My kicks are garbage please help


Yellow Belt
Sep 11, 2007
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Been trainning muay thai for almost 2 months now 3-5 days a week. Anyway my hands are pretty decent as I used to box when I was younger but for the life of me I cant seem to get the kicks right.

I apparently just throw my leg instead of turning and rotating my hip, and bringing my leg through the kick. It all makes sense in my head I just cant seem to be able to do it right. Anytips at all would be greatly appreciated as im getting really frustrated and wondering if I should just go back to boxing.

Thanks alot
all about the leg not kicking. pivot on the ball of your grounded foot, try to make the heel of that foot point at your target.

and relax. it isnt easy. learning takes patience, take pride in fact that you are trying and training, as that alone is beyond many
Thanks for the reply, my instructor keeps telling me to relaxe in thai or I think it means relaxe sabi sabi or something like that.

And ya Im definetly stiff tweaked my neck a little today trying to generate momentum
lol, yeah, relaxation is key in all sports. Muscles are faster when relaxed.Generate power by turning your hips, pivoting on your foot.

If you are not rotating your hips enough, think of it like switching stances. at the moment of impact(assuming its a rear roundhouse kickfrom orthodox stance) your hips should have shifted to the point where if you just dropped that leg to the ground, you'd be ina near perfect southpaw stance.

when you hit the bag, SUPER OVER EXAGGERATE rotating your hips, to the point it feels rediculous. that should help break your habit of not turning over
Another thing that helps, early on, is stepping into the kick with the front foot already at an angle. I work it like this:

Front leg check, land with front out on a 45. This opens the hips up already. Then rotate the rear leg through the air with your hips. Your leg doesn't kick, the rotation of your hips does. Nothing is more important that opening the hips IMO. If you don't pivot or step, the hips remain closed and you do that quasi front kick style roundhouse you see sometimes.

With practice, you won't have to be so blatant with the step and you can put leg power in for a little extra umph.
Thanks alot for the replies im goign to try out your tips. Hopefully I get it soon starting to get really frustrated.
Like someone else said, super exaggerate the hip movement. Do this on the bag enough and soon you will have the technique perfect!
I have pretty much been doing 0 bag work all my trainning is pretty much 1 on 1 pad stuff. But there are bags at my gym so I guess I will start doing that. Thanks alot
I think I can give some meaningful tips to help you along your way. One big error I saw was that you are not turning your hips over as you kick. Try just focusing on your lower leg kicks and work your way up the body as you progress because good form is really necessary to throw a kick that just won't get you clocked by a punch.
Here are some simple steps to executing a nice leg kick:
1.) Assume fighting stance, with your weak hand forward and strong hand back.
Keep your feet at a natural distance that you feel comfortable in just standing there
Remember to keep your frot knee slightly turned out otherwise it will be incredibly
unpleasent to receive a leg kick
2.) Step your forward leg at a 45 degree angle and turn that foot outwards. Make sure to keep this leg bent(This is really a key concept that you must get down).
3.) Throw the kick. Make sure the kick does not take an excessive arc. Keep your lead hand up and use the opposing shoulder to block the other side of your face. Pivot on the ball of your foot and throw your kicking arm down to generate additional torgue.
4.) Once impact is made kick through the bag and then bring your leg back to the starting position.

Sorry if something is unclear and feel free to ask questions. I am far from a kru, but I do know how to throw a leg kick. Try to do a 100 with each leg and then 100 teep kicks. Hope this helped out a bit.
I was having the same problem but I just practiced my roundhouse knees first then after you perfect it the kicks would be better.

exaggerate the hip movements like what they said
There have been some good things mentioned here.

After class go on the bag and just practice it. Do 10 full power with your right leg. Then 10 full power with your left and so on. In no time at all if you do that after class each day you will be kicking really good in no time.
Go Practice TKD :icon_chee
or rather than kicking a heavy bag or thai pad, have someone hold a focus mitt:
a) waist high (you'll develop the hip flexor strength and flexibility to kick higher later)
b) have them hold at distance which is farther than usual. Thus the only way you'll be able to hit the target is by pivoting farther. Your pivot foot should be pointing at 6:00 at impact.

Stretch, stretch, stretch,
MT has a lot of drills which focus on proper use of the hips and learning how to use them. Depending on traditional or modernized, they are a bit different, but the concept is the same. Don't kick, just throw your hip to get the motion and either chamber the kick or completely relax the leg. Forget power, forget kicking hard, you need to train proper muscle memory in the use of the hip & momentum transfer.

Drill, drill and drill!!! I was naturally gifted in being able to kick hard without proper technique. Nowdays, I drill & focus on fully throwing my hip and don't even care about power.

You use your hips for everything, kicking, punching, grappling, dancing & f**king. So drill.
here's a fruity little exercise of sorts that'll help you get your hip over.

stand infront of a bag. instead of throwing a kick and trying to hit with your lower shin, throw the kick and try to knee the bag. knee-kicks like this will help you see what your hip is doing because if your hip is not coming up and over, you will not get the leg/knee parallel to the ground. it sounds dumb, feels like dumb, but it'll help you get used to having your knee/leg up at that angle.

plus it'll help you get used to your balance on one leg if you strike the bag and hold it in that position.
Make sure you listen to your MT instructor and REALLY try to do what he says. The problem is that it takes hundreds of repititions (so I've read) to train your mind and muscles to perform a movement, and thousands to unlearn it. I know lots of guys in my gym who throw hard kicks that aren't properly commited (the hips don't turn over, etc.). They could stun someone with a well-placed kick, etc. But when we are doing body conditioning they can barely kick me hard enough to condition me, and in a sparring match I barely feel their kicks. My leg kicks, though far from perfect, are difficult to throw in a sparring match without leaving some light bruising ( I'm a big guy, but get my point). It took me years to untrain my poor habits - and even some of my good ones - to make my kicks work. Just slow down and learn them right to begin with.
One thing about power kicks in MT is that setup is crucial. They can be slow at times, and in the case of a switch kick can telegraph if you just try throwing potshots without good footwork and handwork. I guess it's like that in any kicking art, but it seemed like I threw a lot more kicks in Savate than I do now. So my point is you have to learn how to throw a kick well so that you can get on with learning how to hit someone in a match. You know what I mean?
And finally, don't forget the teep. It becomes more and more crucial as you get better. It's another kick that is sometimes taught differently from its Karate/TKD analogs (though, again, it LOOKS like a thrust kick).
Hope that helps.
Ok, you've only been doing muay thai for two months. In my opinion you souldnt even start doing kicks till two or three months. Be patient and practice. If you work hard and study the kick you should eventually get it.

Thats the problem with gyms now a days, espesially mma gyms. You learn things to fast and in the stand up to a point beyond belief. That is why there is so much lack of proper technique in stand up fighting in the mma game.