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Knee lift in kicks


Knee lift in kicksKicks, how to lift the knee:

I wanted to write this article and make a short video to give some details about the knee lift in the kicks front and side.

Indeed when we studied both kicks, Mae Geri and then Yoko Geri, I insisted that the first thing to do was not to lift the knee and, for Yoko Geri, not to raise your leg in front of you.

I had a lot of reactions to this and that is why I wanted to explain myself.

First of all, if I insisted on this, it was so that you were well aware of the tilt of the hip.

In fact in one or other of these kicksWithout a hip rocker, you can not transmit energy from the body to the feet and in addition you are locked mechanically.

But very often one teaches Mae Geri and Yoko Geri, as follows: lift the knee, stretch the leg, bring back and ask, and we forget to talk about the work of the pond, which is essential in kicking.

Whether for Mae Geri, kick in front or Yoko GeriKicking aside, I insist that the first thing to do is not to lift the knee, but to tip the pelvis.

The knee lift is done almost simultaneously, with actually a little time in advance. Indeed, your foot should no longer be in contact with the ground when you "let go" your hip.

However, I put a little flat because you can actually lift the knee before the rocker hip, but not in any way.

For Mae GeriYou can raise the knee before tilting the hip, but not too high.

Indeed if you are looking to lift your knee high, you will necessarily have to tilt your hip (retroversion of the pelvis), and if your pelvis is already retroverted at the moment when you "let go energy" for the Mae Geri, you do not will no longer be able to use this rocker and you will do at most a movement of pumping with your thigh.

All the energy of the body will be lost.

For Yoko GeriI persist in the fact that one must not raise one's knee before, or rather one must not lift one's foot in front. The knee can certainly rise in front of you but keeping the foot under, against the other leg. The foot does not go forward, it must imperatively remain in the lateral plane.

to summarizein each of these kicksyou have a slight preparation time where your body weight passes entirely on the support leg, and where you begin to lift the knee, but this movement is almost immediately followed by the hip rocker that is transmitted by the thigh at the knee and that induces a swinging motion of the leg around the knee.

I think I do not express myself very well. Sorry. I hope you will understand better in picture

For that, I find you immediately on the video !!!

>>> Download the video

I hope I have not confused you too much.

Leave me a comment to give me your impressions.

And do not forget your stretches : )

See you soon,

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  1. Hello Bruno,

    I do not completely agree with you.
    But as you say many times, you have trouble expressing yourself on this idea!

    Like many, I learned and I continue to teach Mae Geri's kick in 4 time. This only at the beginning of learning. To avoid the effect shoot in the ball and the leg that falls in front without any control. In the advanced belt, I begin to talk about the engagement of the hips, but especially I speak of what am.
    Moreover, we must not forget that there is 2 mae geri: keage and kekomi.
    In Keage, the work of the hip will be weaker because the goal is not necessarily to work hard, but especially quickly a little like we play "cat" in the course of recreates 🙂
    In kekomi, the importance of the hip makes a lot more sense because one really seeks to deploy all his body and energy to cross the opponent. I do not even talk about Yoko or the commitment difference is even more "striking" (I can also play word games without wanting to).

    Now the egg or the hen? Knee or hips?
    In Yoseikan Budo, Mochizuki's martial art, we quickly approach the notion of "wave", "vibration", "wave".
    As you explained in another of your videos, the energy does not come from the hips. It's a whole body. As a rifle propels the rifle back and the ball in front, in a kick, if energy starts in front, energy leaves behind. And what helps to stabilize, so is our support to the ground: the foot.
    The kick must not leave either the knee or the hip .. But the foot, the ground support that will send energy as a wave forward. Do the following test: pick up a pebble and throw it away as far as possible. You will see that your whole body works from the tip of your toes to go up through each of your joints to the hand and finally the stone. If you do not have a pebble or are inside, made "as if", it works very well too 😉
    Raising the knee THEN the hips, or pivoting the hips THEN the knee, involves a stop in the movement, a cut, a blockage that alters the fluidity of the gesture and therefore its effectiveness.
    Starting from the foot, we will see the knee start to climb first but the rocking of the hip engages while the knee has not finished climbing (what you say with the knee should not go too high) . However, the knee will continue to rise at the same time as the hip flips, to end up stretching the leg without ever cutting the shape of "wave" that will go through the body.

