Karate attacking foot techniques
Foot Techniques (Attack)
Without training, it is really more difficult than one might suppose to damage an opponent
by kicking him – unless, of course, he’s already lying on the ground. However, in karate the feet
are so thoroughly trained that their use about doubles the scope and effectiveness of one’s
With all kicks, take great care that the supporting leg is firmly planted. It must be capable
of bearing the weight of the body, plus the momentum and shock of the attack, without loss of
balance. The knee should be bent. The foot should be flat on the ground.
It is also of primary importance that the kicking leg should be withdrawn sharply (but
smoothly) immediately after impact. The opponent will then have no chance to catch hold of it,
and a strong stance can be resumed in preparation for the next manoeuvre.
Mae-geri (front kick).
back makes the ball of the foot more prominent and also prevents the toes from being damaged.
Start the kick by pulling up the knee and then snap the lower leg and foot toward the target. Pull
back the foot with the knee still held high and finally lower to resume the original stance or to
move into the next stance. While performing this kick avoid the common mistake of raising the
shoulders, pushing the head forward and buttocks backward. The hips should be pushed forward
behind the attack.
The usual striking surface is the ball of the foot. Pulling the toes
Yoko-geri (side kick).
striking surface. Actually, there are two side kicks. For the
it diagonally sideways toward the target. Then snap the foot upward toward the target from a
position close to the other knee. At impact, the hip is twisted sharply inward and the knee of the
‘kicking leg’ should point directly forward. For the
for the start of the front kick, and then
snap kick the foot travels in an arc, here it travels in a straight line. With both kicks, avoid
bending the body too far in the opposite direction as this weakens the balance and also the
strength of the attack.
Both forms of side kick can be performed from any stance, but when attacking to the side
the straddle is most commonly used. To give an example, if one is in the straddle stance and the
opponent is to one’s right, cross the left foot in front of the right, quickly raise the right knee,
the right foot passing
pulling back the foot before moving it to the right again to take up the straddle stance a doublestep
further in the direction of the opponent.
This technique uses the edge of the foot toward the heel as thesnap kick, raise the knee and pointthrust kick, raise the knee straight in front aspush the foot sideways toward the target. Whereas in thebehind the left knee, then kick (with either the snap or the thrust kick),
Ushiro-geri (back kick).
independent forms – the snap and thrust kicks.
Here the striking surface is the heel. Tehre are again two
The preparatory position for both kicks is more or less as for the front kick, with the knee
raised toward the chest and the foot bent upward. The supporting leg must be slightly more bent.
Then, for the
target with the heel. The target is usually the groin or the stomach. For the
the heel to the target in a straight line, the target in this case being the stomach, solar plexus or
face. In both cases, keep your eyes on the target and avoid leaning too far forward. Also, in order
to kick with maximum power, be sure to kick straight to the rear and not diagonally.
back snap kick sharply swing the thigh to the rear and snapping the knee strike theback thrust kick, push
Mawashi-geri (roundhouse kick).
degrees in co-ordination with the snap of the knee make this a powerful technique.
Bend the knee of the kicking leg and raise it to the side. The knee points diagonally
sideward and the foot is near the buttock with the toes and ankle bent well back. Then swing the
hips and snap the knee forward, striking the target with the ball of the foot directly in front of
the body. Snap the leg back to the preparatory position before resuming the original stance or
moving into a new stance.
Once again, it is most important not to bend the body too far away from the kick. It is
also important with the roundhouse kick not to let the hips swing around too far, as this
jeopardizes the balance and makes focusing the kick difficult.
The swing of the hips through something like ninety
Fumicomi (stamping kick).
attacking an opponent’s knee, shin or instep. In all cases the knee is first pulled toward the chest
and the foot then thrust downward in a straight line to the target. In stamping to the front, or the
rear, the heel is the usual striking surface. To the sides, use the side edge of the foot.
Can be used to the front, rear, or sides, and is useful for