Axe kicks are well-known for being one of the strongest and most interesting kicks in martial arts. But what exactly is an axe kick?
Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! In this handy guide, we’ll teach you a simple step-by-step method for pulling off an axe kick in no time!
What Is An Axe Kick?
First things first- we need to cover what an axe kick actually is.
Axe kicks are a fairly unusual type of kick that uses the heel of the foot to strike down on an opponent’s head, shoulders, or collarbone.
These kicks use the legs momentum to strike directly down, swinging the leg straight and chopping with the heel like the swing of an axe – hence the name ‘axe kick’.
Axe kicks are most commonly found in Taekwondo, but they are also used in other martial arts like Karate and Muay Thai.
They are fairly unique in their execution, particularly in Taekwondo, due to the fact that the kick doesn’t involve chambering the leg before or after performing the kick.
One of the main advantages of an axe kick is their strength. Using a combination of leg muscles and gravity lets you pack a lot of power behind your heel, striking down with a massive amount of force.
Axe kicks can be even more powerful when performed with the proper technique – this involves using your leg’s momentum when bringing it up to put even more strength into the kick.
Axe kicks aren’t flawless, however, and it can be hard to pull them off correctly.
The height needed to strike down on an opponent’s head means that axe kicks are tough if you aren’t especially tall, and you need to make sure you stretch properly beforehand to avoid pulling any muscles.
Additionally, if you aren’t used to the technique then it can be easy to lose your balance and shift your center of gravity. This gets a lot better with practice, but getting to the point where you can smoothly and quickly attack with an axe kick takes a lot of training.
Nonetheless, axe kicks have a lot of potential for power and speed once you’ve gotten the hang of doing them, which makes them a great kick in many martial arts.
How To Do An Axe Kick: A Step-By-Step Guide
So now that we’ve taken a look at what an Axe kick actually is, let’s go through how to do one yourself! In this step-by-step guide, we’ll take you through the whole process of pulling off an axe kick so you can do them yourself in no time.
Before you even think about trying an axe kick, you need to make sure you’re properly warmed up. Axe kicks take a lot of flexibility, and you’ll need to kick pretty high in order to do an axe kick effectively.
Do a few light exercises and leg stretches to loosen up your body and prepare you to try doing an axe kick without the risk of pulling any muscles.
2. Bring Your Leg Up
When doing the kick itself, the first step is bringing your leg up into the striking position. Start by putting your kicking leg back in a guarding stance, with your feet around a shoulder’s width apart.
Now, bring your back leg through in front of you, then bring it up and around in a crescent motion. For example, if you’re kicking with your right foot, then you need to sweep your right leg in front of your left and bring it up around the inside of your body.
Keep your leg straight while you’re bringing your foot up – this will help give it the most momentum. Your leg should end up being lifted straight ahead of you with your heel pointing down.
3. Bring Your Foot Down
From here, it’s time to finish off the kick. Still keeping your leg straight, use your leg muscles and gravity to bring your leg directly down onto the target, striking with your heel.
Once you’ve tried it slowly a couple of times, you can start speeding up. Try to get used to the momentum of your swing, and work on keeping your balance while getting your leg into position (keeping your guard up is helpful here).
How Effective Are Axe Kicks, Really?
When it comes to competitive matches and sparring, axe kicks are a surprisingly effective option.
With enough practice, you can snap out a powerful axe kick in a flash.
Additionally, it can be hard to predict an axe kick due to their setup – an inward axe kick can be tricky to prepare for, while outward axe kicks can fake out your opponent and cause them to lower their guard.
Another point in axe kick’s favor is the sheer power you can get behind your leg. Blocking a strike coming straight down on your head and shoulders is difficult enough without the amount of strength an axe kick can have.
This makes axe kicks highly effective in sparring and competitive fights as long as you’re able to do them quickly and effectively.
In a real fight, however, things can be a bit different. If you’re fighting an attacker, then axe kicks might not be the best option at your disposal.
This is because axe kicks are most effective when there’s a bit of distance between you and your opponent – if you’re fighting in an enclosed space, or if an attacker rushes at you, you might not have enough time to execute an axe kick properly.
Height can also make a big difference when it comes to pulling off an effective axe kick.
Because all of the force in an axe kick is being directed straight down, being taller than your opponent makes it much easier to use an axe kick effectively; meanwhile, if your attacker is significantly taller or bigger than you, it puts you at a disadvantage when trying to use an axe kick.
With that said, however, axe kicks can still be a devastatingly powerful and effective attack if you’re able to execute it properly. There is a time and a place for axe kicks, and using them at the right opportunity is a sure way to do a lot of damage with your kick.
Axe kicks can be incredibly powerful, but they’re hard to pull off properly. Using the steps in this guide, you’ll be able to learn how to do an axe kick yourself in no time (Check out if Taekwondo can be self-taught here)! Now all that’s left for you to do is practice!