It makes no sense to let an attacker get close enough to use his hands. If he’s got a knife or club, or just a fist that is fast, the best strategy is to kick low and keep him at a distance. The problem is that many Martial Arts schools do not teach the right way to use the legs.
A couple of things to remember before we get into making your kicks into powerful tools of destruction. Practice kicking high so you have strength and flexibility, but keep your kicks low in a real fight so you don’t get a leg grabbed and tossed. And, the best strategy is to avoid the fight altogether.
Practice kicking over a chair or object of similar height. This will train you to raise your knee high for the proper execution of the kick. When your knee is high your foot can go straight in and deliver the goods, and rise in an arc up the side of the body.
Turn your hips into the action of the kick. Always turn, or tilt, your hips so that the weight of the hips is driven into the action. This will also give you a little more reach, and it will help commit the whole weight of the body into the action.
Always try to kick with the ball of the foot. I know many people like to kick with the instep, but if they miss they end up spinning around out of control. Kicking with the ball of the foot forces the artist to be an artist, and it concentrates more weight into the smaller area of the ball of the foot.
Bring the foot all the way back. Snap that foot back so that an opponent can’t grab it. This also tends to leave more power in the target.
Practice planting your foot on the target, then pushing. This usually means you will alter the kick, for this exercise, so that you can place the heel on the body of your partner, then push. This trains the exact muscles needed at impact.
Kicks are your first line of defense, and this makes them extremely important, so don’t just practice your kicks ten or twenty times and forget about them, practice them hundreds of times a day for each kick. Whether you are training in Karate, or Tae Kwon Do, or Kung Fu, or whatever other art, a well placed kick cancan make the difference between winning and dying. So practice, and look at your kicks, study the physics of a kick so that your kicks are effective and end the fight before the opponent even gets close.
Al Case has analyzed martial arts for over 4O++ years. A writer for the magazines, he had his own column in Inside Karate for many years. You can find out how to have the most powerful punch on the planet, or how to have the strongest kicks on the planet, by picking up his free ebook at Monster Martial Arts.