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White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 08 Dec 2020
Posts: 8

Styles: BJJ and Kanzen-Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:25 am    Post subject: I want to improve my kick - Touch the sky Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

A few weeks ago I started my amazing Karate journey (yellow belt 8th kyu rn) - I have surfed the net a bit and seen a lot of different videos, but still I want make this thread in here.

My biggest wish is to be able to kick high and create flexibility so my kicks become more controlled.

My question therefore is!

What have you done and how have you done it? How have you mastered to kick high? Do you have any videos that you have used yourself, or have you had the exercises described differently?

I really appreciate all the help and guidance I can get.

Thank you!
So far: BJJ: White Belt - Kanzen-Ryu: 8th Kyu
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29027
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's great to set a goal like this!

First off, get the technique down. Get really comfortable with all four major aspects of the kicks (usually consisting of chamber, extension, rechamber, and return to the floor). If you don't get the kick done correctly, then doing it high isn't worth squat. Technique first.

Now, as you are learning technique, take the time to stretch frequently. Especially when you are really warmed up, like after a class. Take time to stretch your legs, back, and shoulder girdle/arms. As your flexibility increases, so will the height of your kicks.

Finally, you need leg strength, too. I recommend barbell squats for strength. I recommend 3 sets of 5 through full range of motion (that means parallel squats), three times a week if you can fit that in. You can also do what I like to call concentration kicks, using a wall for balance. Stand next to a wall or holding a chair back for balance, and execute your kick in a slow fashion. You'll chamber and hold briefly, then you'll spend about 5 seconds extending the kick, and then hold the kick at full extension for about 5 seconds, then repeat as you rechamber, then set down for a rest and rub the knot out of your leg before repeating. You can do this with most kicks, but I find it works wonders with the front, side, and round kicks. Only do it a few times to start out, or you'll get really sore. Work up in reps the following week.

Once you feel good with that exercise, you can add what I call "pulses" to it. Once you've extended the kick and held it for a few seconds, begin "pulsing" your foot up and down, just a few inches each way, and then side to side, very small, controlled movements so you can keep your balance. And no cursing my name as you do these .

Hope this gives you a place to start!
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Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 05 Nov 2020
Posts: 94
Location: USA
Styles: Shotokan Karate

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While preparing to (re)start dojo practice, I am using this excellent warmup (junbi undo) video by SKA Godan David Altman as the basis for my own daily stretching routine:

My workout routine also includes the following to strengthen my support leg and improve balance for kicking. I begin in the appropriate basic stance, then with the best form possible I do ten half-speed repetitions with each leg for each of the following kicks:

Front kick (mae-geri)
Side up kick (yokogeri-keage)
Side thrust kick (yokogeri-kekomi)
Round kick (mawashi-geri)
Crescent kick (mikazuki-geri)
Stamping kick (fumikomi)
Rear kick (ushiro-geri)

Being 61 years old, I do this three times a week to allow for recovery time. As I become stronger, I intend to gradually increase the number of repetitions per leg over time.
Japan Karate Association (JKA), 1974-1990, Sandan
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KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15485
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The style that I've trained in for 56 years, Shindokan, does not advocate high kicks whatsoever. Our methodology and ideology on this subject is we're 85% hands and 15% feet; no kicks above the stomach/waist.

Please follow the guidance of your CI in this regards. High kicks will come to you whenever the time is right. Key tip, stretch!!

Good luck!!

**Proof is on the floor!!!
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