When you kick, you can add power if you stretch out your folded knee or vise versa, or if you spin your stretched-out leg or spin your leg when you turn your body.
Kicking techniques are classified according to the way you move your legs or feet, and depending on which part of legs or feet, striking power varies.Moreover, if you seize the counterpart or add some driving force when you kick, the same kicking may be different.
Let me describe basic kicking techniques, first.
1. Basic Kicking
A. Ahp Chaki (Front kick)
Fold your leg and raise the knee up to the chest, and
stretch out the folded knee forward. At this moment, the foot should trace
in a straight line toward the target. Set the front axis toward the target.
The target will be genital, abdomen, solar plexus, chin, etc.. Once you
throw a kick, draw up the leg back to the original position. At this moment,
you can move your foot to anywhere you want. However, if you stagger or
fail to move the foot to the position you intend to when you kick or draw
the leg back, it would
not be satisfactory.
If you keep the standing leg straight before or when you kick, the weight center will go up and you will lose power so that you may fall down more easily. Also it is not good for you to follow up. If the foot bottom of the standing leg sticks to the floor when you kick, more pressure goes on a hip joint or knee joint so that you can't speed up in kicking and kicking power is weak. What is worse, you may have a dislocation.
Therefore, keep the heel apart from the floor to help the front part to be the axis of spinning. And then return the foot to the original position after you kick. At this moment, if you lift the heel too high, the weight center goes up, too.
Ahp Chaki mostly uses the front part (toes turned-backward) but sometimes toes, too. When you kick through toes, you can set the target on vitals like genital or solar plexus. Further, you can throw Ahp Chaki with the foot top, but this is used for genital only. This is also called 'Ahp Olyochaki (Front raise kick)'.
B. Yop Chaki (Side kick)
Fold your leg and raise the knee up to the chest, as you do with Ahp Chaki, and stretch out the folded knee forward, turning your body to the opposite direction to the target, and strike the target with your heel. The moment you kick, turn your face to the target. When you kick, the shoulder through legs make up a spiral shape.
Therefore, the moment you kick, the heel will spin like a steel wire of a gun to strike the target with a great impact. The target will be the solar plexus and face, when you stand toward the front, and the side and face or its side chin, when you stand to the side.
Draw the kicking leg back by the reaction, and move it to the original place or where you intend to. To speed up spinning, you should keep the heel of the standing leg apart from the floor from the moment you raise the leg, and keep the knee straight to give more power to the kicking direction to speed more. When you draw the kicking leg, lower the ankle and knee as above.
Don't let the upper body lean backward the moment you kick. Raise your torso to make 'Y' shape as if to push the weight to the kicking direction.
Yop Chaki uses the heel(Dwichook) and the blade of the foot in kicking. Like in Ahp Chaki, your foot should trace the straight line from the starting point to the target.
C. Dolyeo Chaki (Turning Kick)
Load the weight on the foot, the front axis, and fold the kicking leg, and stretch out the leg and drive horizontally to strike the target with the front part of the foot. (Or you can use the foot top, too.) Keep the standing leg and ankle straight to help the body turn well enough on the front part of the foot. The kicking let should stop in the target.
For Dolyeo Chaki, the foot doesn't trace the straight line. Lift the foot behind the body and turn. If you practice Dolyeo Chaki a lot, the foot should thrust the target from a little higher the moment you kick it.
Colored Kicking Techniques -TaekwonNet Data Bank(2001/04/30)
Bandal Chaki (Half-moon kick)
Take the half way between Ahp Chaki and Dolyeo Chaki; turn in a semi-circle and then kick the target with the Ahpchook or the foot top.
Bittreo Chaki (Twisting kick)
When you kick with the right foot in the Wen Ahp Goop, lift the knee up to the chest, as in Ahp Chaki, and at this time move the knee leftward and then move back to the right and then stretch out the folded leg to kick. Kick with the Ahp Chook and the foot top. Turn your body leftward and then back to right, too. The left foot, the axis, is the same as in Ahp Chaki. Keep the left ankle a little straight and bend the knee a little bit in kicking.
Dwi Chaki (Back kick)
Lift up the kicking leg and then stretch out backward in your place. Kick with the Dwi Chook. The ending of this kick is similar to that of Yop Chaki (Side kick). You can kick both with a front leg and the behind leg. You can kick the opponent in your vicinity with the behind leg while you can kick the opponent from a distance with the front leg. Put your eyes to the kicking direction, and you don't need to keep knee and ankle of the standing leg straight. Lean the upper body forward more than in side kicking.
Peotteo Chaki (Stretching kick)
It is similar to Ahp Chki but you don't need to fold the knee too much and lift the foot and stretch the leg in the front. Stretching kick is not like foot going up but going straight-front to counterkick the opponent's advancing. So you kick the torso or lower parts. You kick with the foot bottom that strikes the body trunk. Draw the front part of the foot more toward you and you will kick with the Dwi Chook and throw a powerful blow.One more, you can kick with the foot blade. When you are to strike the genital, keep the toes straight and execute the stretching kick. Lean a little more backward than in Ahp Chaki.
Mileo Chaki (Pushing kick)
This is all the same as side kick or stretching kick but one thing is different; slow down and don't strike the target, but put your foot on and push the target. It is used in the vicinity of the opponent. It is quite offensive, and you can throw the counterpart down or push him away without hurting him critically. Kick with the foot blade or bottom.
