In martial arts there are many techniques that allow you to get the better of the opponent. The side kick is one of them. With practice, this kick can become a devastating weapon given the power that is generated from the hips, back and abdominal area. There are several types of side kicks; by following the steps in this article and training consistently you will learn how to do them.
Part 1 of 5: Basic Side Kick
Step 1. Learn basic Taekwondo side kick
This technique is one of the most powerful and, if performed in a competition, it guarantees a high number of points. It also provides a good defense, as the body is set to the side and gives the opponent less opportunity to strike.
You need to learn this kick first, then move on to other types of side kick
Step 2. Lean against a vertical surface to stay balanced
To learn the technique correctly, you will have to go through stages. Lean back on a chair or against a wall to keep your balance and learn the kicking foot movement.
Step 3. Stand sideways to the target and lift the knee of the front leg
Contract your ankle and be ready to strike with your foot. To hit you will use the outside of the foot, the cut. As you lift your knee, point your heel in the direction of the target.
- It is usually "during" the kick that the body is placed sideways; in our case we start in this position to learn the movement of the foot.
- It is a direct kick, so the heel must point towards the target before straightening the leg.
Step 4. Bring the knee towards the target and straighten the leg
Extend the leg and bring the foot to the level of the opponent's torso. The sole of the foot must be facing the ground: try to think of the big toe that is raised and the little toe that is lowered.
- Always remember that the part of the foot that hits is the cut.
- Aim at the opponent's body.
- When hitting, make sure your ankle is raised above the toes.
Step 5. Bend the knee and place the foot on the ground
Before placing the leg on the ground, bend the knee as in the starting position.
Step 6. Work on the support foot
Now that you have practiced the kicking foot movement, learn the supporting foot movement. The movement of the support foot is of fundamental importance to generate power and maintain balance.
Pay attention to the movement of the foot
Step 7. Start with your feet facing the target
Assume your normal guard position. Generally, while on guard, the left foot is kept in front and the right foot back; the right hand is held close to the chin, while the left is held in front of the shoulder (left), 30-40 cm away from it.
Step 8. Begin to rotate the supporting foot as you lift the knee of the kicking leg
During the execution of the kick, you should rotate your foot 180 degrees, so at the moment of impact, the toe of the supporting foot should be pointing away from the target.
Step 9. Rotate your foot to open your hips and generate power
Rotating the foot 180 ° opens the hips and allows the foot to strike correctly; moreover, the rotation gives power to the kick.
- To add power to the thrust of the hips, abdominals and glutes, you can give additional momentum to the rotation with a sudden movement of the foot.
- This spin transforms the power generated from below into a forward thrust, making the kick extremely effective.
- At least initially, you can rotate your foot before extending your leg. As you train, try to complete the rotation just before striking (when the leg is almost fully extended), in order to make the most of the strength of the hips.
Step 10. Always keep your knee high
The knee should always remain in the same position, both when striking and when the leg is called up after the kick.
- For example, if the knee is raised to waist level, it will need to remain at the same height until the foot strikes and returns to position.
- Lowering the knee will decrease power and the kick will not hit horizontally.
Step 11. Extend your foot and strike with the cut
Extending the leg brings the cut of the foot into contact with the target.
The technique is the same as before, make sure that the sole of the foot is facing the ground
Step 12. Finish the technique and place your foot on the ground
Fold your leg back and put your foot down. When landing, you should be facing sideways to the target.
The support foot should rotate 90 degrees and point in the direction you are facing
Step 13. Train consistently
Practice to improve balance and generate more power with rotation. You should work a lot on hip strength and mobility.
Part 2 of 5: Lateral Kick with Leap
Step 1. Use this type of kick to bring yourself close to the opponent
The jump side kick is used to get the right distance to hit.
Before learning this kick you will need to master the basic side kick
Step 2. Start from the on-guard position
In combat, you will attack from this position. Normally, in the on-guard position, one is turned slightly to the side, the left foot is placed in front and the right foot is back, the right hand is held close to the chin and the left in front of the shoulder (left), at 30-40 cm away from it.
