Monday, January 28, 2008

Kicking Techniques (Geri Waza)

Geri Waza (Kicking Techniques)
Kicking techniques are an important part of a karate students offensive arsenal. Kicking differs from punching in number of ways. Kicks are typically slower to execute than punches, but because it is easier to get more mass behind them, they often have a much more substantial impact. For the flexible, kicks also have a larger number of available targets, all the way from the feet to the head and offer the ability to strike from further away from the opponent. But because of the slower execution and weaker support of only standing on one foot, one has a much weaker defense while kicking and they do not work as well when the target is very close. In karate there are only a few fundamental kicking techniques, with a few other derived kicks. A common way to separate kicks is by whether they use snapping power or thrusting power to deliver damage to a target. Another distinction is between linear and circular kicks.When doing any kind of kick, there are few common points that should be kept in mind. Generally, during practice, kicks are delivered as middle level attacks. All kicks have three motions: a preparation motion, a execution motion, and a recovery motion. It is important to not skip any of these movements. If you skip the preparatory motion, the you may suffer a loss of power, speed, and/or balance. If you shortcut the execution motion, you are not doing the correct kick. And if you skip the recovery motion, then you give up a certain level of defensive positioning. While doing any kick, it is important to not raise the height of the waist. If in a standing position, this is easy, but from, a deep stance, like front stance, you must keep the knee and ankle of the supporting leg bent.
Mae Geri Keage (Front Snapping Kick)
Actually, mae geri keage really translates to front lifting (or rising) kick. This is because of the motion of the foot during the execution movement. Mae geri keage is one of the more fundamental kicks in karate and is typically the first taught.To do a mae geri keage, start by transferring your weight to your support leg. Lift your kicking leg up, with the knee and ankle bent, like you were climbing a very tall stair. The higher you can lift your knee, the higher you can target your kick. You should lift your knee to at least waist height. With the knee still held up high and the toes of the kicking foot curled back, start to straighten the knee so that the foot follows an upward curved arc towards the target. Push the hips forward slightly with the extension to help you balance and to give a little more forward thrust to the kick. Strike the target with the ball of the foot, not with the sole of the foot, the heel, and especially not with the toes. Now, return the foot back to the chambered position with the knee still up. You should be able to hold this position, or execute a second kick from this position if desired. Then step the foot back down.
Mae Geri Kekomi (Front Thrusting Kick)
The mae geri kekomi is the alter ego technique to the mae geri keage. Instead of being a quick snapping technique, this is a slightly slower, powerful thrusting technique.The start of the thrust kick is just like the snap kick. Generally, a thrust kick loses power as it is targeted higher than your own waist, and can only be delivered with power as high as you lift your foot in the chamber position. Therefore, the ideal is to lift your knee such that your foot comes close to the height of your waist. To execute the kick from the chamber position, all at the same time, drive the hips forward and use the thigh muscles to drive the ball of the foot straight forward into the target. There should be no lifting motion once the forward drive starts or it will detract from the power of the kick. After the extension, pull the foot back to the chamber position and snap the hips back to their original position. It is important to not leave the hips pushed forward because if you do, you cannot effectively deliver a second kick or step backwards if necessary.

Yoko Geri Keage (Side Snapping Kick)
The yoko geri keage is similar to the mae geri keage in that it uses snapping power for delivery. To chamber the kick, lift your leg like you would for a mae geri, but to the side, like you were stepping on a large step next to you. The knee should point slightly towards the side you are kicking to. Once the knee is raised, extend the knee so that the foot follows an upward curving arc towards the target. Unlike the mae geri, yoko geri should strike the target with the outside edge of the foot, closer to the heel end than the toe end. You should still curl the toes back instead of inward for protection. After the extension, return the foot and then step down.

Yoko Geri Kekomi (Side Thrusting Kick)
Doing a yoko geri kekomi is similar to doing a yoko geri keage. The chamber is just like the keage geri. To execute the kick, thrust the foot outward to the side by using the thigh muscles. At the same time thrust the hips into the kick as well. Strongly rotate the supporting leg away from the kick also to help you to put your hips into the kick. When recovering the kick, do not forget to return the supporting legs position at the same so that you can deliver a second thrust kick if need be before stepping the foot down.

Mawashi Geri (Round Kick)
The mawashi geri is the first circular kicking technique learned at cpma. It is circular in the sense that it does not take a straight path to the target, but rather follows a round path to the target. The round kick uses both momentum and snapping power to deliver damage. There is not thrusting version of the round kick. It is important to note the technical, kihon way to do this kick is quite different than how it is actually used. This is because the kihon way, again, is for maximizing power and effect. To do the kick, start by lifting the knee to the side, with the knee very bent and the foot behind you and on the same horizontal plane as the knee. Start rotating the support foot in the direction of the kick, swing the kicking knee in time with the support foot's rotation. Be careful, if you do not rotate the support foot, you can do severe damage to your support knee. The support foot should rotate at least 90 degrees to the side, and preferably more. As the knee approaches the front, begin extending the kicking foot, again using the ball of the foot with toes curled back. Do not kick with the instep of the foot. As the support foot finishes rotating, the kicking knee should stop in front of you, and the kicking foot should strike the target. Throughout the kick, the foot should travel on the same horizontal plane as the knee. After execution of the kick, without lowering the kicking knee, bend the knee so that the foot comes tucked back behind the thigh and rotate the supporting foot back to it's starting position. You should be able to execute a second kick from this position. Now, drop the raised knee and set your foot down.