Nackeo Chaki (Hook-up kick)
When you side-kick but at the moment, your counterpart avoids it and approaches you right away, you can attack the back of the head or the back with the force of folding the stretched knee. When you try a Dolyeo Chaki but miss the target, you can fold the knee immediately and kick. Kick with the heel.
Hooryeo Chaki (Snatching kick)
This is not like striking in the target, stop and then draw the kicking leg back, but like passing the leg on the target. Kick in a circle like Dolyeo Chaki and with foot top, foot bottom, foot blade top, foot blade and heel.
Naeryeo Chaki (Downward kick)
Raise the kicking leg up to the top of the head, and kick
downward with the knee straight. If the counterpart is not that close to
you, roll up the knee close to the chest, as in Ahp Chaki, and kick downward.
This is Naeryeo Chaki. If the opponent is close and you should avoid the
opponent to roll up the leg to inside you and then downward-kick outside;
this is called 'Bakat Naeryeo Chaki'. If you roll up the leg from outside
and downward-kick to inside, this is called 'Ahn Naeryeo Chaki.' Kick with
the bottom of the heel.
Ahn Chaki (Inward Kick)
Kick, turning the kicking leg in a circle from the outside as in half-moon kick. Kick this way with BanNal Deung. This is used a lot as defending technique, to roll the leg before Naeryeo Chaki, or to Pyo Jeok Cha Ki (target-kick).
Bakat Chaki (Outward Kick)
This is the opposite to the Ahan Chaki, kick outward. It is similar to twisting kick, and you kick with the foot top. This is mostly used for defense, and also in rolling up the foot before Naeryeo Chaki.
This is used when you are to use the hand, but actually Chiki refers to circling the elbow to attack. The knee belongs to the leg but it acts like a stick circling from the hip joint so that it is not called Chaki but Chiki. With "Knee Chiki" you strike up the target, and you draw down the genital or face of the opponent and then strike it up. Or you can drag the torso of the counterpart and throw a blow on the torso with Dolyeo Chiki.
With the kicks presented above, you put one foot on the floor to support the whole body and lift the other foot up to strike the counterpart in the air. Kicking is 3 times more powerful than punching, but if you don't take good balance nor are accurate and quick, the 3-times-more power turns helpless.
That is, if you are so unbalanced or slow that you are blocked by the counterpart or caught up by him/her, it is really serious. Besides, if you make a mistake and fail to strike the target and miss him/her, you feel more than 3 times as much fatigue. Therefore, you need to practice foot techniques a lot and to be as skillful with kicking as with punching.
To compensate for simple kicking techniques, you can take
Combinatory Techniques with which you can jump up and gain speed to kick
in combination with other techniques.
Better Round Kicks
Tips for round kicks - - Seok Boo Kil(2001/06/18)
Most matial art kicks facilitate spinning power of the whole foot with stability of the supporting ground and a broad stance.
However, Taekwondo round kick causes the hip to spin on the axis of the coxa of the supporting side, with the stance shoulder-wide, while the hand and upper body on the other side turn to the opposite direction, so that the whole body twists, causing counteraction.
At the same time, bend coxa and knee joint as much as you can, and let them drive spinning power gradually while they get to the target, and at the last moment the spinning power reaches the peak, and you kick the target with the maximal power (Science of Taekwondo, Ryu Byung Kwan)
Round kick is one of those which you take most often. From the ready- stance, lift the knee and twist your waist as quickly as possible when you start to get on speed as if you try to take a step to run. Then take advantage of spinning power and accelerating speed of lifting the knee, and toss up the knee to kick. After you kick, bend the knee again to recover balance. (Taekwondo Theories, Kang Sung Chul)
If you should think you would try to kick from low, it would not be a round kick. That is a kick by foot only, not by the whole body.
That is, that's not a real round kick. Some say that you should turn the kicking knee toward the foot on the opposite side; this means inter-spinning.
If you spin the foot inward, the kicking foot can get as close to the supporting foot as possible. An important point here is the turning force. The formula of entrifugal force is mv²/r, where r refers to radius, m to mass, and v to velocity.
High speed and great mass and short radius make greatest force. So if the radius is long, the force goes down even though speed and mass are great enough. That is, if the spinning radius is too long, high speed and great mass may be useless. That's why kicks from the other martial arts are weaker than Taekwondo counterparts; their spinning radius is too long.
So, put your kicking foot to the supporting leg as closely
as possible, together with inward spinning of the foot. Forget about kicking
up from low. Spin and lift the knee, turn your body and then kick the target
This is the right kind of kicking. If this is done correctly, the outer part of the foot top touches the target. Most beginners would have the inside part of the foot top touches the target.
One more, remember you kick the target with your body. In Taekwondo, speed goes high from coxa to knee joint, and the moment your foot hits the target, the speed gets highest. That is, have shoulder and hip cooperate so that the transfer from thigh to lower leg to foot makes up the highest speed of foot tip and greatest impact. Kicks with the whole body is the right kind of kicks.
Further, it is important to push the floor when you kick. When you lift the knee as mentioned above, you should take advantage of counter force of the floor. If you push the floor, much more force is transmited to the target. I mean you should use some external force.
I hope you can maximize effect of your training based
on the right ways of kicking.