Bill “superfoot” Wallace retired in the early eighties as undefeated world champion in the middle weight of full contact kickboxing: his combat strategy was always based on fantastic kicking techniques that often caught by surprise his opponents and knock them out. Wallace was not just good and superfast in kicking but he could shoot double of triple kicks with a single leg, using these techniques in the same way most boxers faint punching techniques.
Apart from his obviously amazing experience as a martial artist Wallace has a master in Sport Science that further qualifies him to advise people about stretching for flexibility. He was a true precursor of innovative stretching excercises and applications like the one decribed in the video below.
It shows here how to improve flexibility for side kicks (and it equally applies to round and hook ones): good news is that we at CARISMA regularly do a very similar (simplified) version during our classes, so it’s good to learn the extra movements we can add.
Side kicks are very powerful techniques and everybody training for any martial art that uses them should try to master this technique and the way of best exploiting its potential. When I learnt my first kicks in the early eighties it was a time when every kick had to be performed at maximum height, just because. Within a few years people realized that always kicking high is not necessarily useful so a few kicks, nominally side and front kick were then trained to be at medium level, targeting the chest and the abdomen.
If you are training Kickboxing or Tae kwon Do you should remember that kicks are meant to be targeted at your opponent’s waist and above: if this works well if you are reasonably tall it proves to be quite disadvantageous if you are shorter than average. In the latter case you must kick well above your waist level just to strike your opponent in an acceptable target.
That is why flexibility should be trained properly and every kick should be done easily, without struggling, at any level. This video I found on YouTube is simple, home made and essential but it shows a few interesting exercises that will improve flexibility in a way that will be useful for those interesting in performing proper side kicks, at the right height. As in any stretching exercise do not expect miracles but work out progressively and slowly accepting the fact that a side kick is ultimately an awkward movement and if you are not very flexible it will take a while to improve. Any comment, positive or negative, will be appreciated.