The front kick
In the previous lesson, we saw the straight punch basics (read Lesson 5.3), now we move on to learn the first leg’s technique, the front kick:
- Common to many martial arts (Kung Fu, Taekwondo, Karate, etc.), this technique is a fundamental brick of combat
- While it is relatively easy to learn, for a beginner, it is very difficult to apply it effectively inside the dynamics of a real scenario (read The use of legs in a real fight)
- As for the punch, we start from this attack because it is one of the most important and because, through its study, it is possible to learn a good part of the mechanics of the other leg striking techniques
Note – This article has been asked by one of our Core Course practitioners on Patreon (see how to attend our home study classes here Learn Kung Fu online: a beginner-to-expert course).
How to throw a kick: what you need to know
A note by Master Kongling – In this context we will see the theoretical rudiments of an effective kick, you will have to train them focusing on all the most (apparently) insignificant detail and perfect their application from today until the day when they will become instinctive just like breathing.
Before starting to see how to kick properly, it is essential to underline that:
- This kick (for now) is not for self-defense – As for the straight punch (read How to punch (simple explanation)), in a real context, this type of kick is not the best choice for those without the right level of experience, speed, precision and balance (a bad kick exposes you to easy and dangerous imbalances as well as to graspings)
- High kicks are not for all – For a beginner, throwing a kick above the height of the genitals (eg. the classic K.O. kick to the jaw) is not only a problem of flexibility but of danger in relation to the opponents’ reaction (read The characteristics of a good kick)
- Toes conditioning – Do not hit with your toes; as some Shaolin monks were used to do, in 6 Dragons Kung Fu it is possible to strike (under the right circumstances) even using the toes or feet’s knuckles but this happens only after years and years of gradual conditioning; for a novice (but also for an intermediate) practitioner, it simply means to break their fingers (read Fortify our toes: the first exercise); in any case, during a fight, this is an extremely particular circumstance that has not to be searched (at any level)
- Soft targets – For now, if we do not wear solid shoes, this kick should be trained against soft targets (eg. cushions) and without targets (shadow boxing), in both cases without power (to avoid damage to untrained joints)
- Study purpose – The important thing in this phase is to understand the dynamics through slow and wide movements, in this moment speed and power must be avoided
- Preparation – Before starting to throw kicks, you must do a correct stretching and warm-up (read Basic warm-up and Basic soft stretching)
- Avoid violence – Always remember that using violence is the worst humiliation of your intelligence (read The 6DKF’s diagram about the use of violence)
How to kick
How to execute the front kick technique:
- If you are not conditioned or do not intend to strike with toes, do not maintain them rigid, if for some reason they impinge a hard surface (a knee, a corner of a wall, etc.) they must absorb the impact flexibly (in a liquid way, read The 6DKF’s Liquid and Fluid Contacts); naturally, this is not the only possible choice but the impact methods will be described in more advanced chapters)
- The kicking technique is described in the article How to kick (simple explanation) in its simple version, (in future we will see the extended explanation)
- Remember the guard stance described in Lesson 5.2
A few tips about how to throw a kick (read How to prepare legs to kick effectively):
- How to kick faster – The fastest kick (as for every other kind of striking techniques) is the one that travels the shortest route from point A to point B of arrival (read The best way to hit first: a little trick)
- There are a lot of different methods – What we have seen in this lesson is just one of the many ways in which it is possible to kick
- Do not use kicks – As long as your dynamic (read The concept of dynamic equilibrium inspired by the Tai Chi) and static balance (read How to improve balance: tricks and exercises) have not reached a certain quality, do not use kicks above the genitals and / or knees (read Kick without losing balance: another trick)
- Why train fingers and toes – The explanation of why you need to train your fingers and toes (not just to hit like a Shaolin monk)
- 4 exercises to strengthen our toes – Some simple and useful exercises to make your toes stronger (not for resistance conditioning)
Author: Master KonglingFounder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.
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