    For Yoko, getting on my knee in front of me is also useless. Moreover, in the kata, it is not for nothing that all Yokos are armed in the hollow of the knee. And that corresponds to what you watch.
    And once again, it's not the knee that will go up first, or even the hip, but it will be an impulse from the foot that will send the wave of energy through the body and carry with it each segment of the body until percussion.

    Moreover, this segmentation, this division of the gestures is often a reproach that is made to Karate Shotokan, and I speak about it knowingly.
    For having done many courses with Bernard Bilicki, more flexibility and roundness in this world brings a lot to the practice and will surely also practice even longer without pain.

  2. Thank you Bruno
    I like the video + speaking
    Feel the deuce mvts can be after having them practice 5000 *
    Things come with practice and practice
    We are progressively correcting
    Hara is essence
    Thank you bruno

  3. Good evening Bruno,

    This video and the related details are really interesting. I'm a beginner, and I did not realize the importance of hip movement when kicking.
    Thank you!

  4. Benoit Gauvreau at

    Hi Bruno!

    I like your explanations and I understand very well what you mean by the movement of the hip. The only thing I find in the mae geri that you explain is that yes your hip spreads forward my revenge your energy from the upper body (head-shoulder-trunk) share from behind even in imbalance. When I look at Kagawa's example explanation on youtube his mae gerie ma the really penetrating area. His hip, his head, his shoulders, his arms transmit energy to the point of impact.

  5. Hi sports friend,
    thank you for this video.
    I want to redo karate, I'm a sports educator in bodybuilding, and I built my session for my exam.

  6. Hello, Bruno. Regarding the Mae geri, or Yoko geri, what counts in all this is to transmit energy that rises from the ground through the heel of the support leg, passing through the knee and the hip that l send to the target, you were very clear in your presentation, because all the movements start from the hips and me, for me, I totally agree with you because without toggling of the latter in At the same time as the leg lift, there will be no impact on the target because there is a lack of kime in the action. And everyone has their point of view on it. Yours

  7. Hello bruno
    I understand what heavenk means, it does not mean that you should not engage the hip but find it unfortunate that we do not attach more importance to the muscle that lifts the leg and of course after moules mae -geri, the thrust of the hip will be done alone by an awareness. That's why it's worth remembering that some of your advice is for beginners, because I do not think a practitioner who is going forward would fail to engage his hip.

  8. Hello heavenk
    The FFST is a multidisciplinary federation but has nothing to do with the current I work that is the current of Fire Shihan Nishiyama founder of the ITKF.

    By cons I did not understand your post, do you agree with the article or not?

    I always say knee lift is planted ski baton lol


  9. Hello, Bruno
    Sorry for my comment of the last time but I could go back, because for times there is a forum where we can discuss karate I find it nice.
    So for my part I am 4em dan JKA ditto for the ffkama,
    although I am 10 times more proud of my rank obtained at the JKA.
    I was able thanks to my work to stay in Japan during 6 years the dream.
    I have 38 years and I started karate at the age of 14 years in a karate club in Metz, I spend my 1er dan at the age of 18 years ffkama my 2em at the age of 22 years and my 3 em age 28 years.
    having met sensei Lautier of jka France, I was able to spend my 1er dan JKA at the age of 29 years, thereafter thanks to my work I took a mission to Japan, from the I discovered the JKA, I can tell you one thing all you learned about karate at this time in France is that there is a huge difference in level. So I start again at the beginning white belt. In short I spent my grade JKA 1er 4em dan in a period of 6 years, I even test the championships of the JKA.
    Back in France I go back to my 4em dan since the ranks of the Jka are not recognized in France.
    Here is Karate still sorry for the criticism but as said I'm surprised practitioners who thinks I'm experts having seen a real expert I know the difference this criticism actually was not intended against you.

    PS I like articles with Johnny although I do not know ffst federation.

