Keep that thumb behind your hip for your front snap kicks
I learned something in this class today that I have been searching for, for almost seven years. This is related to doing the front snap kick the way that I should be doing it. Even though Sensei Cieplik has told us do the do the same thing when doing roundhouse kicks in the past, this really made a big difference in my front snap kicks.
When doing a front snap kick, put your thumb at the side of your leg when doing a front snap kick. This will keep you from using your shoulders to kick. Your arm has to be directly down at your side and your thumb should be at or behind the side of your hip, then you kick and your hips extend forward but your hand and arm stays in the same position. We did the same drill as above but this time with knee strike only and then we did front snap kick again.
This simple fix has me excited because the placement of the hand and arm in that position really made a big difference to me. Try it out and let me know what it does for you in a comment below.
Get a partner and give them a knee…
We partnered up and did both front knee strikes and roundhouse type knee strikes. The key to these drills was to get the hips involved. By involved, I mean extended so that the hips can make the power.
The next drill was standing, facing your partner but off to the side, bring one knee up like a roundhouse knee strike, extended the lower leg for a roundhouse kick, turn the hip of the kicking leg over and try to point the toes downward, then pull back to a front stance.
After that, we stood facing our partner, did a front leg cutting kick and then stepped in with a reverse punch.
The last drill was beyond my hips for now, the idea was to bring the front knee up, slide on the back foot moving forward and execute a cutting kick. I have seen Sensei do this and cover more than six feet. It is a sight to behold.
Cool down with some kata…
We finished up with Heian Shodan all the way through Tekki Shodan
I just have to mention it again. Keeping the hands behind the hips when kicking really was a breakthrough for me and if any of you are having issues with your front snap kicks, give it try and see if it helps you like it does me.