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Mae Geri, Front kick


Mae Geri, Front kickMae Geri, or kick in front (of Mae = front and Geri = Kick),

is without a doubt the first leg technique you need to learn. In appearance very simple - Putting a kick in front must be equivalent to hitting a ball, you tell me! 🙂 Error ! Mae Geri is very complex and requires a lot of training for a perfect mastery and to be effective.

Mae Geri is a kick that can be:

  • Penetrating: Mae Geri Kekomi
  • whipped: Mae Geri Keage

Mae Geri can be given with various parts of the foot following the areas where one hits :

  • the bottom of the foot: Koshi: "the tooth of the tiger"
  • tiptoe
  • the heel: Kakato
  • the top of the foot: Haisoku

It is a very powerful kick that can serve as an attack, but also as a defense stunt.

Detailed and biomechanical analysis of Mae Geri:

We will leave a natural position, Hachiji Dachi. We will start with Mae Geri Kekomibecause it is easier to break down. To do Mae Geri, everyone will tell you that the most important is to lift the knee, and that's true. But be careful, unlike what is often taught to beginners, this is not the first thing we do. In fact, as for most techniques, the energy goes from the belly (Hara). We will simultaneously contract the abdominals, the glutes of the support leg and relax the lower back in order to tilt the pelvis backwards (retroversion) and thus "raise" the hips (I put quotation marks to "climb" because it will not be necessary to mount the body, it is just a pivot of the pelvis!). This "rise" of hip will result in a rise of the knee that one will accentuate to the maximum. Then always with the force of the belly, we will advance strongly the hip by a lively rotation of the basin, transmitting energy to the thigh and then to the leg that will just stretch until the impact or we will contract all the muscle chains between the support foot and the striking foot. It is very important to properly contract the leg and especially the quadriceps (muscles in front of the thigh) at the moment of impact to lock well and therefore protect the knee who will have to transmit the energy of your Mae Geri.

In order to Mae Geri Kekomi, you will have noticed, the foot at first a trajectory from bottom up then straight forward in a rectilinear way. The strong advance of the hip will allow us to have a penetrating kick very powerful.

In order to Mae Geri Keageit's a little different. All done almost at the same time: the retroversion of the pelvis, the rise of the knee, the advance of the hip, and the extension of the leg are almost simultaneously. As a result, the foot will describe a straight (actually slightly curved) trajectory from the ground to the target. He will do the shortest way (diagonally) to come whip (and no longer penetrate) the target.

Then it's very important, in both types of Mae Geri, the foot must return as soon as possible by reversing backwards, bringing the hips back to their starting position. This phase is often neglected by beginners who fall on the front leg because they are carried away by their leg just hit. Take the time to work this return of the foot and the hip because it is what will allow you to keep the balance and to control your body and it is what will condition the continuation of the fight. Your opponent is not a bag, he defends himself. Do not let your leg outstretched and do not get carried away by your technique, it's you who's in charge, not your leg.

Do not let your arms go backwards during your Mae Geri. You must keep your arms relaxed in front, in order to maintain your guard and to be able to chained with the arms for a defense or an attack.

I have prepared you a video of almost 20 minutes with a lot of explanations andpractical exercises which will allow you to better control the movement of the hips and strengthen your support leg for a better balance.

Time to put your Kimono, I find you right away in the video.

Good training !

(Do not forget to warm up before, thanks to the advice I give you in the ABCs of warming up , my book to download for free ;-))

>>> Download the video (new version)

I hope you have well sweated and you have enjoy the exercises you just did.

Before your shower, a comment, below.

See you soon,

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  7. Hello,
    Thank you for this site and these explanations.
    Personally I goju-ryu since 1 months and I still struggle with mae gueri.
    my karate teacher told me that when you tap, your ankle should be pointing down and your toes up.
    I have a hard time making this move.
    Even slowly it's very difficult.
    Do you have any suggestions?

    • Bruno Bandelier at

      It is true that in the beginning it is not easy to reach out while raising the toes. It's often a muscle problem and sync. Train already, without making MaeGeri toe up while leaving your foot extended. Do it often, even outside of the training, even sitting, ... by force you will perfect the gesture and succeed to raise the toes more and more feet. Then slowly you will manage to hit with Koshi during a MaeGeri. It is long but it is normal because it is something that you never do in life, it is necessary to repeat every day as for the reeducation so that it becomes something of natural.
      Here I leave you with your toes.

      • Hello,
        Hitting with the ball of the foot (koshi) was required for all kicks at the beginning of karate.
        On the other hand we do it less and less with mawashi geri ...

