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Ciaran's picture
Yoko geri/side kick training


I am new to the forum, but have been training in karate for about 8 years (shotokan and a bit of okinawan).  I have always had issues with yoko keage/side snap kick - on the subject my round kick isn't to great either!  I am really keen to work to improve the technique in order to improve my kata and karate in general

Any one got any training methods/stretches/exercises et al they can recommend?



Dave Moore
Dave Moore's picture

For  the  round kick have a look at  this

http://www.morrisnoholdsbarred.co.uk/shop_item_oneonone_roundkick.html. I learned of this method from Epic Martial arts and its instructor  Jon Law in Birmingham

I have seen Charlie Wildish has done a dvd with kicking tips


Thats a couple to be going on with, hope it helps

Andrew Carr-Locke
Andrew Carr-Locke's picture

Forget keage. Do kikomi until your kicks are strong. I use front, side, and back kicks to strengthen the hips in those 3 directions. Once the hips are strong and moving well, progress to a Thai style round kick for a pivoting hip movement. After that, then move to the quciker keage kicks with your hips working behind the movments easily.  

migonz's picture

Hi, FYI... there are some decent videos on YouTube from some well know Shotokan people which which are good reference for technique execution. This one from JKS Chief Instructor Kagawa, and a few more breaking down the technique of different kicks. Calling up this one will also list others associated with it...good luck

Rob E
Rob E's picture

Hi Ciaran

Its really simple but Ive always found that working through kicks really slowly always helps to improve my leg strength and technique. Work on holding your leg out, or raising it up and down while keeping posture and guard, this will help build up your core muscles and at the same time work on your technique in detail.

Hope that helps and If you find anything cool let us know!


Ciaran's picture


Thanks very much for your comments - I am sure it will prove  very useful and help with my training.



Ives's picture

I agree with Rob E, go slow to get the form down.

For yoko and mawashi geri I use the wall on occasions. What I do is as follows. For yoko geri I face the wall rather close ot it, but I'm able to make a proper hikiashi. I place one or both hands lightly on the wall for support and try to keep my upperbody straight as possible. I now make 5 to 10 slow yoko geri chudan. I try to turn in my hip and then keep the hight for a second or two.

For mawashi geri I do the same, only do I stand closer to the wall since hikiashi is now sideways.

A good excersise to help the hipjoint for mawashi geri is side knee lifts. Stand in shinzen tai or hachiji dachi with your elbow about shoulderheight and try to lift your knee sideways up to touch the elbow for 20 times or so.

Doing kicks slowly is good for getting the technique down. Then speed and power are to be added.

Finlay's picture

hi there

Slow response :( but anyway

one thing that i have found that gets in the way of power for a side kick is that they kick at the wrong angle, not intentionally but some times we are to eager to get the foot to the target and this creates more of a swinging motion, this means alot of you effort /power/momentum is going up instead of into the target.

When i train side kick i spend alot of time making sure i am not  "swinging" my legs up, to do this i place an object between myself and the bag, a chair or something of similar size or your training partner maybe, and the spend time kicking over the chair, this helps in making sure you are chambering correctly

hope this helps

Mulberry4000's picture

i have problems with these kicks, esp the roundhouse, my hips hurt when i use the kick and my legs are low any ideas 

best wishes

Marc's picture

Ciaran wrote:

I have always had issues with yoko keage/side snap kick

What kind of issues?