Free karate tips

Side kick (yoko geri)

The side kick (Yoko Geri) is one of the most powerful of all the karate kicks, especially when aimed at the ribs or solar plexus. You can strike by using either the side or the heel of the foot. I would recommend using the side of the foot when striking at the throat or neck, whereas the heel of the foot is best for all other targets such as the solar plexus, ribs or head.

How to perform a side kick (yoko geri)

The kick begins by bringing your knee up and then twisting sideways, thrusting your leg forward at your opponent while rotating your body on the supporting leg. Bend the supporting leg while kicking to give you better balance. Your foot should be pointed sideways with your toes pulled tightly upward, the striking surface being the side of the foot or the heel.

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 Side Kick (Yoko Geri).

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Side kick (yoko geri): points to remember

  • Keep your guard up while kicking. Do not throw your arms backward as you kick.
  • Tilt your head slightly down and keep your chin tucked in.
  • Try to keep your back straight and do not lean forward or backward while kicking.
  • Practice your side kick low before you attempt to aim higher.

28 comments about “Side kick (yoko geri)”

  1. sarantos said:

    well, this is NOT a side kick, it looks more like a bad performed roundhouse kick !! are you sure this guy is a 5th degree black belt ????

  2. Sh0t said:

    I had the same feelings. WTF is that?

  3. sam said:

    lol well that is a mawashi geri , not even a perfect one , please recheck this link , maybe u accidently named the file yoko geri thank you

  4. jm said:

    What a joke! Not a yoko geri, and the mawashi geri he does is also laughable.
    No wonder traditional karate gets clobbered on the street, with these joker senseis!!!

  5. tulip said:

    Karate kicks are inferior to tae kwan do kicks. I have seen so many karate black belt practising side kick in this way. Even round horse was not perfect.

  6. lol said:

    haha wtf is this guy doing
    laughed my ass off

  7. David Watson said:

    This man could barely get his foot off the ground and bring it back. The side kick is so similar to the roundhouse. This just proved how un adaptable this art is. These kick don’t compare to the Jeet Kune Do kicks or savates. To everyone who does karate please reconsider and do Krav maga, Jeet Kune Do, or Bujnkan ninjutsu.

  8. confused said:

    Okay…. What the heck was that? This guy even looked off balance. That wasn’t a sidekick. Maybe its just a karate thing. I’m in favor of Tae Kwon Do, considering their kicks can’t even be identified until the execution, due to similar chambering.

  9. JustDon said:

    OK let’s not panic. This is not a good example of any kind of a kick. The man puts more impact into his shoulders than into his leg and frankly the kick is brutal. But it does not prove anything about any karate or kung-fu or tai-kwon-do. Maybe should find a better role model (for example, my eighty-year old granny does a better kick) !!!

  10. ivan c. said:

    Round kick that is chambered to the front is what used to be called in the old school Yoko Geri (Mawashi Geri is chambered to the side and then executed with a pivot). Traditional Okinawan GOJU RYU – that of “Karate Kid” ‘s Mr. Miyagi – is an old karate school derived
    from Fukien White Crane style of kung fu, which puts emphasis on low stances and kicks delivered to the sternum and the kneecaps. This “guy” has trained with (and was graded by)
    Morio Higaonna, 9th dan in the Traditional Okinawan Goju system.
    If you’re looking for a sport karate demonstration, go to the Shotokan/Kyokushin page!

  11. Jay said:

    I know TKD and Karate, and they are all similar, but this guy’s side kick is worse than my dog kicks his back leg while he is peeing…. If I was his master, I will stripe his belt.

  12. Charles K said:

    I have seen some other “black belts” from Morio and they are not impressive with knowledge. I did a seminar at one of his 6th Degree Black belts schools in CA and they were amazed at my basic techniques. This kick is actually a turned front kick or cheat side. There is a fast way to deliver a side kick without turning and this is it. Although it looks like the guy hasn’t kicked in 20 years. Try to deliver a side kick without full turn of the hips (other foot) and only stretching to the kick. Requires some minor flexiblity. Most of the “Traditional Goju Ryu” guys don’t have experience with fighting so they don’t really know how to deliver a strike or kick when it really matters.

  13. Dom said:

    I pratice Oom Yung Doe and a 5th Level Black belt should not have that much trouble doing a simple side kick, or whatever that kick is called because his foot is vertical to the ground, and he is leaning to the left alot

  14. dan said:

    i was thinkin to myself maybe that guy in the video mugged someone to get that blackbelt, but after watchin that kick, i dont think he’d have won, he must have bought it on ebay

  15. nes said:

    don’t kid me, i’ve seen yellow belts with stronger and better yoko geri’s with better form……..unless he’s secretely hiding his true power……’s an elaborate ruse!!!!!!

  16. Mike said:

    As somebody said this more looks like badly performed mawashi geri then yoko geri. Yoko geri is kick to the side and this guy is (trying) to strike in front of him.

  17. derek said:

    Being 4th dan myself in karate I would not even show my students a kick performed this way except to show how NOT to do it. The supporting leg is going to be damaged if he does not turn the foot, he is likely to twist his knee out. The form of his kicking leg does not seem to me to be right. His foot should be turned down, which cannot be done unless he turns his supporting leg. Also he is leaning forward losing balance.

  18. Anasazi said:

    Hehe, it’s more like a mawashi geri to mae geri. It looks really odd.

  19. Allan said:

    Shotokan karate do and tae kwan do kicks are much alike , so what in the world is this guy doing?
    I’ve spent seventeen years in shotokan karate-do and five of those years teaching.
    Seeing this makes me feel ashamed and at the same time makes me want to buy this guy airline tickets to Japan for lessons!

  20. Jake Booker said:

    Take a look at Paul Zaichik’s side kicks videos and demonstrations if you want to see a true master’s side kick.

  21. jo said:

    i thought as a brown belt still waiting to be invited for my black it wouldn’t hurt to see this 5th dan do his yoko geri…..sadly he’s obviously on his way to a fancy dress party, not only have i seen orange belts kick better, but who in their right mind would call it karate? the other comments are funny….bless.

  22. Molly said:

    that was the most rubbish thing i`v seen in my 11 years of living and i agree with jo

  23. Brian lee said:

    I have 4 yo doing better side kicks in my dojo at the ymca than this guy who probably bought his black belt on line
    I am 48 yo and started at age 4 my father was 4th dan kyokushin
    I now have three black belts 2 2nd dan one third dan kyokushin
    2nd degree brown judo. this guy has gotten his skills from tv and I would say he wasn’t paying attention. love to have 60 second with this guy

  24. Yoko geri kekomi (side thrust kick) | MartialArtsTube said:

    [...] [Fromm Original page is here] [...]

  25. Mel said:

    I agree with the others here, I’m a beginner in Genbu Kai Karate and just learned side kicks last night. I’m nowhere near the level of our black belts, but I’m better than that guy! It looks like a bad roundhouse kick.

  26. shahil said:


  27. Martial Arts Tube » Blog Archive » Yoko geri said:

    [...] [From Original page is here] [...]

  28. URL said:

    … [Trackback]

    [...] Informations on that Topic: [...]

  29. Escobar said:

    This man need help.

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