Hey, how’s it going? Ando again from SenseiAndo.com.
Look, you know how to throw a side kick, right? Well, today, let’s talk about how to use
it. Back in the day, I saw everyone in Tae Kwon Do and Karate using their side kick defensively.
They would basically build a wall, defend the wall. Here’s what I mean. They’d step
back into a horse stance, they would even drop their hands, lean back, cock the hip
so they were already pivoted, ready to go, and then they would just wait. And if anything
came across that perimeter, BAM. They’d stick that side kick right into your hip,
or your chest, or your face. Not too exciting, but fairly effective. So, in the beginning,
yeah, I used that strategy all the time. Build a wall, defend the wall. And it worked great
as long as I was sparring kids and kittens. But once I started fighting the big boys and
girls, I ran into three problems. Problem number one, when I was hiding behind my wall
all the time, I became way too reactionary. I was sitting there waiting and waiting when
I should have been leading and controlling the pace of that fight. Plus, against better
fighters, I’d get tricked into throwing my side kick at all the wrong times. I’m waiting,
they fake, I throw the kick, they counter, I lose. Problem number two, against a bigger
opponent, I would just get knocked backwards all the time. It doesn’t matter if they were
a white belt or a grandmaster. This is just simple physics. It has nothing to do with
whether my side kick was awesome or not. And it was! If you’re standing on train tracks
and the train is coming, you’re going to get run over. Problem number three. Guess what?
Not everybody wants to stand there and trade kicks with you. Not everybody wants to spar.
Especially nowadays, with the popularity of MMA, there are more people out there than
ever who just want to jump on your back and choke you out. And when you stand sideways
in a horse stance, you are opening the door for them to do just that. You might as well
just hang a welcome mat back there. So, does this mean that the side kick is no longer
a powerful and effective weapon? Of course not. It’s a fantastic weapon. You just have
to be smart about how you use it. And today, I’ve got two simple rules to follow to help
you land that side kick with power. Okay, rule number one. If you want to use
the side kick defensively, then don’t try to stop the train, try to derail it instead.
That means you have to step off the tracks. As the train is coming in, I can step out
with my back foot and side kick, or I can step out with my front foot and side kick.
Either way, that’s going to help prevent you getting run over. Stepping off the tracks,
though, also gives you three big advantages. Here’s the first one. When you step out, just
like a Muay Thai round kick, you’re already half way into your pivot. My foot is getting
a head start, which means I don’t have to crank my hips quite so far, quite so fast,
or quite so hard, and that’s going to be very, very helpful if you ever get caught on the
street and you’re not warmed up or, well, anytime when you’re old. The second advantage. When you step off the
tracks, yes, defensively, you’re meeting his force from the side. Now after the kick,
offensively, I’m landing in a position where I have the superior angle. That means I can
pretty safely go right into my follow-ups. The third advantage is against that guy who
wants to grab you. Rather than standing here and giving him easy access to my back, by
stepping out, I start taking my back away. That means if he really wants to come grab
you, he has to shift his weight, change directions, and then come forward. That’s going to buy
you a little more time and take a little steam out of his engine. So, rule number one for
side kicks, don’t try to stop the train, try to derail it. Rule number two. Move him back, then attack.
No more talk about walls. Let’s talk about pure offense. Going to get him. If you want
to land a side kick– or any kick, really—and you’re just standing there, and he’s just
standing there, and you launch into this big move, well, that’s really easy for him to
see you coming. He’s going to catch it, counter it, block it, or jam it. What you want to
do is throw a combination to get you moving first. Give him something to think about.
Make him flinch and, ideally, shift his weight backwards so he’s on his heels. That will
make your kick much harder to deal with on his end. So, maybe you throw punch, punch,
side kick. Maybe you throw punch, punch, round kick, side kick. It doesn’t matter. The point
is get yourself in motion. That will make the kick easier for you to throw because you
have momentum, and harder for him to process because you’re throwing more than one thing
at a time. Oh, and if you’re smart–and you are–then make sure you’re attacking off the
tracks. Maybe instead of just going straight down the middle and walking into his wall,
you do punch, step out, punch, side kick. Or maybe it’s punch, step out, round kick,
side kick. It’s always a good idea to get off the tracks and attack on an angle. Second advantage. When you get the other guy
moving backwards, it’s impossible for him to knock you backwards. This time, physics
is on your side. I’m running into him, he’s not running into me. I’m the train, he’s
an unlucky cow taking a nap on the tracks. Choo choo, moo moo, boo hoo. I win. The third
advantage is if you’re up against someone who wants to grab on to you, well, even if
I turn my back, as long as I get him back on his heels, he can’t shoot right away. He
has to shift his weight forward.That gives me just enough time to either back away or
change my angle and get out of there. So, rule number two, move him back, then attack. Here’s one more idea that really changed
the way I think about side kicks– don’t think of a side kick as you turning to your
side to throw a kick… think of a side kick as moving to their side to throw a kick. Huh?
Right? Wow! Okay, well, while you’re thinking about that, don’t forget the two big rules.
Rule number one, don’t try to stop the train, try to derail it instead. Rule number two,
move him back, then attack. If you follow those two rules, I promise, your side kick
will become legendary. If you don’t follow those rules, well, instead of stopping the
bad guy in his tracks, you might wind up dead on his tracks. If you liked these tips, hey,
hit subscribe, and to hear even more of what I’ve got to say, find the link and sign up
for my free email updates list. Until next time, keep kicking, my friend, and keep fighting
for a happy life.