What's the strongest kung fu kick?

Sep 21, 2022

I couldn't get enough of Kung Fu movies, especially when they perform crazy and acrobatic kicks. Most of my kung fu mates wanted to kick like a freight train but I wanted to kick like a sniper, hidden and accurate.  

Your kicks are your body's most powerful weapon, in sheer force, and if applied correctly, they could be much more. I don't think of kicking as "kicking" but rather "stepping." You're not kicking someone's face but stepping on it. You're not kicking someone's stomach but stepping through the person.  

Three kicks I see people do that I don't suggest doing in combat:

  1. A mafioso or "gangsta" kick - where you load your kick and push your opponent away with your foot instead of actually kicking someone.  This is a great way for movie choreographers to not make the fight scene NOT look like a martial arts choreography.
  2. "Wipe the Poop" kick - when someone kicks the opponent with so little force that they simply slide off like they're wiping the poop they stepped on earlier.  Which would be a credible way to demean your opponent, if you're 10 years old.
  3. "Floppy fish kick" - when your foot looks like a floppy fish when kicking.  Expect a broken bone.

There are so many different types of kicks. It's up to you to deem them for street combat or for performance, much like a butterfly kick. The butterfly kick's original use was to unhorse someone and in modern terms, it's obsolete but looks great in performances.

The higher your kicks, the weaker it becomes. If you can do high kicks effectively then your low combat kicks become more powerful. Some people can kick and pick their ear with the same foot at the same time but most people can barely kick above their waist, which is completely fine.
When your foot rises above your waist your upper body naturally wants to tilt to adapt your balance which takes power from your kick.

If you love high kicks and are able to do them with speed and accuracy then treat high kicks in street combat much like a takedown or a throw. Use them as a surprise attack or after giving your opponent a decent amount of pain then kick them to high hell.
Low kicks or footwork are essential to kung fu street combat. Low-foot techniques are almost invisible and are more powerful since it's lower to the ground.  If you can use both high and low techniques well then learn to wedge, wrap, plow, etc.

Check out more in our KKP kicking episode.

Above:  Sifu Gus doing a "Lotus" or "Cross" kick.

Throughout today, watch how people use their feet to stand, walk, run, and sit. You will notice that if they lift their foot to different heights they are essentially kicking but did you notice something extremely important? We also use our feet to balance, anchor, redirect, and wedge our surroundings.
If you incorporate these natural actions into your combat practice, a new world of effective, and "hidden" techniques will reveal themselves. In our KKP videos, you will notice we utilize these natural "stepping" into our combat practice.

By the way, the strongest kung fu kick you can do is a stomp.  Your weight plus working with gravity, plus the ground to vise anything in between.  Experiment with kicking a watermelon on a pedestal or stomping on the ground and you'll see what I mean.  Although it's a waste of delicious watermelons.

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