        • Bruno Bandelier at

          Hello Philippe,

          You're right about the fact that you can hit Mawashi Geri with the Koshi but no it was not a required part of kicking. One can strike with the heel (Kakato, the edge (Sokuto), the tiger tooth (Koshi), the top of the foot ...
          It all depends on the kick and the context. If you hit Kin Geri for example, it will be with the top of the foot and not the Koshi. For the Mawashi Geri if you hit the legs to sweep for example you will rather use also the top of the foot ....


  8. Hello! I wanted to know something that I did not see clarified in the explanation (I have not watched the video yet, if it is I will have the answer in haha) but it is better not to open his hip and to shift his support foot to the side (in the manner of a mawashi geri actually) to make a mae geri more effective?

    • Hello Hugues,
      Not at all. If you do that, you lose energy because you disconnect your hips. The transmission of the power of your support leg to the point of impact and much less important. With Me Geri, you hit in front. Your whole being (body and mind) must be oriented forward and therefore also your foot of support.

  9. Hello,

    I always asked myself the following question:
    How many repetitions should be performed in the same technique to make it really effective (Exp: Gyaku-tsuki). I have understood during my readings the figure of one hundred thousand repetitions. What is your opinion?



    • Hello Redouane,

      There is not really a number with a precise number of repetitions. A large number of 100000 repetitions are often used to show that it is necessary to repeat often and very regularly.
      No need to count, the important thing is the regularity and always looking to improve.
      The mountain is high to climb, but if you divide it into 100000 steps, you can start today and climb a few steps every day.


  10. Good evening Bruno,

    Thank you for this video, well explained and detailed, as I like ....

    Superb your videos.

    Monday I pass the yellow, so revision.



  11. Posted by bensikhaledHello teacher bruno

    thank you for your video mae-geri well explain, I start karate your video is really useful and necessary thank you.
    I have a question about the technique of low, I do not know where I start (I start with defense techniques or by t-fist or by the feet and thank you also to specify what technique I have to follow: for example: on the technique of foot == the technique of maegeri ... ect, in truth I am beginning I do not know much about the program of the teachers, thank you for this extraordinary video because it is on lol bravo and I wait for your answer thank you hi
    Recent article of bensikhaled: Resumption of Training - Specific Work (3 / 5)

    you have the exercises and training that Mr. Bandelier has put in order for beginners here: Beginners Start here!

  12. Is a small impetus on the ground with the front of the foot giving the kick off the start of the survey is something good? I noticed that we gain speed thanks to this impulse but the balance is harder to manage.

    • Hello Yann,
      In fact at boot, it's more like a belly, and you have an impulse rather at the moment of impact on the foot on the ground, as if you hit the ground at the same time you hit MaeGeri ...
      In what you describe, the impulse that you give to the start serves as a support to "tear" the back leg of the ground, but try instead to keep a very stable ground support (without special impulse) and to "pull" your back leg using your belly.

  13. Hello teacher bruno

    thank you for your video mae-geri well explain, I start karate your video is really useful and necessary thank you.
    I have a question about the technique of low, I do not know where I start (I start with the defense techniques or by the t-fist or by the feet and thank you also for me specify which technique I have to follow, for example: on the technique of foot == the technique of maegeri ... ect, in truth I am a beginner I do not know much about the program of the teachers, thank you for this extraordinary video because ca it's on lol bravo and I'm waiting for your answer thank you hi

  14. Ouch !!! flexibility is really no longer on my side. I think I'll come back to this article when I'm a bit more flexible (and have worked enough to release the hips and lower limbs).

    I believe that at the minute 14: 09 you mean "from the bottom up" and not from "up and down", if I understood correctly. Nothing to say otherwise, pedagogy and good mood: always so nice!

    For now in the beginner program, nothing insurmountable, the progression is at a pace that suits me, and allows time to return frequently to previous exercises.

    • Hello Olivier,
      Indeed, it is "bottom up" and not "up and down" that I wanted to say. Thank you for correcting.
      For your flexibility, you must understand that it is often a question of relaxation (relaxation) and synchronization of movements and not flexibility itself. Try to relax your muscles around your hips to properly rock your pelvis.
      But you're right a few sessions of Stretching to free the hips should do you good.
      Good continuation.

  15. hello bruno and everyone
    For black belt only, if you want to increase the power of pushing, at the time of arming, you cross very quickly your two hands on your knee (just before) (right hand on the left for right handed) and you push at the same time time, kime, exhale and hip, inhale while arming ...... technique, for kekomi, of course.

  16. It is true that Mae-Geri Kekomi is very powerful, but personally, I have easier to place a Mae-Geri Keage, going up in the belly or under the ribs.

    it can "open some doors"

    Can you clarify where it's just an expression?


  17. Mae-Geri Kekomi in Fudo-Dachi, when one has a good rear support leg, and a "Hara", powerful it pays in "Kumite", "Keri-Waza" simple, but very effective. This may "open some doors" :-), in competition.
    have a good day.


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