Eliminating "roundhouse" motion from side kicks

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Eliminating "roundhouse" motion from side kicks

Postby mmeloon » Aug 19, 2004 17:49

My instructor pointed out yesterday that my side kicks have a bit of a roundhouse motion to them. This has been an off-again/on-again problem for me throughout the years and greatly diminishes the effectiveness of my side kicks. Does anyone have a suggestion for drills that I can do to eliminate this problem once and for all?

I am referring to the 'thrust' side kick where you stomp with your heel and not a 'snap' side kick where you strike with the outside edge. My foot has a tendency to move around horizontally during the kick and that must be eliminated (it should be straight out and straight back). My plan is to simply practice side kicks in slow-motion and concentrate on eliminating the horizontal motion. Then gradually speed it up and try to maintain the same foot movement. But I'd definitely be interested in hearing other ideas of how to cure this problem.

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Side Kick Help

Postby MikeMartial » Aug 19, 2004 21:26

I'll see if I can help you out with a few tips.

It's a bit hard to pinpoint mechanical problems without seeing firsthand how you kick. The main question that comes to mind is "How do you chamber your kicking leg?". I think this may be the main area where your side kick might develop a more roundhouse/turning kick appearance.

To break down how I was taught to side kick: (assume a right side kick)

From a guarding stance, hips at 45 degree angle (to target
-Hips turn to face target, right leg pivots with hips so that foot is facing forward.
-Right knee comes straight up, along with right side of hip turning over to the left. Left foot pivots to be facing away from target. At this point, if the kick was frozen, the leg would be "chambered"
-Right leg is now thrust straight out, heel striking target.

The "power" in the side kick comes from the hips, and the momentum of the leg travelling in a straight line.

Try and find out how your leg swings out to the side; sometimes, being aware of why you are doing something wrong is the fix in itself. I find mirrors are very helpful for this.

Also, break your kick down into slow motion steps. This makes you think about the very technical aspects, one at a time. Then, pick up the speed, until you are doing a full-speed side thrust kick.

Hope this helps!
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Postby mmeloon » Aug 20, 2004 12:46

Mike, thanks for the response. Perhaps I should have been a bit more clear. I'm a 1st Dan in tae kwon do so I am familiar with the steps you listed above. Somehow I have gotten into the nasty habit of having my foot move around horizontally during a side kick and I'm interested in any ways I can correct this problem.

I suspect that your suggestion of doing it in slow motion and watching myself in a mirror is what I will have to do. The problem is that my class works out in a gym so mirror availability is a bit of a problem.

What I was really hoping for is some novel drill that would help me fix the problem. Let me give an example: I used to have a problem with my back kick where my leg would come out to the side a bit instead of straight underneath me. I cured this problem by practicing my back kicks right next to a wall. Unless my leg kicked out from directly underneath my body and parallel to the wall, my leg would bump into the wall. I did this drill numerous times and today my back kick is by far my most powerful kick because my motion is straight out. I believe that if I can eliminate the roundhouse motion in my side kick, I may achieve a similar level of power in my side kick. Until I do, I suspect that I won't be kicking anywhere near my potential.

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Postby koryodan » Aug 21, 2004 09:59

Hi Mark,

In regards to your question I had the same problem with side kick when I was going for my 2nd Dan in Taekwondo. The body always naturally tends to go for the easiest and least painful form of movemnet and before you realise it you are doing the technique wrong!

I to always used to use more of a 'roundhouse motion' when I performed sidekick. When I go for gradings I have a very traditional Taekwondo teacher and sorry to dissapoint you but the best and only method to correct your side kick is the one you have already recommended! This is to build up the strength in the muscles required for the kick by performing it at varying heights 'very, very slowly!' The more you do it the more your body will robotically become used to the kick.

I did this for a few weeks and without a doubt I now have a very impressive side kick thrusting motion for when I practice poomse or traditional movements.

So good luck and I hope you improve as you want too because some times the old ways of teaching are still the best!

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