mixed martial arts. Depending on which art the kick is used in, the kick will be executed differently.

In taekwondo, the roundhouse is usually aimed at the head. By lifting the knee straight up, the kick can be launched above the opponent's block. If the knee is not lifted, the kick can be easily deflected and a counter blow delivered.

The kick for taekwondo can be easily practiced by using a chair positioned almost against the knee. The practice involves picking the knee straight up and kicking over the chair without knocking it down. The kick should be done until it can be accomplished in one fluid motion. If you have a partner, practice using a kicking pad held head high.

For MMA the kick is done differently due to the gloves worn by opponents. The target zone is the rib cage, under the blocking elbow. Consequently, the knee should be pointed to that target with the foot following into the target zone.

Be conscious of the type of sparring you are doing and protect yourself at all times.

In his matter-of-fact manner, Mas Aan, the man who had agreed to teach me silat tapak suci in Bali, Indonesia, explained the difference between using a hard block against a kick and simply stepping aside. With a hard block, he noted, your arm absorbs the force of the technique — and it's possible a bone in your forearm will break. With a side step, however, the kick slips right on by. That enables you to avoid all its destructiveness before you counterattack.

The concept applies even when catching a kick, the master said. His advice to me was to slide my front leg backward to get out of range and, once the foot or shin misses, attempt to grab the leg.Switching gears, Mas Aan demonstrated a self-defense technique for use against a shirt grab. As soon as the offending hand latched on, he slapped the arm down. Instead of using a slap that was strong enough to break the hold, he made his opponent stumble forward — at which point he uncorked an uppercut to the jaw. After that strike, he looped his fist downward and smashed his foe between the legs.This technique, coupled with the ones he'd just taught (see part 1 of this column), prompted me to ask if silat tapak suci had ever been dubbed the "punch him in the nuts" style.

Keep Reading Show less

Flying triple spinning tornado kicks are certainly impressive. Pull one off, and you'll get a ticket to the cool kids' table for sure.

Just check out the crowd reaction when a full-contact fighter successfully lands a fancy spinning kick. The deafening cheers are enough to inspire any kid to make a midnight bedroom window escape and camp out in front of the local dojo's front door. Admit it: When you started training, you dreamed of these flashy kicks.

The problem is that these kicks, although impressive, aren't very practical. Even at a high skill level, there's only a small likelihood of them succeeding.

But effective kicks are boring. What martial art teacher worth the salt in Bruce Lee's sweat wants to teach boring stuff? And what student wants to spend their hard, long training hours learning boring kicks?

Keep Reading Show less
Free Bruce Lee Guide
Have you ever wondered how Bruce Lee’s boxing influenced his jeet kune do techniques? Read all about it in this free guide.
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter