Kampala Dojo-Uganda

Essential Karate 

Fundamental of Karate

Due to the fact that the leg is normally used to support the body, it is more awkward to use as a weapon as compared to the arm. However, it is much stronger than the arm, and because of its superior length can be used to attack from a greater distance. It is generally accepted that the leg can express three times as much power as the arm.
A beginner must expect to lose his balance when first leaning leg techniques. The three keys to successful mastery are: maintaining the center of gravity by keeping the hips steady, performing the kicks at great speed, and returning the striking leg to the ground immediately after the attack.
When you have developed sufficient strength and flexibility with your legs, you have acquired the strongest weapons in an unarmed man's arsenal. In competition karate, 70 % of the winning blows are delivered by the leg.

1. Sokuto (foot sword)

This is the outer edge of the foot, as shown in the photo. It is used to attack the neck, jaw, spleen, hips, and joints.

A. Yoko - geri (side kick)
Note that in this correct form each foot and one shoulder form the vertices of a triangle.

B and C. Yoko - geri (side kicks, front and side views)
First, you transfer your weight to the supporting leg, keeping the hips steady and the knees slightly bent. Then pull up the kicking foot to a position just in front of the knee of the supporting leg. Now, quickly strike out with your leg to the side and immediately return to the starting position.

D. Kansetsu - geri (kicks to the knee)
Remember that immediately after delivering a kick, you must return the leg to its starting position. This allows for a quick follow - up kick, and prevents an opponent from catching you off balance.

E. Sokuto - yoko - geri (upper body side kick using the foot sword technique)

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2. Chu-soku (ball of the foot)

As shown in the photo at the left, this is the fleshy portion, or ball, of the foot just below the toes. In order to strike an opponent without injuring yourself, you must be sure to keep the toes bent back towards the shin. The targets are the temple, face, jaw, chest, and spleen.

A. Mae - keage (front upper kick)

B. Chudan - mae - geri (middle body front kick)
The first step is to bring the knee of the striking leg up above the navel. Then kick forward, striking the opponent's stomach or solar plexus. Be sure to keep the toes bent back to avoid injury. Note that to compensate for the forward kick, you must lean backwards approximately 25‹in order to maintain balance. Also, your chest should be slightly concave and your chin tucked into your neck.

C. Jordan - mae - geri (upper body front kick)
This technique is basically the same as the previous ones; however, the primary targets are the jaw and face.

D. Chusoku - Mawashi - geri (roundhouse kick with chusoku)
This kick starts in the same position an the above; however, the bent knee is brought to the side and the body is bent away from that side . Then, using a large circular motion, extend your foot forward and strike the jaw, face or side. If the timing is correct, this kick can express a tremendous amount of power.

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3. Hai - soku (instep)

As shown in the photos, this is the top of the foot just below the ankle. It is used to strike the groin, side, neck, and ribs. The toes are stretched straight forward.

A. Hai - soku - mawashi - geri (roundhouse kick with the instep)
This technique is basically the same as the turning kick described above, except that an opponent is struck with the instep rather than the ball. The chief target is the neck.

B. Kinteki - geri (testicles kick)
Bring the knee up and strike forward hitting the opponent's testicles with the instep. Caution: This target is the most vulnerable part of the male anatomy, so during practice you should never actually strike a sparring partner. Kinteki - geri is an excellent kick for a woman to use against a real attacker.
4. Tei - soku (arch)

The arch is usually used for blocking an opponent's attack. It is always better to block a punch with a shock - absorber - like soft area such as the arch, rather than a hard area. This technique is also used to attack an opponent's side or arm with a sweeping sideways motion. (Photos show front and side views of the Tei - soku defense.)

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5. Kakato (heel)

The heel is the pivotal point for turning the body. It is also an effective weapon. There are two ways in which it can be used offensively:

A. Kakato - geri (heel kick)
This technique is used when the opponent is already on the ground. You bring the leg up, keeping it stright with the toes stretched back. Then bring the heel forcefully down against the opponent's head, face, or stomach. This is a very powerful and dangerous kick as all the body weight is concentrated in the heel.

B. Ushiro - geri (rear kick)
This form of attack is used for striking an opponent who is behind you. As illustrated, the correct technique is to drive your momentum backwards and your heel into the atomach of an opponent.
A B1

6. Hiza - geri (knee kick)

The knee is an hard and powerful as the elbow, and also is most effective when fighting in close. The targets are the testicles, stomach, and thighs. Another offensive technique is to grasp an opponent's hair and slam his face down against your knee. The knee and upper thigh can also be used defensively to block kicks from an opponent.

A. Front and side views of the knee kick using either leg.

B. Technique of forcing an opponent's face onto your knee.

C. The correct procedure for using the knee kick to attack an opponent's thigh.

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