This is one of the most powerful karate moves, if you can land it! This kick was made famous by Bruce Lee, he used to call side thrust kick, ‘the stop kick’.
In the film, Enter The Dragon, there is an excellent example of Bruce Lee combining the thrust kick with his ‘Bruce Lee Burst’, he could cover a distance of 8 feet in three quarters of a second! The famous kick is delivered during the fight with O’hara (Bob Wall), if you get a chance, check it out.
Executing Yoko Geri Kekomi (Side Thrust Kick)
Here’s just one, of the several variations out there. This version does telegraph to a certain degree, but this is the best version to start generating power with this karate technique.
From Hanmi no kamae (Half forward facing combative posture), left leg in front.
1. Rotate 90 degrees, counter clockwise, on the left supporting leg and lift the right knee, high and to the left side of your body.
2. Thrust the leg forwards towards the target.
3. Driving the hips and body weight into the target.
4. Yoko geri kekomi is a Kekomi (thrust) kick as opposed to a keage (snap) kick, so there is a slight delay at the completion of the kick, as you finish the thrusting action.
5. Recover the kicking leg strongly, then step forward or backwards, into Hanmi no kamae (Half forward facing combative posture).
6. Use the supporting leg strongly, when executing the kick and after impact, so you can recover your posture quickly.
In our karate dojo, I have found the best way for karateka to develop their kicking power, is to hit something, so we regularly use focus pads and kick shields. Yoko geri kekomi is an important part of any shotokan karate dojo’s training and plays a part in most shotokan grading or testing requirements, so practice all the different variations out there, but in the end, but the best way to execute the kick, is your way!
Until you find your way of kicking side thrust kick,