The Kickboxing Push Kick

Foot strikes, also known as kicks, are performed for a variety of reasons and in a number of ways. Kicks are some of the most powerful strikes available in any martial artists arsenal, and can easily break bones. For this reason, I recommend only practicing kicks under professional trained supervision, and even then only on well padded objects. Remember, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, so a kick that could break an opponent’s leg could also break yours if you aren’t careful.

As previously mentioned, there are a variety of reasons to throw a kick, and each kick is very specific in its purpose. There are kicks for distancing yourself from an opponent, kicks for breaking their guard, and kicks meant to inflict damage. Each type of kick uses different parts of the foot, heel, and shin. We’ll cover each one as necessary, but one of the most important things to remember when kicking is to NEVER USE YOUR TOES! That is, your toe shouldn’t make contact with target, as you WILL break a toe. I speak from personal inexperience in this area! At best, you’ll heavily sprain yourself, meaning you’ll be out of action in a dojo, and in trouble on the street.

Basic kicks are relatively slow, and unless you’ve trained your shoulder and hip movements carefully, almost always seen coming by an opponent. For this reason, most of your kicks shouldn’t be aimed above an opponent’s hip. Trying to strike the head or even chest of an enemy is usually beyond the abilities of a beginner, particularly if you are not flexible and well balanced, as many kicks leave you standing on one foot at some point in the technique. With that said, lets cover one of the most basic beginner kicks, the front kick.



The front kick is also known as a push kick, and for good reason. It is a distancing kick, used to help you gain some ground by literally pushing an opponent back with your foot. As with all of our techniques, you’ll need to assume your basic stance and keep your hands up and open. You can perform a push kick with either the lead or back foot. For a lead foot push kick, you will have to slide your back foot forward and towards your lead heel, transferring your weight to your back foot. As you do so, raise the lead foot, making sure to arch the toes to keep them out of the way, and you’ll deliberately plant the heel and arch of the foot into an opponent’s hip. Keeping your hands up, because there is a tendency to lower them during kicks, you’ll literally push the opponent with the planted lead foot, using the strength of your leg and transferring some weight from your back foot into your lead foot to help you maintain balance. This will stagger them by 2-3 feet, and you can place your kicking foot back on the ground and resume your stance.


Portland Kickboxing Technique: Muay Thai Kick Targets


For a back foot or strong foot push kick, you’ll transfer weight to the lead foot while raising your back knee up to your chest, and then planting your foot firmly on the opponents hip, performing the same pushing action as before. After your opponent staggers away, usually 3-4 feet since it’s a more powerful push, you can either resume your stance or plant the kicking foot in front and switch your stance to “goofy” or reverse style, gaining ground and keeping it at the same time.