Why do people say to never kick air?

moonhill99

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When practicing kicking they say never to kick air.

Why do you have to kick some thing as you cannot kick air and visualize some thing is there?
 

Dirty Dog

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There is a risk of hyper extending the joint when kicking air. But it's not all that high. And I don't think I have ever heard anyone say you should never kick air. Because forms...
 

drop bear

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The other theory is that you are stopping your striking rather than striking so that the other guy is required to stop it.
 

_Simon_

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But seriously, I have a theory that kicking/strikes to the air is a good practice, it trains and activates the antagonist muscles muscles to help pull back the strike so you don't hyperextend the joints. This can help preserve the joints if you ARE aiming to hit someone but completely miss, I feel there'll be some reaction to not hyperextend the joint reflexively. But just a theory!
 
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moonhill99

moonhill99

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There is a risk of hyper extending the joint when kicking air. But it's not all that high. And I don't think I have ever heard anyone say you should never kick air. Because forms...

You mean you will be hyper extending your joint if your leg is straight and not bent?
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Most of what I would say has already been said. Just want to add that kicking air doesn't allow you to get the feedback to 'feel' if there is something wrong with your kick, you can't test power with kicking air, and you're training yourself to stop the kick to avoid hyperextension if you only kick air.

However, like Crane said, kicking air itself isn't an issue, it's when that's all you do that it's an issue.
 

gpseymour

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When practicing kicking they say never to kick air.

Why do you have to kick some thing as you cannot kick air and visualize some thing is there?
My opinion is that the biggest problem with kicking air (or punching it) is that you develop the habit of stopping your own strike, rather than developing power. Mind you, this would also apply to shadow boxing, and we know that - used properly - that doesn't really impair the ability to deliver power. So the caution should be to use proper care when striking air (to @Dirty Dog's comment) and make sure you also spend enough time striking a target so you get the feel for delivering power.
 

Buka

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People say a lot of things.

Joe Lewis only kicked bags and people, would never kick air. Bill Wallace only kicks air and people, never used a bag. (At least back in the day.) Worked out pretty good for both guys.

Most people I know kick every damn thing.

So, I dunno', I guess it's what works for you.
 

Dirty Dog

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You mean you will be hyper extending your joint if your leg is straight and not bent?

Straight is not hyper extended. Hyper extended is moving beyond the limits of the range of motion for that joint. It hurts. A lot. That's why many joint locks are specifically designed to hyper extend a joint.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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The circular kick is easier on the knee joint.

- spin hook kick,
- MT body rotation roundhouse kick,
- foot sweep,
- slant cut, sickle hook, inner hook, outer hook,
- ...

The circular punch is easier on the elbow joint.

- hook punch.
- back fist.
- hammer fist.
- side punch.
- ...

When you get older, you may like circular move more than straight line move.
 
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moonhill99

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If you are punching a pillow it feels more natural and feedback (almost if some thing is pushing back) than trying to punch air. I don’t know why it feels that way?
 

WaterGal

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If you are punching a pillow it feels more natural and feedback (almost if some thing is pushing back) than trying to punch air. I don’t know why it feels that way?

It is pushing back. Newton's 3rd law of motion: every action causes an equal and opposite reaction. You're exerting force against the pad, and the pad pushes your force back against you to stop your strike.

When you kick or punch air, there's no push back, so your own arm or leg muscles have to stop the strike.
 

KenpoMaster805

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To kick in the air is okay but its better to kick with a person so you will know the target and were to hit. Its like a technique you can do the technique in the air but its not effective you should have a parter so you can better your technique and hit your target in the right area its like point of origin.
 

dvcochran

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But seriously, I have a theory that kicking/strikes to the air is a good practice, it trains and activates the antagonist muscles muscles to help pull back the strike so you don't hyperextend the joints. This can help preserve the joints if you ARE aiming to hit someone but completely miss, I feel there'll be some reaction to not hyperextend the joint reflexively. But just a theory!
Agree. Anything in moderation.
I feel it is a progressive type of training. As technique improves and strength/control increases it is great trading. Especially when training alone.
 

skribs

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If you have sufficient power you may put undue stress on your joints. The solution is if you do start to feel your joints are being overstressed (because they ache), then go 50% until they stop aching.
 

Tman

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I think this is usually told to beginners as they have not yet developed an understanding of the mechanics of kicking, or the strength to control their kicks. However, it sticks in our heads even once we have advanced as practitioners.
 

MadMartigan

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Air kicking is invaluable imo. I believe it's actually the best way to learn the correct mechanics of the movements before trying them on a live opponent. If you're still trying to figure out how to move correctly, you're paying less attention to your opponent... or paying the correct attention to the guy trying to hit you, and not pivoting correctly and injuring your knee, etc.
 
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