Step 3. Place your body and foot sideways
This will give you an edge as you move forward to deliver the kick. Keep your knees bent to move more smoothly.
Step 4. Skip forward
This is the jump side kick with jump. As you jump, move forward in the direction of the target. Take your feet off the ground at the same time.
With the jump you won't have to cover a particularly long distance. You just need to get the right distance to do a normal side kick
Step 5. As you jump, bring the knee of the kicking leg close to the torso
The higher you can get it, the higher the kick height will be.
Step 6. Extend your leg and strike
You can hit with the sole of the foot and with the heel.
- If you are training with a partner, it is better to hit with the plant.
- If you are trying to break a brick or plank, use the heel. This way you will channel the strength of the kick to that point, which is the strongest part of the foot.
Step 7. Rotate the supporting foot 180 degrees as you straighten the leg
To give power to the kick, you will need to rotate your foot until it is facing away from the opponent. Just before hitting, rotate your foot to take advantage of the movement of the hip and give more power to the kick.
The rotation technique is the same as used in the basic side kick
Step 8. Land with your foot in front of your body
Bend your knee and place your foot on the ground. You should land with your foot in front of your body rather than bringing it back.
Step 9. Practice kicking with both legs
To get the leg muscles used to this type of movement, it is very important to train them both; the technical gesture will thus be more natural during the fight.
Part 3 of 5: Reverse Side Kick
Step 1. The Reverse Side Kick is capable of striking with extreme force
It is similar to the basic side kick, but uses body rotation. It can be useful when being attacked, whether you are moving towards the opponent or you are moving away from him.
This movement is also called the rotating side kick
Step 2. Start from the on-guard position
Keep one leg in front and the other in back; the hand closest to the body should be held close to the chin, the other should be 30-40cm away from the shoulder.
Step 3. Rotate your front foot 180 degrees, so that it faces away from the target
At the same time as the foot rotates the hips.
Step 4. Immediately turn your head so as not to lose eye contact with the opponent
The head should follow the direction of rotation of the foot. This means that it will be near your right shoulder if you have rotated your left foot, or near your left shoulder if you have rotated your right foot.
For example, if your front leg is the right one, turn your right foot and turn your head counterclockwise. This way the head will be near the left shoulder at the moment of impact with the opponent
Step 5. Push the kicking leg forward bringing the knee close to the chest
The movement is similar to that of the basic side kick. As you rotate your foot, and with it your body, bend your knee. The knee of the kicking leg should be close to the chest, while the hip, heel and target should be in a straight line.
- For example, if the kicking foot (the back foot in the starting position) is the left, rotate counterclockwise bringing the left knee close to the chest. Left hip, left heel and target should be in a straight line.
- This is the "spin" characteristic of the twisted (or overturned) stock.
- The spin gives the kick considerable power: the smoother and faster the movement, the more powerful the kick.
Step 6. Extend your leg to hit the target
Normally you hit the opponent's chest, but you can also aim at other points on the body.
Hit with the cut (the outside) of the foot or with the heel: in this way you will kick with more power
Step 7. Retrieve the kicking leg before landing
Bring the knee of the kicking leg back to your chest before placing your foot on the ground. You can also land forward. This will bring you back to the guard position, but with your feet reversed from before.
Part 4 of 5: Side Flying Kick
Step 1. Perform a flying kick to impress your friends
The flying side kick is an expert technique, used mostly for demonstration purposes. Done correctly, it can become very effective.
- This technique allows you to cover a greater distance than the basic side kick.
- The run-up guarantees an impressive push, making the kick very powerful.
Step 2. Start from the on-guard position
Normally, while on guard, you keep your left foot in front and your right foot back; the right hand is held close to the chin and the left in front of the shoulder (left), 30-40 cm away from it.
Step 3. Move forward towards the target
If the target is close, you can take two or three steps, if it is far, you will have to take a real run-up.
