Kicking Tip for Self Defense Training: Hands Up!


Hey. Ando here from SenseiAndo.com and Happy Life
Martial Arts. One of the most common bad habits that I see
when people throw kicks is dropping their guard. Could be one hand or both. Either way, it’s a bad habit. Hold on—before you write me some nasty comment,
let me say right up front that some people might drop a hand in order to counter-balance
a high kick. Some people might drop a hand in order to
add power to their kick by counter-rotation. Some people might drop their hands in order
to draw their opponent in a little bit closer. Now, if those are the reasons that you’re
dropping your hand, then I have no problem. That’s all fine. Why? Because you’re doing all of those things
on purpose. Those are part of your deliberate strategy. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the people who drop their
guard and have no idea that they’re doing it. It’s crazy how common this problem actually
is. I mean, I will stand right in front of someone
and say, “Okay, keep your hands up.” Bloop. “No, no. Okay. this hand. Don’t let this hand drop.” Bloop. “Listen. Seriously, man—keep your hands right here.” Bloop. Ahh. All right. Today, let me give you one simple drill to
help you keep your guard up so you’ll be safer when you’re throwing kicks. All right. I call this drill, “Holding the Baby”. Now, if you have a real baby you can go pick
up, fantastic. If you don’t have a real baby, well, then
take a little drive to the park. You can usually grab one there. Wait, wait, wait! That was a joke—don’t do any of that. Okay, okay. So, grab a pillow, or roll up your jacket,
grab your teddy bear—whatever—just hold on to something and pretend that you’re
carrying a baby. That’s it. Now, go practice your kicks. Go hit the bag, drill back-and-forth across
the room, you can train however you like, just don’t drop the baby. Now, I know that sounds really easy, but it’s
not. Think about it. There’s a big difference between the feeling
of kicking with your hands behind your body or your hands in front of your body. There’s a big difference between kicking with
your hands down or kicking with your hands up. The goal here is to build a habit of always
maintaining a strong guard. Once you have that, if you then choose to
throw a hand down as part of your strategy because it works for you, great. Go for it. Yeah, I know—you’re tough. You’re already wondering if you can do the
same exercise holding on to some dumbbells or a weight plate. Well, of course you can, but I wouldn’t
start with that. I don’t want you to put any extra stress
on to your shoulders or your back before you’ve made some modifications to your balance and
alignment. So, for now, do me a favor—stick to lightweight
objects like the pillow, or the jacket, or this roll of paper towels. Now, if you don’t feel comfortable walking
around the gym cuddling a teddy bear, I got ya covered. Just grab a belt or a tee shirt and sling
it around your neck. That will give you something to hang on to
while you practice your kicks. It’s the same idea. If you don’t want to hang on to a shirt,
how about you just grab your own collar? Or your bra straps? Whatever. Just hang on to something so you get that
feeling of keeping your hands up. Hey—while we’re at it, why not grab a
balled up pair of socks or a tennis ball and put that under your chin? This will help you keep your chin down and
your head straight while you’re throwing your kicks. Letting the head bob around while you kick
is another bad habit that most people don’t even know they have… not until they wake
up on the floor. And that’s your tip. Hands up, chin down. Two crucial habits that will help keep you
awake if you’re throwing kicks. If you liked this video, thanks for giving
it a thumbs up and hitting subscribe. Until next time, don’t drop the baby and
keep fighting for a happy life.

100 Replies to “Kicking Tip for Self Defense Training: Hands Up!

  1. Hi Ando, yes I have had this habit also and that's a great way to keep your hands up when practicing your kicks I've used several items including my sai's! But no babies 😅

  2. Nice ideas. We teach students to keep their hands up while kicking by tapping their head with the spare kick pad in our other hand. The students learn.

  3. Very creative tip sensei, this is a really common problem that many people do unknowingly, myself included. Took a bit of work to consciously fix the problem.

  4. Those are good ideas. I just have my students grab their ears. It works cuz they see their arms and elbows try to fly off in different directions.

  5. Those tips are great.Don't see many other martial artists and/or teachers being this creative.Just wish that Ando would put out a greater volume of videos instead of just now and again.

  6. Hi, nice video but to be honest you are 1 week to late, i had my first amateur karate tournament last week and in the last round i focused more on throwing kicks but i unknowingly lowered my hands a little opening up a window for my opponent to score the winning point. but you know what they say: the first step of growth is knowing what you did wrong 😛

  7. Yes, we used to practice with 2 kg brics in each hand for continuous 600 kicks or 6 sets of 100 kicks once in a week for this reason.Sometimes we had a time limit to complete the drill.

  8. Yup that's me -_-
    Ando my right kick sucks can't hit high and can't kick that good with it what should i do 😐 i practise alot left kick is getting better but same f as before -_-

  9. I've had that problem myself for quite a while. But I have a little question – is popping the hands up/forward for an extra power at the very beginning of the kick as I spring forward, and then return it to the guard position as the kick is formed and delivered, a mistake? It supposedly works like a feint of grabbing the opponents head/neck/shoulders/shirt/whatever and may force them to raise their guard and expose abdomen for an attack (at least in theory). What are your thought?

  10. Amazing video
    I usually know when to drop my hands, but once I lose concentration my hands don‘t know where they are.
    So I‘ll try these drills to avoid unnecessary openings.
    *Walks to the park*

  11. First rule defend yourself at all times. You are quite correct I even erroneously in the past been guilty of this. I attack with or before my opponent and if his mitts are down even while kicking he's getting hit and swept. Peace and OSU

  12. Sensei, I love your videos! They help me in between classes to keep getting better. Just started the 2nd week of your 7 day Challenge, it amazing how much a technique improves with just 5 minutes of practice daily. Thanks Sensei👍

  13. Thanks, Sensei Ando, for your wit (if Joe Rogan can be a stand-up comedian I think you have him beat 😁) and for the tip that will allow me to “kick-up” my game (sorry about the bad pun…). Was that t-shirt you used in the video a product you are selling, if so I am interested.

