When looking at the area of karate for beginners, front kick (mae geri), is the first karate kick a person entering the world of karate will study and there are many variations of the karate front kick.
In this article we are going to cover the version that is practiced in shotokan karate.
When learning new karate moves, it is recommended that they are practiced in easily managed sections, so I have sectioned the tutorial below, so as any one of the sections can be practiced independently of the others.
1. Starting from the feet together stance (Heisoku-dachi), lift the knee high, keeping the ankle bent (90 degrees) and the toes curled back, so the ball of the foot is pointing directly forward.
2. Extend the kick to the target, keeping the supporting foot flat and toes facing forward. As the kicking leg travels forward, push into the floor with the supporting leg, then using that push, drive the hips forward (keeping them square), try not to over extend with the hips.
3. Ensure the kick drives into the target and not up in front of the target. This basic front kick wants to travel straight, like a bullet and not in an upward arching movement.
4. As the foot reaches the target, the ankle goes from a 90 degree bend to straight. The foot points forward with the toes curled back, making sure the ball of the foot hits the target.
5. At full extension the kicking leg should snap back vigorously while keeping the knee high; this technique, if done correctly, should release a shock effect into the target.
When you first learn karate it is important to spend time on the basic techniques, you should also take karate classes at a good dojo (training hall), with a fully qualified karate sensei (teacher).
Here’s a really good front kick exercise video