The Art of kicking

terryl965

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How do you explain the Art of kicking. What I mean is how do you start out and how do you end up when you explain this. Do you go into all the mechanics of each kick and do you explain how each kick is unique to itself. Do you take the time to explain what can happen if they tend to whip the kick instead of kicking the kick.

Just curious?
 

exile

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How do you explain the Art of kicking. What I mean is how do you start out and how do you end up when you explain this. Do you go into all the mechanics of each kick and do you explain how each kick is unique to itself. Do you take the time to explain what can happen if they tend to whip the kick instead of kicking the kick.

Just curious?

Another good topic, Terry!

What I try to do with my students is show them, very clearly and slowly, each of the three major kicks they need to learn as colored belts&#8212;front snap, roundhouse/turning kick, and sidekick (rear and front leg varieties). I try use images that spotlight the key motion involved: ferris wheel (for the front snap kick, with the kneecap facing the ceiling as the center of the wheel), carousel (for the roundhouse, with the kneecap facing a point a bit past the target as the ceter of the wheel), and supercharged monster-vehicle snowplow (the sidekick&#8212;straight out, parallel to the floor, a straight lunge punch but delivered with the foot.) For the latter two, where a pivot is involved, I've introduced drills involving them (i) standing in a fighting stance; (ii) chamber the knee of the rear leg stright up, towards the ceiling, as high as you can go; (iii) rotate the chambered knee 90繙 off the verticle so it's facing the wall. They have to maintain that position&#8212;kicking leg high in the chambered position, bent leg parallel to the floor, knee facing the wall&#8212;for at least 10 seconds. The, they either (a) snap out the roundhouse so the lower kicking leg swings out in a circular arc perfectly parallel to the floor, or (b) thrust the chambered leg as hard as possible, straight out maintaining complete control and balance, with the heel the impact surface.

I keep harping on the fact that these kicks are quite different, have to be performed differently and have different impact surfaces. I demo them in slow motion as much as possible. I stress balance as a critical skill that can be developed, and they get balance exercises as homwork....
 

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When I start, with white belts, I teach them how to copy the movements of front and side kick (the other 2 basic kicks, turning and back kick, are not taught until yellow belt). Once they can perform the kicks lead leg, rear leg, and stepping, then I start refining the physical kick. I don't get much into theory until later; too much theory at the beginning tends to be confusing until the students have the physical motions down. By the time they can perform the kicks properly, the theory can be explained in terms of the physical movement, at which point they generally understand the theory much better than they thought anyway.
 

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I'm new to TKD. I'm primarily a Chinese stylist but I took this up just because I liked the uniform and the kicks. (I'm a woman so I like outfits...) Anyway, I thought it'd help my balance because I'm hearing impaired and always had trouble with kicks and anything requiring balance. My kicks are really awful and it's discouraging; I took it up over the summer and took this month off out of embarrassment more than anything else. The last time I was there I was trying to learn the turn kick; couldn't get my balance and looked like hell trying. I'm 40 - I know it's late to learn it but I just enjoy martial arts so I never let my age or gender stop me from trying something new. To be honest, I'd like to learn TKD from black belt and beyond. I think it has a lot to offer, if only I could get the kicks and yelling down....:)
 

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I'm new to TKD. I'm primarily a Chinese stylist but I took this up just because I liked the uniform and the kicks. (I'm a woman so I like outfits...) Anyway, I thought it'd help my balance because I'm hearing impaired and always had trouble with kicks and anything requiring balance. My kicks are really awful and it's discouraging; I took it up over the summer and took this month off out of embarrassment more than anything else. The last time I was there I was trying to learn the turn kick; couldn't get my balance and looked like hell trying. I'm 40 - I know it's late to learn it but I just enjoy martial arts so I never let my age or gender stop me from trying something new. To be honest, I'd like to learn TKD from black belt and beyond. I think it has a lot to offer, if only I could get the kicks and yelling down....:)

Late to learn? Hogwash! Its the effort that counts. I'm also trying very hard to improve my kkicks and...while mine aren't anywhere near where I'd like them to be, they do get better with practice. Although...my balance still stinks....LOL

and howdy from the North Shore... :wavey:
 

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Thanks Carol, I'll try and swallow my pride when I show my face in class in about another week.....:ultracool
 

Kacey

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I'm new to TKD. I'm primarily a Chinese stylist but I took this up just because I liked the uniform and the kicks. (I'm a woman so I like outfits...) Anyway, I thought it'd help my balance because I'm hearing impaired and always had trouble with kicks and anything requiring balance. My kicks are really awful and it's discouraging; I took it up over the summer and took this month off out of embarrassment more than anything else. The last time I was there I was trying to learn the turn kick; couldn't get my balance and looked like hell trying. I'm 40 - I know it's late to learn it but I just enjoy martial arts so I never let my age or gender stop me from trying something new. To be honest, I'd like to learn TKD from black belt and beyond. I think it has a lot to offer, if only I could get the kicks and yelling down....:)

The best way to work on your kicks, if your flexibility and/or balance is poor, is to start off low and work up higher gradually. It's better to do a kick properly, but low, than to do it wrong, but higher up.

Don't let age or balance problems stop you - one of my students is 44 and a 2nd gup red belt - well on his way to black belt (just 1st gup and black belt testing left - about a year, at the rate he's going), and his 13 year-old daughter is right there with him. His flexibility is horrid, and affects his balance - but it's a lot better than when he started, and that's really the important part. No, he's not as athletically able as his daughter or another man, now 26, who started with him - but that's not the point, not really; the point is that he's much better than he was when he started.
 

