Introductory article to prepare for fundamental kicking
In this session I will introduce you to crescent kicks. As before, I will explain:
a) The correct way to perform the kick;
b) How to practise the kick;
c) An exercise routine to strengthen your legs and improve your kick.
There are three basic variations of crescent kick. These are: outside to inside crescent kick; inside to outside crescent kick (both are performed while facing the opponent), and reverse crescent kick in which you face the opponent before spinning through 360 degrees and delivering the kick with extra power and speed. All these techniques are applied with your back foot, though once you have mastered them, you can try skipping forward and using your front foot. Remember to practise from fighting stance and always aim the kicks through your opponentís centre line.
Outside to Inside.
Take up fighting stance with your left leg forward. Using a circular motion, swing your back leg out, up, and across the front of your body. Depending upon how far away you are, the impact area for this kick can vary from your instep (from side of the big toe to the heel), your ankle, inside lower shin or even your knee!
Inside to outside.
Take up left fighting stance and using a circular motion, swing your back leg inwards, up in front of your body, across, out and then down. Impact areas this time are the little toe side of your foot, outside of ankle, outside of lower shin or outside of your knee.
Face your partner (or a mirror) in left fighting stance. Spin your body clockwise and bring your back leg up and around, so it follows your body movement. The spin whips your leg up and around so it connects with bone- crunching force! The thing is to know which version to use! Generally speaking, the inside to outside version is the most effective and your body is covered throughout, making it difficult for your opponent to counter-attack. Even so, practise all the versions so as to develop creativity and variation in your fighting strategies. Remember: an army with only one weapon for its soldiers is soon defeated!
Now you have an idea of the basic movement involved. you need practise so you develop an accurate and devastating series of techniques. First, practise on your own against the empty air. Begin with your weaker leg first - because we all had one once! Start off kicking to about waist height and gradually work your way up to head height and beyond. Once youíve got your technique down, next step is to find something to connect with - like a pad, focus mitt or punch bag. This will allow you to gauge your increasing power.
All your force must come from the centre of your body and radiate outwards in order to increase the power of your kicks. Imagine a point in the centre of your body -just above your belly button. This is where all the power comes from. The wide semi-circular motion of the crescent kick drives your foot ever faster into the target. You need to lift your foot from the ground and into the target as rapidly as possible. Remember: the force of a technique comes - not from the fist or foot itself - from the power behind it.
Once you are satisfied with your delivery to a stationary target, then itís time to practise with a partner. Practise kick for kick, moving forward (attacking), or backward (using crescent kicks for defence). Use all three techniques on both sides for maximum effect. Add these exercises to your training routine to increase strength and suppleness in the hip joints and legs. Bounce up and down on your toes from fighting stance while changing stance from right to left. Do 20 sets on each side. Follow this by moving forward and backwards as you bounce and switchchange stances. Incorporate side-stepping and sideways-running in your cardiovascular workout.
Master Tony Vohra is always pleased to advise individual students, clubs and instructors and he will arrange courses & seminars to suit at home and abroad. For further details, for individual stretching programmes or for access to Kukkiwon certification, contact: President Grandmaster S. S. Vohra (8th dan).
Tel: 00 44 (0)115 9780439