Step 4. Push yourself with the support foot and push the kicking foot upwards
Place your forward foot firmly on the ground and give yourself a mighty upward push. Turn your body sideways bringing your kicking foot in front as you take off the ground.
Also raise your support foot so that the opponent can't throw you off balance
Step 5. Bring the knee to chest height
When you lift your kicking leg, bring your knee close to your chest, just like you would for a basic side kick. This will give more power to the blow.
- The closer the knee is to the chest, the more powerful the technique is.
- The heel goes towards the target.
Step 6. Extend your leg and strike
Extend your leg only at the last moment. The choice of time is very important in this technique: you will have to train a lot to perform it at its best.
Stretching your leg at the right time gives the kick more power. Make sure you are at the right distance from the target, close enough to extend your leg. Don't do it too soon, or you will hit weakly
Step 7. Strike with the cut of the foot or heel
Heel and cut are the strongest parts of the foot. If you want to take down your opponent by hitting him with maximum power, use your heel.
Hitting with the cut of the foot (the outside) is just as effective and makes the ankle absorb the impact better
Step 8. Bend the knee and land
Bring the knee back to your chest, then land. You can continue the rotation and land after making a full turn on yourself and then find yourself in the guard position.
- So, if you kicked with your right, keep turning counterclockwise; after taking a turn on yourself, you will be ready to face the opponent again.
- Land firmly on your feet and keep your balance.
Part 5 of 5: Side Kick in Kickboxing
Step 1. For aerobic exercise, use the side kick practiced in kickboxing
This calcium helps burn calories and promotes sweating; it can also be fun. It's a great exercise to add to your training program.
You can train alone, in the bag or with a partner holding a cushion
Step 2. Get on guard position
The legs should be placed wider than the shoulders, one in front and one behind; the kicking leg is the front one. Keep your fists to protect your face.
- You will need to train with both legs, so be prepared to switch guards. After training with one leg, change positions and switch to the other.
- Hands should be in front of the chin and mouth to protect the face.
- You should stand sideways to the target.
Step 3. Raise the knee of the front leg bringing it close to the chest
Bending the knee gives the kick power; lift it as high as possible.
Step 4. Straighten your leg
Push your leg forward to target. To give power without hurting yourself, you should hit with the cut of the foot.
- Extend your leg to go to target; rotate your hips and body at the same time.
- The movement to do is similar to that of stepping on: imagine it this way to give more strength to the blow.
- Do not fully extend your knee when you strike, or you may be injured. Keep it slightly bent even on impact.
Step 5. Rotate the support foot
During the execution of the kick, you will have to rotate the support foot to give power. Once the technique is finalized, the foot should point away from the target.
- The support foot should rotate 180 ° and point away from the target at the moment of contact.
- This rotation is very important, so try to do it correctly.
- As you rotate your hips, you should find yourself "almost" with your back to the target.
Step 6. Bend the knee and land forward
After kicking, bring your knee back to your chest. Place your kicking foot directly in front of you.
- Upon landing, the support foot should return to its original position.
- Upon landing, you can sprint back to get away from the opponent.
- If you want to get really good, sign up for a martial arts class.
- Practice a lot. The more you train, the more your soccer technique will improve.
- Breathing in before the kick could make you vulnerable in the event of a counterattack, as the opponent could take your breath away with one blow. Exhale just before striking to minimize this possibility.
- Stretch before training. Without proper warm-up, muscle fibers could be damaged. To protect your muscle tissues, you will need to increase your heart rate and supply them with blood before engaging in more strenuous physical activity.
- If you are injured, do not train, unless you have the okay of a specialist: it could aggravate the situation.
- Stretching properly will improve your flexibility (allowing you to kick higher) and reduce the risk of injury. Stretch before and after your workout.
- Do not hyper-extend with the kicking leg, you may (depending on your physical conformation) damage the bones and connective tissues. Keep your knee slightly bent to avoid injury (even serious).