Be it Mixed Martial Arts or Boxing, powerful kicks is something that every fighter works towards. The aim of a kick is to basically strike or hit your opponent in a soft part of their body so that it can impede their movement or even drop them to the ground.
Most fighters would agree when we say that kicks might not be the perfect way to end a fight but they have the power to change the game completely. Therefore it is extremely important for one to give kicking practice enough time.
Before we get into the details of how to kick harder, let’s first glance at various types of kicks that are there in Martial Arts. The first and foremost is front kick followed by side thrust, side snap and turning kick. There are more styles but usually these are used in all major formats and other kicks are based on these basic kicks.
Read on to know about the basic kicks and also about how to make the kicking techniques more power packed.
About power packed basic kicking techniques
1. Front kick
This is an important style for fighters to learn because the front kick can be used to kick swiftly using little power which means that you don’t feel the exhaustion while your opponent finds it difficult to defend him or herself. Often, this is one of the first techniques that a beginner learns.
For this stance, you should keep your dominant leg a little behind from your other leg and your upper body or torso should be facing the dominant leg. In this stance, the toes of your front foot should be pointing forward.
Now, for a more powerful kick you should use your dominant leg whereas if you want faster and more rapid kicks then the front foot would work better. While kicking, ensure that you breathe properly as this helps your muscles stay active.
There are a lot of variations of front kicks including how high you want the kick to be, how powerful, what speed do you want and more.
2. Side Thrust Kick
These kicks are more powerful in comparison to front kicks and are a little more difficult to execute as well. The most important trick for this kick is that one should pull up their leg as high as possible and then give it a push and use the heel to generate power.
You can increase your power by backing up your knee to your chest and then stretch out your leg and move your leg straight up in line with your knee. When your foot is raised and feet are in line with your hips then your sole should be facing down while the knife side of your foot should be facing the target.
Roll on the ball of your foot that you’re standing on as this will help your heel point towards your target when you are actually executing your kick. When you return to your stance you should rotate back to your starting position using the ball of your foot that’s on the ground.
3. Side snap kick
This is the kick that is basically a faster version of the side kick. For this, we would suggest that you arc your kicking foot while performing the kick.
4. Turning Kick
This is quite a quick kick and also very powerful. To make it more understandable, imagine that your right foot is in front and left is a little behind while you stand in your fight stance. Now turn with the help of your hips and raise your left leg up like you’re doing a front sideway kick.
Don’t point your knee upwards and rather turn your leg a little sideways. It’ll help give you a swift movement. Push your heel forward while keeping your leg and knee turned sideways. Use the ball of your heel and kick in a quick snapping motion, finally returning to the original position. To master this kick, it takes a lot of practice and dedication.
Now that we’ve covered the basic kicks, it’s time to move on to the topic at hand which is:
How to kick harder and more powerful?
1. Improve your core strength
Abs and core strength isn’t just for show off, rather it is extremely important. Core strength helps you during your combat by making your punches as well as kicks stronger. It also gives your upper body more strength to take on the opponent’s attack.
Core strength makes your kicks more powerful as it helps you keep your body straight and your legs to stay balanced. Also, it is with a strong core that you would be able to move your legs more swiftly.
2. Work towards strengthening your hips
Don’t ignore those lunges, hip stretching and squats. Strong hips also help you make your kicks stronger. Practice your kicks as well as the standing kick position to ensure that your hips can hold you comfortably. This will help you achieve more power packed kicks.
3. Improve your overall physical strength
Don’t miss your workouts. Also include stretching and balancing exercises in your routine. If you can kick well but can’t maintain your balance while doing it then all your hard work is a waste. If you lose your balance, you also become more exposed to attacks by your opponent. Therefore give these routines enough importance.
4. Technique is important
Remember that to perfect your kicks and to make them more powerful, it is important that you follow the proper techniques. Bending your knees, planting your feet etc. are not just terms that your trainer uses but rather these are what help you master your kicks.
5. Don’t overextend your kicks
This will leave you misbalanced and also reduce your kicking power.
6. Practice makes the man & a woman perfect
Practice your techniques and master them by practicing more and more.
Whether you are using the basic techniques that we discussed or more technical methods like the question mark kick, lateral kick to the kneecap or sweeping off the opponent’s front foot etc.
It is vitally important that you polish your technique, work towards making your body stronger and also at the same time nourish your body with proper diet and nutrition etc.
Over and above it all, remember that you have to relax and breathe. You will be surprised at how powerful your kicks would become if you simply relax and breathe easy.
And remember, as Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”