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Sparring Technique Review Series: The Fast Kick

No sparring competitor's toolbox is complete without the fast kick. It is a foundational kick that can be used in all levels of competition - entire game plans can be constructed around the fast kick. If you want to learn more about the fast kick, come check out our program.

Let's talk about the front leg roundhouse kick, or as we like to call it - the "fast kick" (FK).

Competitor summary:

This might be my favorite kick. First off, it's fast. A properly executed FK should finish right as your back foot hits the ground. Next: distance. Your front foot is the closest you'll be to an opponent - the sheer lack of distance you need to travel ensures quick delivery. Think of the fast kick as a really fast "check hook" in boxing. If someone has a loose guard, this is exactly the kick you would use to maximize your chances of taking on an opponent while minimizing the risk of a counter. If you are truly fast, the ability to fake an opponent with the threat of your fast kick now opens up more opportunities to press and control the pace of a fight.


If your opponent has active hands, they can easily block the fast kick (in closed stance). If your opponent is standing in open stance, you now run the risk of fast kicking their elbow - which doesn't feel nice. If you have a slow "fast kick," and not much variety in your technique, it is easy to time and counter. The two strongest counters to the fast kick are the front leg flick and the jump back kick - the former is an easily executed block and counter, the latter a strong counter that hits 2x harder when your opponent is coming in. If your opponent is a hard charging fighter, you may get "jammed" where you cannot extend your snap.

Game plan should they have a counter:

Beginner: If your opponent simply blocks the attacks without countering, you can play with your stances and go for opposite side. You can adjust the height of your kicks on the chest guard. You can add in feints.

Intermediate: If your opponent is blocking / instant countering or even throwing jump back kicks, you need to develop your feints and footwork and off-rhythm timing.

Advanced: Learning to chain together fast kick with other front leg techniques, such as the cut kick or twist kick, enables players to move the opponent's guard should they maintain distance. In electronic scoring, this enables for a diversity of hitting options, and with the addition of heads shots, there are even more targets to defend - you have champs winning off this strategy alone.

Steps to learn this technique:

  1. Footwork, hopping your backfoot to replace your front foot

  2. Pairing the chamber of your kick

  3. Snapping your kick from chamber

Here's a detailed tutorial on how to learn a fast kick!

Happy Training!


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