Free karate tips

Front kick (mae geri)

The front kick is the most used of all Karate kicks, because it can be performed very fast with little wind-up, and it is difficult block. There are slight variations in how to perform a front kick, from a quick snap kick to a very powerful thrusting front kick.

How to perform a Front Kick (Mae Geri)

The kick begins by bringing your knee up and forward. The heel and then toes must spring forward from the ground in one motion, snapping the leg forward towards your target. Bend the leg you are standing on while kicking to give you better balance. Your foot should be pointed forward with your toes pulled tightly back. The striking surface is the ball of the foot. Thrust your hips forward with the kick to add power and speed.

Return your leg to the ground quickly to stop your opponent from grabbing your leg.

The video clip shows Sensei Terry Lyon (5th Dan) performing Front Kick (Mae Geri).

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Front kick (mae geri): points to remember

  • Keep your guard up while kicking. Do not throw your arms backward as you kick.
  • Tilt your head slightly down, with your chin tucked in.
  • Try to keep your back straight and do not lean forward or backward while kicking.
  • Your most powerful front kick will always be when your leg is below your hip line. As soon as you raise your kick over the hip line you begin to lose power.
  • Practice your front kick low before you attempt to aim higher.
  • It is also possible kick with the toes pointed forward, although this is not recommended for a beginner.

8 comments about “Front kick (mae geri)”

  1. Matt said:

    “Keep your guard up while kicking. Do not throw your arms backward as you kick.”

    Um…yeah…sorry, but it looks like he’s playing football with his son in the garden.

  2. Brian said:

    Only after you have a good understanding and grasped the technique, you can start to do the front thrust kick, for more power, with also slightly leaning back but looking forward at the same time thrusting the kick, and come back at the same time as bringing back your foot.

  3. David Watson said:

    These kicks all of them will get you killed in a real fight.When you chamber a kick, and I don’t care how fast you are it is too telegraphable. People would knock you down. I also don’t know why his hand are not covering his face.

  4. vaughn said:

    I recently used a front kick on a bigger apponent

    The only mistake I made was not dropping my centre of gravity

    Because he and his friend managed to tackle me to the ground.

    This stuff can work only if you can maintain balance and avoid takedowns.

  5. Sven said:

    mae geri is not supposed to “kick down” your opponent, you are supposed to use it to get space between you and your opponent. There is also no way your able to knock me down if you come running into the kick, its you that will be kicked back and I can follow up with either more hits or kicks.

    The kick displayed are also done in “slow” motion, as you do it much faster than the movie shows.

  6. john said:

    thank you for the tip

    john espy orange belt

  7. S_tony said:

    Well it worked well enough to knock an Oldsmobile about a foot away from me while caving in the door, I would think that if I hit a human with that same kick, eventually he would go down (unless he was a gamma radiated superhero, or Tom Brady)

  8. Anonymous said:

    Martial arts was made by peasants who couldn’t find anyway to defend themselves and succeeded you have to be smart and they could be used in a real fight don’t be ignorant and cocky saying they wont.

  9. john said:

    What can you do if someone catches the straight kick?

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