How To Kick (Fast and With Perfect Form)

Martial often uses a wide range of motions and movements to achieve their desired outcome, which usually involves an opponent hitting the mat behind them.

From punches, kicks, and grapples, the entire human body is a potential weapon to be used in your journey of fighting, practicing, and always learning.

How To Kick?

And of course, that range of motion often includes kicks as well!

In this article, we are going to go into a little more detail about what goes into making a kick effective, especially when concerning martial arts.

Of course, we will also go into an explanation of how to kick, as well as the stages you need to be thinking about when practicing those kicks.

Kicks In Martial Arts

Like many other attacks and strikes in martial arts, kicks are part of a wide repertoire of different techniques, alongside punches, grapples, throws, and other paralyzing and incapacitating shots.

It is very common to see kicks applied alongside these other basic strikes in Karate, Kungfu, Muay Thai, and several other martial arts (see also ‘What Martial Art Has The Strongest Kicking Technique?‘).

However, newcomers, at least when first starting, may be somewhat hesitant to employ or use kicks in sparring, especially in high-intensity situations.

More often than not, this is because most newcomers both do not have the right amount of experience to know when to use them in combat, and often get deflected, have poor form, and often stumble or fall whilst trying to execute them at first.

Whilst the former is certainly a thing that can be worked on over time, we can certainly help with the latter!

Does Size Affect Your Kick’s Effectiveness?

There is a commonly held belief that size matters in martial arts.

That is to say, the taller, larger, or beefier you are, the better you will be using the techniques that you learn in a given martial art, whether they are kicking, punching, throwing, or grappling.

And it is certainly the case that being larger does often mean that you will be naturally quite strong.

However, that does not mean that you should assume that being small is the equivalent of being weak.

With enough practice and accuracy, a technique, such as a precise kick, can have as much of an effect as a kick from a larger practitioner.

In this respect, that means that, just because you have a smaller frame, does not mean that your kicks won’t be just as effective as a taller person, so don’t let that put you off learning how to do them.

Benefits Of Using Kicks In Your Fighting Style

As you can imagine, a strike that uses the largest muscle in the body can generate some serious power behind it, especially when used with enough speed or mass behind it.

Kicks are also an excellent coordination and balance exercise to try for yourself.

Whilst punches and other strikes do take some time to learn, very few moves require the same discipline and balance to do, especially a moe that is otherwise incredibly simple (Find out how to do a one inch punch here).

Being able to kick effectively and without falling over will make you that much more confident to use them in spars, and generally improve your balance.

Drawbacks Of Using Kicks In Your Fighting Style

Of course, that same strength can also come across as a weakness, especially if you are new to practicing kicks.

Gaining the accuracy for targeting your opponent correctly can feel like a long and daunting process, especially as you are just wobbling to start.

After all, most people are used to balancing with two legs, so to have one suddenly missing for holding the rest of your very tall center of gravity behind isn’t an easy thing that you are going to overcome in a single day of practice.

Of course, until then, there is no shame in sticking with your arm, knowing, and fist strikes until you get that experience.

Improving Your Kicks

Improving Your Kicks

So, what are the best ways that you can improve a kick, or perform a kick correctly for the first time?

Well, with the right pointers and a little practice every day, kicks can be overcome with just a few simple steps.

4 Steps To Kicking

Generally speaking, 4 components go into a successful kick in martial arts:

  • The Chambering
  • Extending/Extension of the leg
  • Re-chambering the kick
  • Setting it down.


This is the step where you lift your leg into position.

Generally speaking, your kicking leg will be tucked in as it raises, whilst your other leg will drop to make your center of gravity lower and more stable.


This is the actual kick, as your leg will extend into the specific kick that you are executing. The three main kicks in Karate, as an example, are:

  • Front Kick
  • Sidekick
  • Round Kick


Once your leg has been extended, then you can pull it back into the chambered position, tucked close to your body.

Simply dropping your leg from extension to the ground can throw off your balance, so this is an important step, as well as preparing for another kick.

Setting It Down

If you are finished with your kick, you can now lower your leg back down to the ground, finishing the move.

Extra Tips

Be Consistent

Practice will make perfect with your kicks.

Over time, your body will start to remember what position it should be in for the kick, meaning you can execute the whole maneuver faster, which means you can incorporate it into sparring.

Get Your Chambering Right

Having your leg in the correct chambering position can seriously affect the power of the kick.

You will know you are in roughly the right position when you feel that you can release your kick in an explosively quick fashion.

Final Thoughts

The kick is a deceptively simple move, but one that is incredibly rewarding to learn.

Christopher Anderson
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