Advice on improving kicks (Yellow belt in Bushido Karate)

Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by happydayz7, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. happydayz7

    happydayz7 White Belt

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    Hi everyone
    Am hoping for some fitness advice on improving my kicks (side, front, back, twist). I'm relatively new to martial arts having started as a white belt Oct 2016 with no experience in kicks etc.
    I've just graded to a yellow belt and the kicks now need to be above waist height. My problem seems to be opening my hips as I can't seem to raise, hold or kick either leg very powerfully at all. Last lesson I also became very light headed and nearly fainted having had a lesson focused on kicking (I had eaten plenty beforehand, although it was really warm in the dojo which may explain some things but not all...) - does kicking affect blood pressure much?
    When speaking with my teacher, he said although I may be fit otherwise - I run regularly and attend a circuits class plus lots of yoga, I may not be doing the right exercises for the more explosive intensity of training that is needed during my class with him.
    Are there any really good exercises I should be doing to stretch, strengthen and improve my cardio?
    My job is sedentary, working in front of a computer all day which can't be helping things.
    Any advice very much appreciated, as I really want to learn and improve in my practice (and preferably not pass out whilst doing so)!
    Thanks so much.
     
  2. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    I am no expert, but my first thought is to see your doctor if you're getting light-headed during workouts.

    After that, I'd say jumping rope is one of the best and most overlooked exercises (maybe because it's so simple and no health guru can make a killing teaching it). Teaches coordination, balance, and helps with cardio very much. Gets that spring in your step also.

    Stretching can also help with kicks.

    Also be sure you have some rest time built into your exercise regimen. Body needs time to heal.
     
  3. CB Jones

    CB Jones Black Belt

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    Search Bill "Superfoot" Wallace on YouTube. He has some video of drills for strength and flexibility.

    One drill my son does every other day is:

    Swing heavy bag and side kick it as it swings back toward you. (He does 25 kicks per leg). Doing this drill every other day has given him a hammer for a sidekick
     
  4. CB Jones

    CB Jones Black Belt

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    Another drill he does is:

    Skip forward front roundhouse kick to the body....rechamber leg but don't put it down on floor... front roundhouse to head.

    Starts slow then increases speed but still focusing on technique. 25 sets on each leg.

    Light power in the kicks....its more focus on flexibility and strength in the stance.
     
  5. MI_martialist

    MI_martialist Blue Belt

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    Impossible to say until we see what you are doing. There are generalities, but if you want specific advice, we need to see.
     
  6. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Warm up, warm up, warm up. Dynamic stretching as part of your warm up not Static Stretching. On improving your kicks start lightly kicking toward the height you are wanting to achieve for the time being. The light kicking and slightly increasing the height as you warm up will be a part of your dynamic stretch. Slowly increase the speed and power output. It takes time but it will come.
    If you are going to static stretch do so as a cool down.
    Dynamic stretching helps warm up the muscles as well as allows the muscles to stretch in a natural way vs holding the stretch. There are numerous studies on stretching which show with Static stretching muscle strength decreases as much as 8-9% during the hour after static stretching and that coordination of explosive movement for punching or kicking is decreased overall vs dynamic stretching.
     
  7. MI_martialist

    MI_martialist Blue Belt

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    I am going to reiterate that there are general things one can do to improve kicking, but unless we see, we have no way to trouble shoot.

    One great drill for training base attacks is to perform them from standard Seiza and return to that position.
     
  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    I just lightly kicked things lots of time. So got up in the morning and just tapped a wall with my foot fifty times.

    Nothing especially hard or serious just getting used to the movement.

    There are a couple of things that work against being good at kicks.

    You never really use your feet for much so they just dont have dexterity there to make them do what you want them to.

    And the kicks rely on these little muscles that you have never really built up.

    And flexibility but that one is obvious.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  9. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Patience.
     
  10. MI_martialist

    MI_martialist Blue Belt

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    Please, no unproductive repetitions!!!
     
  11. Gnarlie

    Gnarlie Master of Arts

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    Slow down to speed up. Slow motion kicking and holding will improve your balance and strength, whilst forcing you to assess your posture. You don't have to hold them high, just high enough to push your limit without losing form.

    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
     
  12. KangTsai

    KangTsai 2nd Black Belt

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    First, see a doctor. I have low blood pressure but nowhere to that degree. The best way to improve kicking, is, well, to kick. Posting videos will be very beneficial for any specific issues.
     

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