  10. Hello,
    I allow myself to intervene on what I saw and especially read, to make a good mae geri, all it is the base the first things is already to raise the knees!
    For my part having had the privilege of being able to train at the JKA for more than 6ans thanks to my work. I can tell you that at no time can we pass the pool before the technique.
    It should be as say the instructor of the JKA Sensei Tanaka Sensei Kawawa do some basic work I'm flabbergasted, of even practitioners who only train 3 times a week to see 4 times 1h30 a week since 3 or 5 years ago for experts. The base for the Japanese is to first lift the knee regardless of the height of the kick. To perform a mae geri you must be to make the passage of the basin being done once the technique to start brief. Each has his idea but good made series of a hundred mae geri then you will see that he is It's better if your knees get up straight and not the pelvis because hello the call made to your opponent.
    finally each person trains as he can.

    • Hello HEAVENK,
      I want to say that I have never claimed to be an expert. I am only a humble professor who shares his research.
      Regarding kicks, I think I explain myself wrong. In fact what bothers me is that often the rocking of the hip is forgotten in the teaching of the kicks while it is primordial.
      If you want, it would be nice to go introduce yourself. Thank you.

  11. Hello
    Not really, the push of the back leg is to move you forward, if you want, while the ground pressure "hit it on the ground" is to create the shock (action / reaction).
    In the stuki it is done on the front leg when laying the foot.


    • Johnny,
      this strike on the ground, it is also found in tsuki, right?
      Ex in Oi Zuki, when I speak of the second push (back leg) simultaneously with the action of the arm, there is also "hits" on the ground.
      What do you think?

  12. Cuckoo Bruno
    In fact it's simple, in mae geri, it is not necessary that the hip in the phase of armament is already in the position of the final phase, suddenly we let the foot finish the movement all alone and it will not have not enjoy the movement itself and notament of the famous tilt of the hip.

    You forget the pressure on the ground support foot to create shock, it is very important, if I can afford I put a link to one of my videos.

    as well as youtube:

    For the yoko, I understand better what you mean, I misunderstood in the first and did not agree, I am more now, even if we can raise the knee high without hip rocker.
    a + and good luck

    • Hi Johnny,

      Thank you for your videos and for your clarification.
      Regarding the shock, I do not speak here because it was not the subject of this video, but in the article on Mae Geri, I wrote:

      "Then always with the force of the belly, we will advance the hip strongly by a lively rotation of the pelvis, transmitting the energy to the thigh and then to the leg that will just stretch until the impact or we will contract all the muscular chains between the foot of support and the striking foot. "

      I think that's what you want to talk about. Can you confirm?

  13. Hello,

    I think it's good to qualify the tilt of the hip. This is something very important to do to just have a semblance of impact.
    However, being part of the probably vast majority of people who learned by breaking the kicks into four sequences, I noticed after three years of practice, the effect of karate most visible to me, on my body.

    The muscle that lifts the knee (at the top of the thigh) has become visible. It sounds innocuous, but I think the exercise of this muscle is to be preferred at first.

    Currently I have resumed for three months after a period of five years without practice, and soft fighting exercises as well as striking in shields are a nightmare. Just because being fast is hard, and hitting a soft thing that will not break like a bone would be so exhausting. The energy of the shots is wasted, so to speak.
    Being able to lift your leg repeatedly and / or for a long time is very important if you want to put some power in the kicks. For a shot, no, but for a possible repetition, yes.

    If the tilting of the hip is very important, it seems to me that it is something that comes naturally afterwards, when one realizes that the decomposition of the blow is not enough. Something must be added to the stroke so that it has impact, and that something is hip work.

    Also, I think it is good to have a hip position a little more "neutral", that we can later send a little where we want.

    In the fact, I agree with you, Bruno, but I think that it is necessary to really qualify this according to the cases, as well as the level of the practitioners.

    Thank you for this blog anyway.

    • Hello,

      I do not agree with you because precisely, I think on the contrary, you must learn from the beginning to use his hip in kicks.
      Stretching your leg in Mae Geri without tilting the hip puts the pelvis cantilevered, which will tend to tilt forwards. You use far too much the Psoas Illiaque (internal muscle to raise the thigh) and by the fact, you draw on your lumbar vertebrae (arch) because the Psoas Illiaque is also hooked on the anterior face of the lumbar ..
      So not only is it technically inefficient, but it is very bad physiologically.
      As long as you are young, you only see the good sides (bodybuilding of the thigh) but later you will end up with back pain sciatica, etc.
      If you want more precision, you do not hesitate.

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