Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Double Kicking for More Powerful Kicks

Everyone wants to develop more powerful kicks. Heavy bags, weight training and certain exercises are used to develop this much needed attribute that every fighter needs. However, one exercise which seems to have fallen out of fashion over the last few years is double kicking.

Double kicking is a great exercise in order to develop more powerful and explosive kicks. Although not necessarily a great way of throwing kicks in actual combat, it is a great training exercise for all martial artists to use, especially strikers.

In order to carry out the exercise, one starts of in their natural fighting stance. They then bring up their front or back leg into a chambered position (which depends on which kick is being practised). The first kick is then thrown and the leg then returns to the same chambered position. A slight pause is followed for about 1-2 seconds and then the second kick is thrown, before bringing the kicking foot back down to the floor.

When practising double kicks it is important to try and throw the second kick as powerful as possible. The truth is that it is very hard to throw the second kick as hard as the first, especially if you are new to this type of training but you must give it your all in order to benefit from the exercise.

A few benefits which comes from practising double kicking include,

Balance – By throwing double kicks one will quickly learn how to balance better on their supporting leg. This will add to a more powerful and explosive kick.

Strength – Apart from developing a stronger kick one will also strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments used in kicking.

Agility – By double kicking with some more advanced techniques like reverse roundhouse kicks, inverted front kicks etc, one can quickly develop their agility. This will help in many aspects of martial arts from kicking to some throws/takedowns and to scrambling around when ground fighting.

Cardio – Double kicking conveniently is a great cardio training exercise. After a few minutes of it, you should be sweating. After half an hour of it, your legs and lungs will feel like they are falling apart.

When double kicking, start of performing the same kick twice. For instance, front kick then another front kick. After a while, mix up different kicks. Front kick with a roundhouse kick, roundhouse kick with a side kick, axe kick with a reverse roundhouse kick. There are virtually limitless combinations, some which are easier to perform than others but all will benefit you.

After performing the double kicking exercise in air for a couple of weeks, start practising your double kicks against a heavy bag and watch how quickly your kicks become more powerful!

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Colin Wee said...

I'm not sure I'd position double kicking as a way to gain power. It could be clever tactically or used in combination with feints to land the strike, but as a way to develop power? There're other ways to do that without too much more work. Cheers, Colin

MARKS said...

COLIN - For me puersonally, through performing this exercise for some time (approx 3-6 months twice a week) I noticed that my single kicks (which are used more commanly in sparring and fighting) where much more crisper, sharper, faster and powerful. Also my balance AFTER a kick is thrown improved.

I suppose peoples experiences are always different. Thanks for the comment

Jamie Hayward said...

Great article - I was teaching double kicks last night and could have done with reading this to give the students more depth on the benefits beyond the obvious action.

I use double kicks a lot in sparring. I like to make the first kick slow and deliberate to ensure that they commit to a block, the second kick then quickly snaps and changes direction and height to catch them unaware. For example an inner crescent kick makes the opponent block high but as the leg lowers the kick becomes a side kick to the stomach.

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