The front kick is the easiest kick to perform and it is usually the first kick taught new students, so it will be discussed in detail. Many of the things discussed here also apply to other types of kicks.
Foot position: foot angled backwards, toes curled backward
Striking Surface: ball of foot
Leg Position: high knee , leg fully extends, high knee return
For example: use to setup a hand attack, solar plexus kick
To kick, raise the knee quickly, keeping the leg inward toward centre line to protect the groin. Keep the guard up and avoid hunching the shoulders or allowing elbows to move away from the body. Return leg immediately to maintain balance. Keep your body over the support foot. Power comes from the thrusting action. The thrusting action possesses a great deal of momentum and tends to pull the body after it, causing a forced forward step, so retract the kicking foot quickly into a stable state of balance. The kicking motion may begin by lifting the kicking foot with the sole parallel to the floor, kick forward from the knee, so knee must be raised to a height so that the thigh points at the intended target. The support foot should remain stationary. To increase range and power, allow your supporting foot to be dragged forward by the force of the kicking action. When kicking a heavier opponent, this forward movement resists the recoil from the impact more effectively than would kicking from a rigid stance.
The ball of foot is applied to the target. The knee must be raised high enough that the foot does not just slide up the surface of the target, the foot itself moves in a straight line from the floor to the target.
A front kick is executed toward the front.
The traditional front kick uses the ball of the foot to strike the opponent. This is an effective way to kick, since the striking area is small. It focuses the power, and the padding on the sole of the foot protects the bones of the foot from injury. To kick this way, the foot is angled forward and the toes are angled backward to protect them. When the toes are angled backward, they will naturally flex backward even more as impact is made. Pointing the foot and pulling the toes back by muscular action slows the kick because it stiffens the movement of the knee joint. A compromise is to pull the toes back only enough to prevent them from striking first and then letting them flex as needed. The instep of the kicking foot should line up with the shin. Dropping the heel too low causes ankle to flex and it may collapse, causing injury during a hard impact.
Front kick may be performed with the leading or rear leg. Since there is little hip twist and less acceleration distance, the leading leg kick is faster but less powerful than the trailing leg version. However, it is useful for checking an oncoming opponent since the opponent supplies much of the impact force.
The turning kick is a dynamic kick that is a highly effective scoring technique in competition. The large semicircular motion of this kick offers more contact points of the foot and leg to use against different targets.
Foot position: foot angled forward, toes curled down
Striking Surface: instep
Leg Position: high knee , leg fully extends, high knee return
For example: powerful body kick, competition head kick
The knee of the kicking leg is raised straight up to the side, the leg is positioned with the knee in front, similar to a front kick position. The foot moves towards the target in a wide semicircular motion, with the foot in the shape you want to strike with, the knee will move up or down depending on the height you want to kick. As the foot moves towards the target in the semicircular motion, the hip of the kicking foot goes forward with the kick and the supporting leg pivots with the heel pointing side on, or toward the target. Movement of the hip and rotation of the support foot adds power to the kick. The supporting foot should be in contact with the ground at all times, do not raise to the ball of the foot for more height in the kick. After the foot makes contact with the target, the leg should be placed back on the floor. The snapping motion along with the forward motion of the hip creates a very powerful kick.
The instep (top part) of the foot is applied to the target. The knee must be raised high enough that the kick can be delivered around the guard in a semi-circular movement towards the target.
A Turning kick is executed from the front/side.
The turning kick uses the top of the foot to strike the opponent. This is an effective competition scoring kick. It focuses the power and once established, can hit the target with ease. To kick this way, the foot and toes are angled forward. Pointing the foot and curling the toes forward gives the correct foot position for this technique to be used in either shoes or competition boots without causing injury. A compromise is to pull the toes down only enough to prevent them from striking first and then letting them flex as needed. If the toes strike a hard surface, such as an elbow first, they could be damaged by the impact & the toe nails could cause injury to your opponent. The instep of the kicking foot should line up with the shin. The front leg kick is weaker than the rear leg kick because the hip does not rotate as much; however, it is faster because the leg travels a shorter distance before striking the opponent.
Turning kicks may be performed with the leading or rear leg. There is significant hip twist and accelerating distance to apply a lot of power with this kick, the leading leg kick is faster but less powerful than the rear leg. Multiple turning kicks may be applied to increase balance & leg strength.
Side kicks are performed outward from the side of the body. Kicker's body is usually side on to the target, striking with the heel for this powerful technique.
Foot position: foot held with the toes pulled backward, parallel to the floor, and the heel toward the target
Striking surface: The striking surface is the blade of the sole & the heel
Leg position: high knee , leg fully extends, high knee return
For example: powerful self defence kick, hard to block competition body kick
The kicking knee is lifted upward with the kicking foot directly under the knee, the support foot is flat on the floor locked out straight, the kicking foot is held with the toes pulled backward, with the outer edge of the heel pushed toward the target. Support foot is parallel with the target with heel pointing toward the target. Maintain a straight line through the body, this will put the body into the kick instead of just relying on the muscle power in the leg, if the entire body, hip, and leg are held on the same line, all the forces will travel back and forth between the ground and the impacting foot, giving maximum power to the kick.
The knee moves upward and backward first, and then is thrust toward the target, making sure the foot is horizontal to the floor, quickly retracting again and placing back down on the floor.
A side kick is executed from the side of the body.
The side kick uses the heel and blade of the foot to strike the opponent. This is an effective self defence and competition kick. It focuses the power and once established can be a very useful weapon. To kick this way, the foot and toes are angled backward. Pulling the foot and the toes back gives the correct foot position for this technique to be used without causing injury. A compromise is to pull the toes back only enough to prevent them from getting damaged and then letting them flex as needed. Relaxing the calf and thigh muscles slightly will increase the speed this kick can be delivered in competition. The heel of the kicking foot should line up with the shin, knee and hip. The front leg kick is weaker than the rear leg kick because the hip does not rotate as much; however, it is faster because the leg travels a shorter distance before striking the opponent.
Side kicks may be performed with the leading or rear leg. There is significant muscle mass and accelerating distance to apply maximum power with this kick, the leading leg kick is faster but less powerful than the rear leg, used more for an on-coming opponent. Multiple kicks may be applied to increase balance & leg strength.