  14. That is something I'm going to add to my mornings "7 days challenge". Yep! I still do the 7 day-challenge from senseiando.com. EVERY MORNING, SINCE MONTHS!!!

  15. Super super ways to unlearn bad habits and gain crucial habits! I taught people to think about standing behind a sheet of plywood that was hiding the lower half of their body from the mirror they stand in front of. They needed to be able to do movements without the upper half in view giving away any indication of movement of the lower half. Does that make sense? Goes hand in hand with balancing a glass of water (on your head or in your hands…). One part of the body being able to move while the rest of the body doesn't waste any effort doing unnecessary clenching or 'balancing'. Better called 'isolation training'….moving your head while the rest of the body is calm and alert. Doing shoulder isolation with nothing at all moving other than that shoulder and arm. Doing rib isolations; forward, back, circles, side to side, with no extraneous movement at all from arms, head, shoulders, hips, etc. This was daily and isolating a part, all parts of the body is absolutely the best way for people to learn to use ONLY the muscles; antagonists, synergists and protagonist necessary for that movement. I just found a picture I want to send about the tightrope thing..https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pGSwIMenVuJ6HjgUBPbMvZGawCF6eUozf57OLssjNoUDM5thk3e8c3JUkxQMjNfao7xUeJooD02WCJnZtYopUu05DCfmKE8GwIKgJ2rlX230qc1x17d_PTttPKZbMIPLZamSOWGWOSoa9jVviAbsFNC_wyf_9tpuBiw8ExHGjnbjRNuScyjS8Wnld0Lh_bjadDW0SmqdluWtb-obOnCZxKm0pL02N7sbza2g-X5KXJJLJxGnd8_UFUd46aZlwJ1s-_xgPBQNV7rEw4muI240petA3r_yPOfcaXPAeKwuYpF4EFg_YQ5waO_8CEIWszGjOzg3nP46y7tgCeLtO7x9ZqIzabX-PaLfyWoc1ZHD96Mh9Vl4ApOR5SQ4jGItTxIpJmRH9zpempLX-KqUDU_xcC3tHLspWNwrfipfTy_MkZV1SwdZO0Lm8NdaYJuZwjzqCryz56kf_IU_KsNZQTwfVUToVPzFGAPKG3qfWe5wGhYCSvUsE98RUBzKqwsxURg5kMksc8d_GvreHbCNmgJsxn-Gx9y7gkITV7lkynrmqLsg6_N4oH8dzoYoFqLYIZA_egWJg3iwpJKoYY3rdx6hctjaC03X-zbmk7FSDiMF=w477-h636-no

  16. Great tips! This is definitely a common problem. I believe every instructor has seen this. What's even more frustrating is when your young student's start doing it after training for 3 years lol! Keep up the great work my friend!👍

  17. I am old school and to my understanding at fifth Dan you are considered Master level. Forgive my being formal in my addressing you sensei I took my first lesson in 1969. Peace and OSU sir

  18. Good advice and helpful suggestions, Ando! I don't think we want that guy you were teaching to carry the baby, bloop 🙂 I've had to work very hard to learn to keep my hands up, because as a traditionally trained martial artist, I spent a lot of time bringing the non-punching hand to my waist.

  19. Yeah, for a front kick there's little reason to drop the hands. Good looking out to make sure people don't do that. Side kick or leg kick I usually have one arm protecting my body and one protecting the head. Both protecting the head during a side kick is really awkward.

  20. Thanks Ando. Although I haven't sparred yet, I'm guilty as charged. Made adjustment yesterday evening when practicing at home. It does make a difference in "feeling the kick."

  21. I’m going to share this to my Club’s Facebook page. I’m ALWAYS telling my students to keep their hands up and chin down so if they watch this they might realise I’m not just saying it because I need something to say to them! 🥊

  22. I done this drill many times. I used boxing gloves. You can also modify this by sticking them in your arm pits to keep your elbows in. I've never seen or heard of the sock under the chin to keep it tucked, pure genius!

  23. Ah yes, we live in a time in which you have to remind people that the whole kidnapping babies was a joke. Also, thanks for the tip! I'm definitely having my trainees do this at the gym.

  24. In your opinion do you think Hokuto shinken is the most deadest Martial Art in the world? :p https://youtu.be/_kyXhbsGDPA?t=30

  25. I've noticed though, that if you raise your hands up when you kick – like in Muay Thai – that it is easier to kick and keep your balance than if you lowered your arms. Apparently tight rope walkers are instructed to keep their hands above their heads to maintain there balance too.

  26. Sensei Ando im 12. Am I too old for taekwondo lessons? Lots of people say that i am i want an answer from a professional

  27. Hey Ando, when we fight as a joke at school i have so much energy that i fight like we fight in aikido pls tell me how to control it

  28. That was good info. I believe I will use this idea in the classes I teach. So tired of repeating "keep your hand up"

  29. Fantastic idea, thanks. Going to hold one of my Eskrima sticks across both arms at chin level. It always bothered me how naturally we as humans drop an arm to kick. I'd rather lose a bit of power and keep the guard up I think. Too many times in MMA or Taekwondo or Karate etc, I've seen someone KO'd because someone hit them with a well timed strike while they were kicking and their guard dropped.

  30. holding my t-shirt around my neck is bit convenient but wow! that same t shirrt is making my kicks much lower when i am tnderly holding it in front,Holding a heavy weight is much easier!!!

  31. After years of kickboxing, I saw myself hitting pads for the first time and saw how horrible my guard is when I kick, I do the head bobbing around too

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