Axe Kick

General notes:

Note to any beginners: Please be VERY careful when practising this kick. Not only can the practising of the axe kick do major damage to the hamstrings if not warmed up properly, but I have seen more injuries caused to opponents by the axe kick than any other kick. The reason being is that it is very difficult to control the leg during execution. This kick gets its power not from a wind-up and whip-out method as most other kicks, but instead uses the weight of the leg for the impact. For this reason, this kick tends to be more effective for taller people. Both the upward movement and the downward movement of this kick can be used as an attack, and because of its wide range of movement, the point of contact can be almost anywhere. For the upward stroke of the kick the most effective contact areas are the groin and the chin and for the decent of the kick, the contact area can be the top of the head or the collarbone. The kick can also be used as part of a combination to break a guard to move in with another attack of some kind. Another effective way of using the downward motion of the kick is on floored opponents, but if doing so, please exercise caution because the full weight of the leg on a floored opponent can be very dangerous, and depending on what part of the body is hit, fatal.

1) Stand in the ready stance.
2) While shifting the weight of the body on to the front leg, begin to lift the kicking leg. The upper part of the body should remain upright at all times, and the arms should be kept up as much as possible to protect the head and torso. The supporting foot should face towards the target area at all times during the kick, and should never move.
3) Continue to raise the leg, keeping it as straight as possible.
4) For beginners, I recommend not raising the leg much past this point unless you have enough flexibility to do the splits. It is very easy to continue past this point even without the flexibility, and can cause major damage to the hamstrings.
5) At the top of the kick here, it is possible to just drop the leg and allow the weight of the leg to dictate the power. In order to maximise it, you must time it so that at the peak of the kick, the hamstrings should take over from the quadriceps so that the leg can be pulled down on to the target. If at all possible, and (for the more flexible people), try and keep the supporting foot flat on the floor. If you find it is not possible to do it, it doesn't matter, it just offers more in the way of stability when executing the kick.
6) The kick should be brought back down via the same route. However, lean more in to the kick for the way down in order to finish the kick more quickly and also to increase the power.
7) On a floored opponent, this would be the point of contact. And with the full weight of the leg behinds it, becomes a devastating blow.
8) Because of the body leaning into the kick, the kicking foot should land on the floor in front of you. The kicking leg has now become the lead foot.
Axe kick
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