The Side Kick or Yoko Geri
In this article, we will study the application of the side kick, its use, various options of this kick, a step by step guide, and recommendations.
The side kick is a technique widely used in sparring, excellent for personal defense, and present in every martial art. In this article we will study this kick, we will see different variants, we will learn step by step how to execute it, we will delve into how to improve it and give it more power.
The snapping side-kick, the Yoko Geri Keage, and the thrusting sidekick, the Yoko Geri Kekomi. The important difference is the knee positioning, and a little bit, the emphasis of the hip, as well. The thrust-kick is more powerful and more penetrative, but of course a little slower. The snap-kick is lighter and quicker, but it rises up a little more, which a little bit trickier to apply.
The Blocking Yoko Geri
The lateral kick or Yoko Geri can be used to stop an attacker, if he approaches to attack you a kick can be used to the knee, hip, stomach, and chest. If the kick is higher it is possible for the attacker to grab your leg and throw you down.
If you are being attacked on the street and you are cornered you can use this kick to push the attacker. This can give you time to perform another technique to defend yourself.
Different Side Kicks
I have listed a few options that I have seen throughout all my years in training, here they are:
- The Snapping Side Kick
This is a quick kick widely used in Kumite to score points, you can also see it in Kata and finally, you can use it in self-defense techniques.
This kick is recommended for self-defense techniques, to push the attacker.
- The Jumping Side Kick
The Jumping Side Kick is a very powerful kick, it is not allowed in tournaments due to lack of control.
- The Crossing Side Kick
This kick is used in Kumite, when crossing helps increase the intensity of the kick and also helps to cut the distance.
- The Drop Side Kick
From a standing position, you drop down on your hands and knees to deliver the side kick to your opponent.
- The Side Kick from the ground
This kick is for cases of extreme self-defense when the attacker has thrown or pushed the defender, it is here when the person defends himself from the ground with this side kick.
Side Kick to the Stomach
The Yoko Geri to the middle zone requires alignment of the hip, knee and ankle to push in a line.
Side Kick to Face / Head
The Yoko Geri to the face or head is more used in Kumite but it is also effective if it is applied in self-defense. This kick will require the alignment of the hip, knee, and ankle to be executed.
Adding Power to your Side Kick
A Yoko Geri can generate a lot of force and do a lot of damage. To increase the power in this kick it is necessary to use the strength of the hip and the alignment of the body. When we alienate the body it is possible to transfer more force in the execution of the kick.
Improving the Side Kick
There are many ways to improve your Yoko Geri. There are specific exercises to train and improve this kick. It is advisable to practice it with a heavy bag so that the generated force is transferred to prevent a knee injury. It is important to perform the correct execution to generate a good technique.
It is important to develop good elasticity and flexibility to be able to execute any kick properly. Personally, I recommend the following exercises that have helped me develop flexibility and improve my kicking techniques. I recommend this article: How to Do the Splits in Two Weeks or Less
Steps to master the Yoko Geri in karate
To execute this kick successfully consider the following recommendations:
- Begin with a horse stance, fell parallel and knees bent a little.
- Your arms you be chambered, elbows bent and hand up at all times.
- Bring your knee up as high as possible then flex your right foot so the heel points to the ground.
- Pivot your toes away and point your heel towards your opponent.
- Raise your hip.
- Now throw your kick extending your leg to the target.
- Keep your eyes on the target.
- Bring your knee and leg back.
- Get back to your starting stance.
As you master this kick you will be able to add a few extra moves such as crossing, jumping… As you get more flexible you can also aim higher, you will not only need to stretch your legs but also your hips.
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