How to do Front Kick
Front kick is the first kick which is taught to the students usually after they have learnt the basic fighting / kicking stance. The front kick is different from straight / stretching kick, as front kick is meant to damage the opponent and hit him, whereas the stretching kick is just supposed to stretch your legs muscles and is simple raising of your leg to the maximum height.
Front kick might seem simple to most students as first, however it’s not. It’s much more technical than it seems at first sight or even in first few months of training even. This simple kick can be so effective to result in a knock out in a single blow if executed effectively and on the target.
How to perform a front kick
Front kick might appear simple in the beginning but it’s quite complicated in it’s all variations.
Initially a student should try to execute a simple kick as follows:
- While standing in the kicking stance, raise the knee of the striking knee as high as possible while balancing on the lower leg which is supposed to be straight and not bent or turned / twisted.
- Raise the knee as high as possible. Even if the target to be hit is below the level of knee raised, belt for example.
- While raising the knee, it’s a good practice to raise it in a way that your big toe crosses / or just touches the knee of the other balancing leg. This practice is just to give an idea of how the leg should go up with proper form and position, however later and during proper drills for the front kick toe shouldn’t touch the opposite knee at all.
- Once the knee has been raised to the maximum height, now the leg opens and moves towards the target.
- The balls / knuckles of the foot are supposed to hit the target in a way that the ankle joint is bent for plantar flexion. Please note that the ankle flexion depends on the target and height of kick. The heel of the striking foot or the complete sole might rest along the targets body to give an effective push and thrill if required in fight, but during practice the lesson is to keep the position of the foot as per the ideal one. Note that the ankle is not 100% plantar flexed or at its maximum tension, it has to be lightly bent so that it can effectively absorb the shock and jerk when the foot hits the target during the front kick.
- The attacker bends lightly backwards to maintain balance while striking as his leg goes forward. This also varies in real fight and practice depending upon the target, power required to be transferred into it and the next expected kick or attack.
- The balancing leg should remain straight and the attacker should avoid raising on toes.
- While the striking leg and foot moves towards the target, the “same” arm straightens and the fist goes down, giving the muscles the proper required tension.
- The opposite arm remains at guard in front of the body during the front kick.
- The front kick hits the target and after transferring the jerk and impact to the target, the kick folds back in the same sequence and the attacker comes back to the stance position.
- The kick finishes at the position where it started from, not just when it strikes the opponent. Effectively combing back to the stance and maintaining balance while getting ready for the next kick instantly is all part of the kick be it the simple front kick or any other.
Exercises to improve front kick
The front kick requires the practitioner to focus on front stretching, power and forward stay of the kick.
The fighter has to improve his front stretching first of all at-least to the expected height of his opponents face.
The ideal stay of the kick is the height of the opponents face too, but it’s fine to start low initially and grow your muscles strength and stay as muscles take time to develop.
The sitting position in which both toes are curled is helpful in conditioning the toes to acquire the front kicks position easily.
Targets for Front Kick
Front kick, despite being the simplest of the kicks, is used to target numerous points on the opponent’s body (and their rooms doors too!)
The favorite targets to hit with the powerful front kick are:
– The face (nose, lips)
– Chin (with heel usually)
– Solar plexus
– Back of the opponent if attacking from behind
Blocks for front kick
The most effective block for front kick depends on the original situation though, few techniques that might be effective if trained properly are:
– Stepping back
– Stepping back, bending forward a-bit and blocking with crossed arms
– Deflecting the kick with the lower outward block of arm
– Stepping forward and stopping the raising kicks knee with your hand(s)
Combinations of front kick
Front kick is a beautiful kick that can easily be incorporated in any combination sequence. It can be used in the beginning of the combo, middle or end, or at multiple times in any combination.
The possibilities to use the simple but effective and deadly front kick are endless. Few examples can be:
– Front kick, roundhouse kick, wheel kick
– Front kick, front kick, roundhouse kick, wheel kick
– Front kick, back kick, side push kick
– Front kick roundhouse kick, side push kick
Many more combinations can be developed. But practice is the key to effective execution of any technique, so practice hard, practice again and again so that once you’re facing the opponent you’re ready to execute the front kick and any technique effectively.