how to master high kicks?

TKD_luver

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What's the best way to master a high kick? I find them difficult. I can't get my leg to get to the level of my head. How do people do that? I haven't been back to my dojo, but I totally forgot how to get my leg that high that quick. I think it requires a lot of flexibility. Also, what is the most important kick to master in TKD in your opinion?
 

Dirty Dog

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The height at which you can kick effectively is primarily controlled by two things.
1 - Flexibility
2 - Core strength.
You need to work on passive and active stretching to build flexibility, and exercises to build up your core strength.

The most important kick is the one you need to use right now. Start by focusing on the basic kicks.
 

drop bear

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I find time to throw hundreds of high kicks.

Which is not that impressive a hundred kicks should take about five minutes. Even if you pick a wall somewhere and just tap it with your foot.
 

skribs

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1. Use the proper technique. Use foot placement to open up your hips and drive the knee up to start your snap higher.
2. Practice static and dynamic flexibility (static meaning holding stretching positions, dynamic meaning axe kicks or similar).

For stretching tips, try these:

While there is no "most important" kick, I will say that in sparring I've noticed the majority are roundhouse kicks, and barring roundhouse kicks it becomes back kicks. Master the timing on the back kick, and you can do good things in TKD sparring. However, all of the kicks (well, anything 360 or under) have their place IMHO. This includes jumping, skipping, sliding/stepping, and spinning variants of those kicks, if applicable. Front kick, roundhouse, side kick, back kick, hook kick, axe kick, and crescent kick all see use to some degree in forms and sparring.
 
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oftheherd1

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The height at which you can kick effectively is primarily controlled by two things.
1 - Flexibility
2 - Core strength.
You need to work on passive and active stretching to build flexibility, and exercises to build up your core strength.

The most important kick is the one you need to use right now. Start by focusing on the basic kicks.

This.

And don't expect it to happen overnight, nor painlessly.
 

oftheherd1

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...

drive the knee up to start your snap higher.

...

Be careful of that. If you don't yet have the stretch, and you move your knee up high and straighten you leg forcefully, you will likely tear something. It will take a while to heel, and you may throw yourself off your feet for a bad fall as well. Find your limit and then keep trying to extend it slowly (Stretching will help that). You probably know that, but some people get anxious and forget. And I think skribs assumed you knew that as well.
 

Buka

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Fight really, really short people.
 

skribs

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Fight really, really short people.
Be careful of that. If you don't yet have the stretch, and you move your knee up high and straighten you leg forcefully, you will likely tear something. It will take a while to heel, and you may throw yourself off your feet for a bad fall as well. Find your limit and then keep trying to extend it slowly (Stretching will help that). You probably know that, but some people get anxious and forget. And I think skribs assumed you knew that as well.

Well, I'm assuming he's not going to just snap at the height of how high he can drive his knee up, but...

1) If you don't get your knee up, your kick won't be as high. Plain and simple. You can't bring your knee waist level and do a good head-level front snap kick.
2) Dynamic stretching means you can do snap kicks higher than you can do slow kicks.
Lol!
 

Roger Tyson

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Learn to do it right, remember speed and flexibiliti and the practice, practice and practice.

And listen to Oftheherd 1. Even if you know the right way to do a technique it doesnt mean that your body is ready to do it. It only mean that you are more likely to get it right, and if you stay patient you realy get it right when you first get it. And if you ask me, there is not many things that are more saticefying then when you finaly get that feeling. It almost feel like every tiny piece of your body is working together like the fine tuned machine it is. From fingertips to every little cell in your body is coming together and you dont want to stop. If struggeling, think of that.
 

Gwai Lo Dan

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What's the best way to master a high kick? ...I can't get my leg to get to the level of my head. ...Also, what is the most important kick to master in TKD in your opinion?

Different kicks require different angles of flexibility. A high front kick requires good hamstring flexibility, while a high roundhouse requires much side-to-side groin flexibility.

IMO, the most important kick in almost any martial art in the roundhouse. It is a bread-and-butter kick, used for low, medium, and high targets.

To get the flexibility for a high roundhouse, I would say the side stretch and straddle are the most important stretches. In brief, put your feet as far apart (to the sides ) as you can, and also sit down from there and stretch side to side (i.e., putting your body to the left leg, then to the right leg).
 

ST1Doppelganger

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I'd say round house to side kick combo is one of the most important. Feint with your roundhouse or miss your roundhouse and use the side kick as your recover or main kick.

But let's face it its roundhouse, snap/front, side and rear kick that are the basic kicks you should have mastered and are the most important.

High kicks is all about flexibility in your groin and ham strings so you can get that crane as high as possible before unleashing it.

If your having issues with getting the kick up high just practice it at the maximum height where you can throw it with correct form till you become flexible enough to raise it up higher.

Take it slow inch by inch and you'll get them down.

PS don't forget shadow kicking and slow motion kicks along with your bag training will help your kicking dramatically.
 

Gwai Lo Dan

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I'd say side over roundhouse.
I'd be interested to hear why. To me, thinking about all martial arts, including TKD, MT, MMA, JKD, karate, and thinking about low kicks as well as high kicks, I still think the roundhouse is the single most common and effective kick.
 

Touch Of Death

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I'd be interested to hear why. To me, thinking about all martial arts, including TKD, MT, MMA, JKD, karate, and thinking about low kicks as well as high kicks, I still think the roundhouse is the single most common and effective kick.
Lack of experience. :)
 

skribs

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Lack of experience. :)

This is incredibly cryptic. Are you saying Gwai has lack of experience, or the people using roundhouse kicks have a lack of experience? How does more experience change the answer?
 
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TKD_luver

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I think I'm going to go with everyone's advice except for touch of death's.
 

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