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Thanks Kacey, my JKD teacher tries to drill that into my head about kicking low and properly whenever I get frustrated, which is often. Thanks for reminding me. He also tells me that compared to where I started, my balance and kicks have improved, but I'd still like to just really take off and fly like everyone else, but again, baby steps.

BTW Carol, my Sifu's favorite scene with Bruce Lee is showing on your webpage. Too cool for school.....
 

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Excellent! :D

I recently started training in a Filipino art that has many similarities to Tae Kwon Do. Attempting some of the kicks gives me...um....plenty of breakfall practice, if you know what I mean. :eek:
 

CatNap

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I know your Sifu Mike and his brother Ronnie. You have good teachers...I hear Mike's wife May is pretty damn scary too. Good luck at class.
 

Carol

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Thank you! Good luck to you too. Keep at it. :)
 
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terryl965

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Excellent! :D

I recently started training in a Filipino art that has many similarities to Tae Kwon Do. Attempting some of the kicks gives me...um....plenty of breakfall practice, if you know what I mean. :eek:

Carol at next year meet and greet I will show you some great drills for kicking.
 

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Carol at next year meet and greet I will show you some great drills for kicking.

That sounds great, Terry! I could sure use them :D
 
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terryl965

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I'm new to TKD. I'm primarily a Chinese stylist but I took this up just because I liked the uniform and the kicks. (I'm a woman so I like outfits...) Anyway, I thought it'd help my balance because I'm hearing impaired and always had trouble with kicks and anything requiring balance. My kicks are really awful and it's discouraging; I took it up over the summer and took this month off out of embarrassment more than anything else. The last time I was there I was trying to learn the turn kick; couldn't get my balance and looked like hell trying. I'm 40 - I know it's late to learn it but I just enjoy martial arts so I never let my age or gender stop me from trying something new. To be honest, I'd like to learn TKD from black belt and beyond. I think it has a lot to offer, if only I could get the kicks and yelling down....:)


Catnip it will come and age has nothing to do with it, just keep practicing.
 

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I'm new to TKD. I'm primarily a Chinese stylist but I took this up just because I liked the uniform and the kicks. (I'm a woman so I like outfits...) Anyway, I thought it'd help my balance because I'm hearing impaired and always had trouble with kicks and anything requiring balance. My kicks are really awful and it's discouraging; I took it up over the summer and took this month off out of embarrassment more than anything else. The last time I was there I was trying to learn the turn kick; couldn't get my balance and looked like hell trying. I'm 40 - I know it's late to learn it but I just enjoy martial arts so I never let my age or gender stop me from trying something new. To be honest, I'd like to learn TKD from black belt and beyond. I think it has a lot to offer, if only I could get the kicks and yelling down....:)

OK, CatNap, listen to me: I was fifteen years older than you are now when I started TKD. I've been doing it for five years. By working fairly intensely over that time I brought myself from barely being able to lift one foot off the ground to knee height without falling over to the point where I can chamber a side kick above my waist, snap the side kick out hard at ribcage height or higher, and stay frozen in that position &#8212;maximum extension of the kicking leg&#8212;for more than a minute. And I'm nothing special, physically. You have fifteen years on me, and you're female, giving you definite flexibility advantages.

There is an excellent book about the nature of balance by Scott McCredie, titled Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense, which looks at balance as one of the human senses and explores its neuropsychology and its relation to general cognitive functioning. One of McCredie's points is that balance is very pliable: it can be trained and developed in all kinds of specialized ways. He actually provides a number of drills that can be used to improve overall balance ability.
Loren Christensen's Solo Training books give excellent advice about balance training as well.

So it can be done. Just take the long term view. Figure it'll take you a couple of years to the point where you can really balance completely comfortably on one leg. The time's going to pass anyway, right? So you might as well have something to show for it at the end. Do balance and kicking drills systematically and by the time you're an advanced colored belt you should be able to display excellent balance abilities. Just be patient....
 

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OK, CatNap, listen to me: I was fifteen years older than you are now when I started TKD. I've been doing it for five years. By working fairly intensely over that time I brought myself from barely being able to lift one foot off the ground to knee height without falling over to the point where I can chamber a side kick above my waist, snap the side kick out hard at ribcage height or higher, and stay frozen in that position maximum extension of the kicking legfor more than a minute. And I'm nothing special, physically. You have fifteen years on me, and you're female, giving you definite flexibility advantages.

YES!!! That is a point! --> Point goes to --> Exile!!!

CatNap, TKD is my primary art, it is the only Art that I have ever been belted in --> I am 1st Dan only, but that was my goal --> I can die a fulfilled man now, that is the highest rank that I ever wished for.

Now, I quit the training some years ago, and am coming back now. The flexibility WILL come. I myself have to be patient, and not pull anything. We are not children or teenagers anymore, but... DO NOT let anything deter you from experiencing this Martial Art. It is very fun to practice. The kicks, when you practice them, and gain skill, they have a very good feeling to your body, you feel a very BIG motion!

The idea of going to a "Meet and Greet" for the MartialTalk.com crowd is so good! I hope to go and see you people in real life!

CatNap --> you just keep showing up to the dojang and practicing hard. I will do the same! Soon, we will be giving our opponents a good "catnap" after the good counter-attack kick!!!!!!!




All the Best!

Robert
 
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