Ushiro Geri (Back Kick)
The back is possibly the strongest kick in the Shotokan style when done properly. The back kick is a linear kick that uses thrusting power. To do the kick, chamber the kicking leg as if you were going to execute a mae geri. Then, execute the kick by thrusting the kicking foot behind you while driving your hips backwards. It is okay to lean forward slightly during kick execution. The kick should strike it's target with the bottom of the heel, not with the ball of the foot or the sole of the foot. After kick execution, pull your hips back to their starting position and pull the extended leg back the cocked position, you should be able to execute another back or even a front kick from this position before setting your foot down.

Uchi Mikazuki Geri (Inside Crescent Kick)
The uchi mikazuki geri is a circular kick that follows an elliptical arc towards the target. But because it has a follow-through motion that goes through the target rather than recoiling from it, it is more like a thrusting kick than a snapping kick.
To do the kick, start by lifting the kicking leg like you were going to do a mae geri, except use the inner thigh muscles to pull the lifted knee across the waist and in front of the hip of the supporting leg. Extend the knee and swing the waist so that the outside edge of the kicking foot comes across and into the side of the target. Retract the knee, it should be slightly to the opposite the of the body than when you started the kick. Set the foot down. The kicking foot should have followed a smooth elliptical arc through the target, not in a choppy triangle. Normally, it is not easy to do this kick twice in a row.

Soto Mikazuki Geri (Outside Crescent Kick)
This is the opposite kick to the uchi mikazuki geri. More often then an attack, this kick is used defensively to block an attacker's incoming kick.To do a soto mikazuki geri, start by lifting the kicking knee up like you were going to do a mae geri, but let the knee drift out to the outside a bit. Now, extend the knee and swing the waist across so that the sole of the kicking foot comes across and into the side of the target. Bring the foot in as you come across the target. The knee should stop in the chamber position for the uchi mikazuki geri. Set the foot down. The foot should have traveled in a smooth elliptical arc, not in a choppy triangle shape. Like the uchi mikazuki geri, this kick is normally done twice in a row.

Fumikomi Geri (Stomping Kick)
Fumikomi geri is a stomping kick. In kihon, it is similar to a downward yoko geri kekomi.The intent is to kick down hard on an opponent's instep,shin,knee cap,or high, or to step hard into the side of the opponents's knee in a painful and damaging takedown.
Set up for the fumikomi geri just like you were going to do a mae geri. The hips and raised knee should be facing forward, towards the target; the foot should be flat and the ankle bent. Now, with a strong twisting motion, drive the foot downward in front of you while turning the hips and supporting foot, you should land sideways in the kiba dachi (side stance). The kicking foot should land with the outside edge striking just before the rest of the foot. Be careful not to do damage to the foot and ankle by over stretching the ankle. This kick need not make an excessive amount of noise.

Tobi Geri (Jump Kick)
Tobi geri is the jump kick, or flying kick. It is the only kick in karate where the practitioner leaves the ground and is intended as a last ditch, all or nothing type of attack because of the poor defensive position the attacker is left in. There are actually a couple variations of this technique. There are the tobi mae geri, tobi yoko geri, and the nidan geri. Tobi mae and tobi yoko are, of course, jumping front and jumping side kicks. Nidan geri is the jumping double kick. It is not the double side kicks seen in the movies, but a double front kick, one after the other. Three kicks that are related to tobi geri, but don't leave the ground are the shuffle kicks, shuffle front, shuffle side, and shuffle round kick. The shuffle kicks are actually stepping stone techniques to prepare a student for doing a jump kick. Shuffle and jump kicks are almost always initiated from a formal stance. This helps greatly in generating the power needed to make a proper jump with enough momentum to be effective. Mae geri are done from the zenkutsu dachi (front stance) and yoko geri are done from the kiba dachi (side stance).
To do a shuffle front kick, start in zenkutsu dachi. Quickly drive the back foot into the spot where your front foot is. At the same time, lift the front foot and do a mae geri kekomi with it. The kick should connect at the same moment that the rear foot settles into the spot where your kicking foot was. Recoil the kicking foot and step forward with it into a new front stance. Shuffle round kick is the same as shuffle front kick, except you do a mawashi geri instead of a mae geri kekomi.
To do a shuffle side kick, start in kiba dachi. Pick a side to kick to, the foot on the side is the kicking foot, the foot on the opposite side is the moving foot. Drive the moving foot into the spot where the kicking foot is. At the same time, lift the kicking foot and do a yoko geri kekomi. The moving foot should stop sliding and twist at the same time as the kick delivery. After the extension, recoil the kick and rotate the support foot. Step forward into a new kiba dachi. To do the tobi mae geri, start in zenkutsu dachi. Drive the rear knee forward and upward as if you were going to do a mae geri, but let the moving leg lift your waist up and jump off of the ground. Lift the front leg up and do a mae geri keage. Land the feet in the same order they left the ground and land in a new zenkutsu dachi. To do a tobi yoko geri, start in kiba dachi. Push off with the legs to drive the hips up and into the air. Swing the rear leg under your body and extend the kicking leg into a yoko geri keage. After the kick, recoil the legs and land in a new kiba dachi.To do a nidan geri, start in zenkutsu dachi. Nidan geri is done exactly the same as tobi mae geri, except that you must get enough air on the jump to do a mae geri keage on the initial knee raise in the air as well as a mae geri keage off of the front foot while still in the air. The kicks should strike at different levels on the target. Typically, the first kick is to the middle and the second is head high.

1 comment:

Danish Smith said...

I love kickboxing classes. We do this routine to heavy disco music that really gets the heart pumping and the sweat pouring. By the time I’m done I feel like I need IV fluids, but it’s so worth it.

Kicking Techniques