The front kick is the simplest of kicks, accomplished simply by raising the knee and extended the leg forward. It can be delivered to the
body or face, using the ball of the foot or heel. The leg can be snapped back quickly, as in front snap kick, or more of a thrust or push can be
used, called a push kick. When the knee lift is very high and the leg is forcefully thrust outward using the heel or sole of the foot, this is
sometimes referred to as a front stomp kick, slower but very powerful.
This kick gets its name from its circular motion, traveling in an arc toward the opponent's face, body, or even legs. This kick can travel
in a large arc toward the opponent, hitting at a 90-degree angle, or it can be thrown diagonally, striking the opponent at a 45-degree angle.
The roundhouse kick can be snapped back quickly like a whip (as in front-snap kick). Or it can be swung right through the target like a
baseball bat or sword. Although traditionally the roundhouse was delivered with the instep of the foot, it is now common practice to use the
shin of the leg as the striking point, shortening the kick's distance a little, but adding an incredibly amount of power. This is known as a shin
kick or Thai kick and is a technique borrowed from the sport of Muay Thai (Thai boxing). The shin kick is often used to deliver multiple kicks
to an opponent's legs, making it difficult for the opponent to remain standing.
This is a very powerful kick that is thrown sideways in relation to one's body. This kick is delivered with the heel or outer edge of the
foot and the foot should be horizontal on impact (or toes slightly downward). Although one of the four basic kicks, it is not as popular as the
front kick or roundhouse because it is generally considered slower and the lateral turning of the body leaves one vulnerable.
An extremely powerful kick, if it lands it will usually drop an opponent. It is performed by spinning the body clockwise, and as one's
back is facing the opponent (during the spin), the rear leg is thrust backwards towards the opponent's body or face. The body's spinning
motion adds tremendous power to the kick. Unfortunately, it also places the kicker in a more vulnerable position (back to the opponent).
Because of this vulnerability, back-kicks are not as popular in sparring as the other basic kicks. Sometimes a back-kick can be delivered by
swinging the leg in a large arc towards the target instead of using the rear straight thrusting motion. This type of back-kick has many names
including spinning back-kick, spinning heel kick, spinning hook kick, or wheel kick. Although this version of the back-kick can sometimes be
seen in kickboxing matches, this kick is much more popular in traditional martial arts like karate and tae kwon do.
To perform a hook kick, the leg is swung in a large arc toward the target, similar to the roundhouse, but coming from the opposite
direction (i.e. spinning hook kick). It's not considered as powerful as the roundhouse and therefore not seen as often, but this kick can be
very tricky. One can use the sole of the foot for striking, but more often the Achilles heel is used to maximize power. This kick is almost
always delivered to the face or head.
Also know as hammer-kick or dropping heel kick, this kick uses a rising arc-like swinging motion of the leg to gain height, and then the
leg comes crashing down, like an axe chopping wood. The leg can be swung from the inside or outside. The striking surface for this kick is
the Achilles heel, targeting the opponent’s head, nose, or collarbone.
Although we still practice crescent kicks on occasion at CSL Fitness Kickboxing, due to its general lack of finishing power, this kick is
rarely seen in kickboxing. Similar to the axe kick, the leg is swung in a rising arc but rather than dropping downwards, the kick follows
through the target, which is almost always the head or face. Again, as with the axe-kick, the leg can be swung from the inside (edge of the
foot) or the outside (arch of the foot).