The secrets of a perfect front kick

There are various types of kicks but they all have common points

In this tutorial, we want to list some of the core principles and some useful / simple tips for a perfect front kick; in fact, as for a Karate kick, a Taekwondo kick (MMA, etc.):

  • The physics is the same
  • The human body is the same
  • The basic combat dynamics are the same

A few premises

It is important to stress that:

  • We are explaining the 6 Dragons Kung Fu’s method for a perfect front kick but these concepts can be applied to almost any other martial art
  • This tutorial goes fast on some aspects because it implies the vision of the other articles and videos in this mini-guide How to fight (video playlist)
  • If we are searching for a systematic step by step explanation, we should read How to kick (simple explanation)

Front kick: how to execute the technique

1. The close-open movement

Before describing the technique in detail, let’s try to understand what is the core movement:

  • When we kick we have to imagine to load the power in your abdomen
  • Our entire body must bend, close and compress in the abdomen direction
  • The front kick is what results from the release of that compression through an extension in the direction of our target

All of this happens without backward motions.

2. The complete move

Understood the big movement, let’s start from scratch:

  • The first thing is a good guard stance (read How to rapidly learn Kung Fu: guard stance)
  • We have to be balanced and ready to move
  • Let’s close the upper part of our guard (that must remain locked for the entire motion)
  • Let’s load the power from the back leg through the muscle chain (read Use the body power: the muscle chain)
  • Bending the knee we want to use to kick, let’s compress on the abdomen
  • Before elongating the last part of the leg (the attack), our knee should go as higher as possible
  • Only when the knee has reached the highest possible level our flexibility allows us we can push forward and kick

3. The landing

An expert can tactically do whatever he wants but for the first times, we always encourage our beginner level students to do not be scared by the fact of landing frontally:

  • It is absolutely wrong to learn to land backward (or worst to remain still) when we do not have the right level of balance
  • We simply risk to fall down (especially in a dynamic context)

A note by Master Kongling – I’ve seen it hundreds of times but worst of all I have seen these attitudes become chronic: it is for this reason that I insist on this (read also Kick without losing balance: another trick).

When can we start to kick without landing forward?

When we will start to build the necessary flexibility and balance (to do this let’s start with Basic tools: the Hanging Speedball); at that moment we will safely throw the front kick rotating the support leg outward.

4. The breathing

Proper breathing always works this way:

  • Breathe in, loading (the leg goes upward)
  • Breathe out, elongation (the leg attacks)

Read also Breathe Yoga: the warrior’s breathing.

5. The kinetic chain to activate

The muscle chain that we use for the punch (see The secret for strong punches) is the same for the kicks:

  • The power starts from the back leg
  • Passes to the front one, that let us remain in balance (we have to align ourselves with it)
  • With the closure arrives at the hips, the abdomen and the shoulders
  • Finally, with the elongation, it is released on our target

6. Front kick: the parts to hit with

In terms of feet strikes, depending on the level and type of our conditioning, we can potentially hit with:

  • The heel
  • The toes
  • The palm of the feet
  • The back of the feet


  • To hit with the toes we have to be extremely conditioned
  • Let’s do not try until we have reached 1-2 years of specific and daily conditioning
  • Let’s do not play with this, who is not conditioned will certainly break his toes

7. The secret of powerful kicks

Frontal kicks can go:

  • Upward
  • Frontally
  • Even downward (with a parabolic trajectory)

We will see a lot of techniques but it is almost the same thing, what truly changes, is the direction of the force: the secret for a perfect kick is to learn to focus on its trajectory and manage its flow without dispersions.

If we are able to do it we will not waste our energy and our kicks will be devastating (read also How to prepare legs to kick effectively).

8. What is the perfect kick?

The best kick:

  • Is not the one who better is similar to the theory
  • Is the one who hit the opponent in the right place at the right time

The point is that:

  • Each kick we study must be adaptable to our needs and possibilities
  • No matter if we have not collected all the possible power
  • The most important thing is to gain the biggest benefits in the economy of the present fight
  • In combat, the techniques are rarely executed cleanly
  • There are infinite variants of the kick we have described and most of them strictly depend on the dynamics of the fight

We could have (as in the samples of the video):

  • A hybrid landing
  • A front kick that transforms in a roundhouse one

The theory is nothing without the practice in a dynamic context (for example as it happens in the fabric cloth training, read Basic tools: the cloth).

A note by Master Konlging – We will see a lot of techniques but each of them is only a reference point: in the live situation of real combat, everything must be transformed, adapted, mixed (etc.). We could be in an unstable position, we could be wounded, there could be an obstacle, the ground could be irregular, the opponent could be using something to protect himself (etc.).

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Reply in the comments and share your experience:

  • How high can you kick?

Author: Master Kongling

Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.

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