Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Technique of the Week (January 24th, 2005)

From Sensei Steve Lott- Go-Dan, Ueshiro Midtown (Hombu) Karate Dojo, NYC


The front snap kick ( mae-geri )

while appearing very simple is a very difficult technique to execute properly.

The kicking foot must rise from the deck parallel to the deck. That means the toes pointing at the opponent and not at the floor.

To help develop this it may help to think of delivering the kick with the heel instead of the toes. The moment you start to bring the foot off the deck, think of delivering the heel at the target and not the toes. The effect of this vision will be to extend the toes upward to the ceiling as the foot rises in an attempt to chamber the heel for the kick.

Once the knee is at its highest point and the foot starts is trajectory to the target drive the toes downward.

The split second the kick is retracted the toes must be pulled up once again so the foot returns to the chamber flat.

The best way to practice this is in slow motion with the mirror on the side of the kicking leg. In this way you can watch the action and get the feel for the movement as you begin to lift the foot with the toes facing the opponent.

Mentally envision:
1. toes up - this is the first part of the kick as the leg rises from the deck
2. toes down - as the kick heads from the chamber to the target
3. toes up - as the leg is retracted the toes must be chambered in the upward position once again.

The best way to practice these movements is slow motion with the mirror at the side.

As this technique becomes more and more a reflex habit remember to add the dynamics of the foot whipping back as fast as possible. Hanshi describes it as the foot touching hot oil and recoiling quickly. This mental picture will make the kick look great.


Steve Lott