In martial arts, the hips are a crucial component in maintaining balance and power.
Are you engaging your hips when you punch or kick?
If you answered “No” or “I don’t know”, you are not accessing your full potential for explosive power.
The hips are crucial for proper technique and maintenance of good balance. Explosive power is generated by the rotation of the hips.
A punch or kick must be started from the ground, move through the hips, through the arm or leg to your target to have full effect. You can see this demonstrated in any advanced martial artist or fighter.
Think of what happens when you walk or run. In order to generate more force or speed, your foot must push off the ground and your hips must turn in the direction you want to go.
A punch or a kick is simply an extension of your hip’s movement. Let’s break it down into smaller movements. Practice these slowly, breaking down each technique. Once you feel you have got it, speed things up a bit. Your aim should be to complete the technique (through all the smaller movements) in one fluid motion.
- Raise your read foot onto its toes while pivoting your rear leg, angling the knee towards your lead. Your lead foot remains flat on the ground.
- Rotate your hips down and away from your target slightly (of course bringing your hands with you). If you’re a boxer, you can afford to crouch lower. A Muay Thai fighter (or any other fighter really) cannot afford to do this due for fear of knees or other such things. This movement is essentially your wind-up. Like a batters or golfers backswing.
- Turn your hips towards your target, turning your lead arm into the target. As you do this, your lead foot should be coming up on its toes and rotating in the same direction as your hook. Flatten out your rear foot.
- You’ll probably get a better idea watching this video by ESNEWS and boxer Lamon Brewster.
Rear Round Kick
A kick like the Muay Thai round kick uses a similar motion to the hook. Although there is no real wind up, the angle and speed of your rotation determine your power.
- Step forward slightly (on about a 45 degree angle) with your lead foot.
- Get up on the toes of your lead foot.
- Push off the ground with your rear foot and lift your leg.
- Rotate your lead foot as you swing your back leg towards the opponent. While you turn into your target, turn the back leg over so as to strike with the front of your shin. Your aim should be to point your butt cheek towards your target.
- Check out this video for a quick tutorial from Tiger Muay Thai.
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Thanks and have a great day!