In the first part (coordination and strength training) of this series, the importance of kicks and the corresponding movement sequences, and how to train the relevant coordinative skills and required muscle groups was already roughly discussed.
In this second part about karate and kicks I would like to introduce some simple exercises how to train precise kicking on the sandbag / punching bag .
This variant has several advantages over training on a partner. On the one hand, the risk of injury for oneself and of course especially for the partner is reduced or eliminated. On the other hand, one is free of inhibitions, especially when kicking with jodan (upper level e.g. to the head), and the technique is not yet so well established that the necessary control is guaranteed. As already mentioned, here are some simple exercises to train coordination, aiming and precision when kicking.
In addition, the corresponding muscles are trained and, depending on the execution, a certain stretching effect is achieved, which improves the range of movement of the individual techniques. Each exercise can be performed slowly (slow to slow motion ;)), later also fast and dynamic. In the beginning you should start very slowly and then increase according to your own abilities. Also in the beginning you should do everything without using your strength, so always stay relaxed! 🙂
Important: Always warm up well before starting training, e.g. jogging, rope skipping and light dynamic stretching. Between the exercises, depending on how you feel, take a short break, loosen your legs and, for example, rotate your hips.
Table of contents:
- Exercises - Coordination and precision of kicks on the sandbag
- Karate-Kicks: Exercise 1
- Karate-Kicks: Exercise 2
- Karate-Kicks: Exercise 3
- Karate-Kicks: Exercise 4
Exercises - Coordination and precision of kicks on the sandbag
Karate-Kicks: Exercise 1
For the first exercise we use an adhesive tape (can be used with any of the exercises) as an additional aid. Mark the respective target regions (jodan/upper, chudan/center, gedan/lower). Of course you can also do without, but this way you have a nice visual aid and correction possibility. Afterwards you try to reach the respective target or hit region by kicking your foot and rotate in the heights (e.g. down/middle/down/middle or also down/middle/up etc.). In the example (see photo) the exercise with Mawashi-Geri (side kick) is shown. Other kicks (Mae-Geri, Yoko-Geri, Ura-Mawashi, Ushiro-Ura-Mawashi) are possible with the same principle.
Here you can also vary wonderfully in execution, speed as well as final tension and force. A passage with the front leg, then maybe a passage with the back leg. One pass with putting the leg down between each kick, then one pass without putting down the leg which kicks.
Karate-Kicks: Exercise 2
The next exercise will be about further refining flexibility and coordination. It is important to work as precisely as possible and to bring the respective kicks exactly to the goal. In the example, Mawashi-Geri is first kicked with the right leg, then pulled back to the supporting leg, and kicked directly out of the movement Ura-Mawashi-Geri.
Here again you can vary beautifully. For example, in the first round you kick chudan/middle and try to place the second kick exactly there, only on the opposite side. Then maybe the first kick down and the second jodan up. By changing the target areas dynamically, you become more confident in your kicking and precision increases.
Karate-Kicks: Exercise 3
The next exercise is a little less static. Here you move loosely on the spot or slightly back and forth, and try to use the movement to guide the kick exactly to the desired hit area. The example shows the procedure with Ushiro-Ura-Mawashi-Geri. Again it makes sense to use tape or similar as a marker, whereby the target area in the example is a boxing glove.
The execution should remain close to the optimum, similar to Kihon (Karate elementary school technique), however, this is already difficult from the loose movement, and may not be easier later, for example, in the fight / kumite, especially since you then have to deal with moving targets. This exercise can/should be done with any of the kicks (geris) you want to train and improve, but it is rather something for advanced students. If the kick is not yet in place, simply take the movement out again, and statically only aim and hit or switch between the possibilities.
Karate-Kicks: Exercise 4
This training option brings the hip into play even more, and tries to improve coordination and balance. Precision should never be lost sight of, always hit the target area exactly.
The procedure is relatively simple. Right leg steps Mawashi-Geri, left leg steps Mawashi-Geri, right leg steps out of the rotation Ushiro-Ura-Mawashi-Geri. Again, by changing the speed and power, and changing the hitting regions of the respective kicks, a training effect can be achieved.
Now these were just some exercises how to train and increase the precision of kicks in karate and other martial arts. These are only meant to serve as an incentive and inspiration to get to deeper into the subject (such as jump training - more strength, power and speed). Have fun with the training! 🙂
This might also be interesting for youEat right: Before and after training
The topic of eating before training is a well-known one. If you eat too much or too much fat (fast food, kebab, knuckle of pork with dumplings and thick sauce, etc.) movement is difficult, and leads like everybody knows to stomach pains and e.g. feeling unwell. It is therefore very important for an effective training … Continue reading "Eat right: Before and after training"
Martial Arts: Stretching
Stretching exercises have become an integral part of almost every sport. Whether in football, yoga, ballet, karate or other martial arts, just about everyone stretches. Stretching not only improves mobility and flexibility, but is also believed to reduce the risk of injury, have a positive influence on muscle regeneration and reduce muscular imbalances. Table of … Continue reading "Martial Arts: Stretching"
Martial arts: Zanshin - All a question of mindset
Just about everyone who is involved with karate or other budo/ martial arts knows this term: Zanshin! In the dojo sensei or trainers preach it up and down. Zanshin is something you have to have, especially in Kumite (free fight), but also in Kihon, Kata (form and especially in the belt examinations. But what does … Continue reading "Martial arts: Zanshin - All a question of mindset"
Fitness: Pushups variants
Everyone knows push-ups! Pushups are also used as a disciplinary punishment in karate training or other martial arts and sports. In any case push-ups are a good training exercise to train various muscle groups. In addition to strength, they also improve endurance. In addition to the Plank (forearm support), the push-up is a very popular … Continue reading "Fitness: Pushups variants"
Iain Abernethy - Karate Bunkai Course
Last weekend (February 14th - 15th) the Bunkai course with Iain Abernethy (6th Dan) took place in Achim (near Bremen / Germany). The course was organized and hosted by the Shotokan department of TSV Achim. An estimated 100 to 120 Karateka found their way to Achim to get new ideas and techniques from Iain in … Continue reading "Iain Abernethy - Karate Bunkai Course"