Introductory Article to Prepare for Axe Kick
By Grandmaster Tony Vohra
We will concentrate on axe kicks in this article. The body faces forward, the leg swings up and above your head. Then it descends in a rapid chopping motion (hence ‘axe’) to the top of your opponent’s head or shoulders - or anywhere on the body if he happens to be on the floor. This truly is a kick of nuclear proportions!
As always, I will explain:
a) The correct way to perform the technique;
b) How to practise your technique;
c) Your kick’s applications and targets;
d) An exercise routine to strengthen your legs and so improve your technique.
As with crescent kick, there are three basic variations of axe kick to consider. These are: outside to inside axe kick; inside to outside axe kick (these are both performed facing your opponent throughout the movement); reverse axe kick in which you face your opponent before spinning through 360 degrees to deliver the kick with extra power and speed! All these techniques are delivered with your back foot. Like crescent kick, once these are mastered you can also skip forward and use your front foot. Practise from fighting stance and remember to attack your opponent’s centre- line. This kick can be devastating when applied correctly but don’t be fooled! Axe kick may look simple, but in fact it takes a great deal of control to get maximum advantage from it.
Outward to inward Axe Kick
Take up your usual fighting stance. Using a circular motion, swing your back leg out to the side and then up in a semicircle above your head. Chop down when it reaches its highest point.
Inward to outward Axe Kick.
Take up your fighting stance and with a semi-circular motion, swing your back leg in and across your body before lifting it high and chopping down.
Reverse Axe Kick.
Face your partner (or a mirror) in fighting stance. This time spin your body around. As you do, lift your back leg up and around so it follows the movement of your body. Chop down when your foot is at the desired height. Depending on how far you are from the target, the kick is delivered with your heel, the sole of your foot or even your toes. The back of your calf can also be used in some situations. Remember to lift your foot from the floor to its highest point and bring it down again as rapidly as possible for the best effect. The main advantage of axe kick is that it takes advantage of a natural blind spot, and if you perform it correctly, then your opponent won’t see it coming. Practise outward to inward axe kick for its strength and mobility benefit but note that it’s not very practical in a fighting situation because it can leave you wide open to counter-attack.
PRACTICE! ALL THE TIME!!
This cannot be emphasised enough. Just getting the basic technique down is simply not enough because without practice you do not develop control, and without control you can seriously injure yourself and others. Begin by honing your skills in front of a mirror. Watch your form and aim at the reflection of your own head/shoulders. A partner holding floppy pads and focus mitts will develop your power and range. Forward and sideward leg-raising are good exercises to improve kick height and strength.
Stand sideways to a wall with your hand against it for balance. Kick into the air as high as you can while keeping your other foot flat on the floor. Repeat 20 times on each leg.
Begin as for forward leg-raises but swing your leg out to the side. Repeat 20 times on each leg. Incorporate both of these into your daily exercise routine. Master Tony Vohra is always pleased to advise individual students, clubs and instructors and he will arrange courses & seminars to suit at home and abroad. For further details, for individual stretching programmes or for access to Kukkiwon certification, contact: President Grandmaster S. S. Vohra (8th dan).
Tel: 00 44 (0)115 9780439
WEB SITE: www.martialartsvohra.com or Emails: firstname.lastname@example.org