I say Karate kicks, but the training tips of this article hold for Taekwondo Kicks, Kung Fu kicks, or whatever. There are two things that we need to analyze when figuring out the best way to kick somebody’s butt. One is holding to the basic kicks, and the other is the mechanics of the kick itself.
When doing Karate kicks one can get carried away with a lengthy list of flashy kicks. This includes jumping, spinning, and even acrobatic leg maneuvers. These, however, while fun and even a benefit to the student, will not work in a street altercation. Thus, when doing martial arts kicks one should stick to the four effective fighting basics: front, side, wheel (roundhouse), or spinning rear kick.
When practicing these leg tricks make sure that you raise the knee. Raising the knee involves the hips and commits the whole body to the kick. A good training tip for doing this is to practice kicking over a chair.
Always use the correct part of the foot when striking. This would be the toes, the ball of the foot, the instep, and the heel. When selecting which part of the foot to kick with, remember that the smallest striking area will focus the greatest amount of force.
Always turn the hips when kicking. Turning the hips commits the whole weight of the body into the action. This must be done liquid and whiplike, all pieces moving together.
Do not hold your leg in the chamber position. One must be like a liquid whip, up from the earth to the target, and back from the target to the earth. To hold the leg halfway between is to bleed power out of the kick, and to break it into segments.
Always do your kicking at the right distance. Just as you shouldn’t try to use a fist when at kicking range, don’t try to use a foot when at fist range. The better strategy is not to try to make something work at the wrong distance, but to get so good at the basics that you can’t be stopped.
Most important rule of all: do hundreds, even thousands, of kicks every day. The fool who thinks ten kicks per foot per kick per day is enough is just that…a fool. Only by dedicating oneself, by going fanatic and mad dog in your training, whether in Karate kicks, or whatever type of leg movement you are practicing, will you hope to obtain the best benefits that your martial arts discipline has to offer.
There are some great articles on kicking at FreeMartialArtsOnline.com