Tag Archives: bladder kick

On the yellow belt road: Kicks

6 Aug

In an earlier post, I wrote about how I’ll (probably) test for my yellow belt in September. As I mentioned, there are five sections for testing: 1) Fighting Stance and Punches; 2) Kicks; 3) Punch Defenses; 4) Choke and Headlock Defenses; and 5) Ground Positions/Movements/Kicks. Under each of those sections, there are four to seven things I need to know. I’ve already talked about Fighting Stance and Punches. Today is my favorites: Kicks.

Like punches, kicks have hip action, though a different kind. While with punches you swivel your hips, with kicks your hips move back and forth as though on a hinge. I find it helpful to warm up by moving my hips first, without kicking or punching, to get used to the movement and make sure I’m doing it right.

  • Groin Kick

This may be my favorite kick. Whacking one’s shin with a resounding smack against the kick shield is so satisfying. What beginners have trouble with is remembering to keep their arms up in defensive mode, and also the recoil, ie, landing your foot back into fighting stance.

While I have no trouble bringing my foot back to fighting stance, I tend to bring my foot back too far. This would slow me down if I want to do multiple kicks. So I need to practice a faster recoil.

I also need to remember to bring my eyes back up to my opponent’s chest (which is basically where your eyes always should be so that with your peripheral vision, you can see strikes coming from any direction) as I’m kicking. This results in a stronger kick. And also apparently I crunch forward too much before kicking. I just need to be faster and let loose with a kick right away.

  • Ball of the Foot Kick

This is also known as the bladder kick because you are, guess what, kicking your opponent in the bladder.

I’m pretty good at this. The trick is you’re not kicking up but forward and with (guess what again) the ball of your foot.

  • Round Kick

I’m worst at these, or rather, these are newest to me. Because classes are often crowded, we don’t get to practice round kicks that much, which take up more space than groin, ball of the foot, or knees.

But I’m improving. KO Bag class helps because we do round kicks over and over with both the rear and front legs. The problem I have with the rear leg is remembering to pivot my front foot enough.

  • Knees

There are two kinds of knees, connected and disconnected. With the connected knee, you grab hold the person with both hands as you whale them with your knee. Disconnected knee is the same except you don’t grab onto the person.

I’m pretty good at knees, though my connected knees could use more power. I also don’t land in the right spot. It should be the front of my knee that’s hitting my target, but I end hitting further back first, then sliding down, so that I end up with friction burns on my knees.

Next is something I really suck at: Punch Defenses.

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