Building a Better Side Kick
For all of you who are training at home or at a distance using the online training facility we want to encourage you to be steadfast in your self-discipline. There may be few people around you who help you with encouragement or to push you to greater achievements. That means that you have to push yourself, discipline yourself. This goes to our four pillars in our training of the civil side of martial arts; these are courage, compassion, self-discipline, and non-violence. It may be a temptation to test yourself outside the boundaries of the direct supervision of a master but you must avoid this temptation and lead a life of peace. The techniques you learn here if trained properly will be far more powerful than the conventional methods and therefore have the potential of harming others. This we must not do. Kungfu, especially Wujido is for self-defense only.
The 5 Section method applied to the Side kick
A review of the previous sections addressing the 5 section method for the front kick and roundhouse kick, if you have not worked through those lessons, would be a good place to start. We will not go into detail the method as done in those articles because the principles are precisely similar except that the side kick is executed differently. So we will go directly to the picture representations and make comment on those.
- The initial step is to toe out 45 degrees with the forward leg, the weight transfer should be examined as any toe out should not be done on a heavily weighted leg so bring your weight initially to the rear before advancing with your vertical center to the position of just inside the heel/ankle area for posting your weight moving forward
- Balance on the platform leg (in the picture is the left). You should be able to balance at this point at least for a 10 count to demonstrate balance and control. The kicking leg is elevated as high a comfortable and the foot is already chambered in the position of a bladed foot. Angular position of the foot extends the outside of the ankle and retracts the inside. One way of achieving this is to flex the big toe toward your body and extend the little toe away from the body. This exposes the side of the foot.
- Extend the kick to the front with a powerful rotation of the hip-joint and extension of the leg as far as can accomplish. (this extension will increase with practice over time) the anatomical weapon (foot) is the heel and side of the foot occupying the rear two-inch area of the side of the foot with the heel. the side kick should not be delivered using the middle of the side of the foot as this is substantially weaker due to an overlapping partial socket joint (metatarsal) that is very easily broken and will give when struck. Use of the rear two inches of the foot will produce dramatic increases in damage to an attacker and result in minimal stress on the kicker (*foot will not break)
- Draw the kick back into the balance position
- Return to the formal ready stance (Zhenbei Shi)
Tips for practicing*
The slower one practices the 5 section method with emphasis on balance and control of the movement throughout even to the point of holding each position for a 10 count or even more, the more powerful, explosive, precise, and fast the side kick will ultimately become. Have faith in this method and you will discover the truth about it.
When in actual use it is important to FORGET TECHNIQUE. One should perform the kick in one explosive action like the hitting of a drum or slamming a door. The mind should be clear, quick and agile without anger but with intent and focus. Practice slow, then when performing the kick itself, do so at varying speeds but always in a single action.
The photos indicate the critical points of the 5 section method. The formal ready stance (Zhenbei Shi) is not shown.
The Front leg variation
The front leg variation is performed by sliding the rear foot forward to the heel of the front leg. This is how it is practiced but in movement and application it will be seen to apply generously to the steps and changes that accompany free-sparring or self-defense (fighting). Multiple variations to the footwork will naturally reveal themselves as you practice these methods first in a static position and then combining the exercise with moving steps advancing, withdrawing and then incorporating the 8 directions with turns, sidesteps, gliding steps and so forth. Footwork is a subject of lessons further advanced and which there will be much to be revealed therein.