Side Kick

General notes:

Another kick that's very effective both defensively and offensively, the side kick can be found in any combat martial art, whether it be Karate, Taekwondo, Ju Jitsu, kickboxing, Kung Fu… the list is almost endless. This is testament to how useful this kick is considered. It can be used as part of a flowing combination, and because the basic chamber position is very similar to the other kicks described in this site, it can be thrown as a feign for another kick that could come from a completely different angle. Although this kick (like most kicks) begin to lose power once the height of the kick goes much beyond the hip-level of the kicker, the speed at which this kick can reach the head of the opponent is one of the fastest. With practise, this kick can be as quick as a punch.

1) Stand in the ready stance.
2) Begin transferring all of the weight on to the rear foot while lifting the kicking leg across the body so that you are facing side on to the opponent. Make sure that your hips move away from the opponent while moving the leg. It is of vital importance that while going into this position the supporting foot is turning so that it facing away from the opponent.
3) The chamber position. The leg is held high and ready to kick out. The supporting foot should by now be fully turned away from the opponent, as well as the hips. The torso should be facing side-on to the target area, and should be leaning back slightly so as to give the legs as much flexibility in movement and as much reach as possible.
4) Kick out using the hips to full effect by turning them in to the kick keeping the lower half of the kicking leg parallel to the floor and aim to kick the opponent using the side of the foot or the heel.
5) This is the point of contact. The foot must kick 'through' the target to make sure that maximum power is reached with the kick. The other very important thing is to control the kicking leg during the kick. Never let the leg fully extend when the kick is executed. The whiplash effect on the knee if over-extending the leg can cause serious, sometimes irreparable damage to the knee. I have found that making sure that just before the point of full extension, tense all the muscles within the leg. This prevents the leg from being completely locked out by ensuring that the tensing of the hamstrings counters that of the quadriceps.
6) You may notice that I have used the same photos for the way back on this kick. This is because when executing the kick singularly and properly, the leg should follow exactly the same path back in to the chamber position.
7) Put the leg down back in to the same stance position.
8) Back in to the ready stance.


Side kick
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