One of the areas that I have been working on with kicking is the ability to use my legs like my hands- in all directions.
The nature of walking for most of us, only has our legs moving in a limited front/back motion.
What about the sides?
What about behind us?
Developing a full range of motion with each of the different kicks.
So where do we start?
Like everything else in the martial arts- where we are in the moment.
Stretching and flexibility first.
Paying close attention to the hips for range of motion and the ankles for strength and balance. These should be a natural part of your daily stretching routine, but are especially important when working on kicking.
Balance is next on the checklist.
Being able to kick, in balance, followed by putting the kicking foot back down on the ground with full control- regardless if it connects with the target or not.
Control of the base leg is KEY for this, as is keeping the spine straight. Don’t lift your base foot heel off the ground- keep it flat for stability. Bend the base leg to help center and settle your balance.
Targeting is next.
Speed and fluidity will come, built tracking and being able to connect with the target without falling over, while delivering power.
Working on this checklist for yourself will help build proficiency with kicking- using the hands and legs in unison and at the same time.
See you on the mat!