How to Side Kick – Tips for Power and Balance

Hey, it’s Ando again from Today, I want to talk about something
that really drives me nuts. I’m talking about bad side kicks. It’s
like a plague. You see these everywhere. Models, actors, so-called certified
fitness instructors. All these good-looking people with their hips
sticking out, their knee crooked, toes pointing up, and sometimes even their thumbs up and a tongue hanging out. Look, if that sounds like you, I’m
sorry. But the good news is, I think I can help you. Today, I’ve got three tips to
make your sidekick stronger, balanced, and ultimately, better for your
body. Let’s take a look. Okay. If you want to learn how to throw a
powerful sidekick, I don’t want you to listen to your
teacher. I don’t even want you to listen to me. I only want you to listen to your body. Ask your body these two simple questions– Question number one: Hey, body, do you
like it better when I swing my leg forwards and backward, or do you like it
when I swing side to side? I’ll bet one of those feels better than
the other. Question number two: Hey, body, do you like it better when I
stomp on my heels or when I stomp on the sides of my feet? In fact, don’t even try that one. If your body is anything like mine and
you’re not built like a jellyfish, I’ll bet your body just told you
something about throwing sidekicks. It probably just told you that your body is
built to deliver and receive pressure and force along the joints, not across
the joints. That’s the way you’ve been walking, and
running, jumping, and climbing your entire life. Which brings us to an interesting
discovery– the sidekick is not actually thrown to the side of your body. If you put pressure across your ankle,
across your knee, or even across your hips, You’re just asking for pain and problems.
Now, yeah, you can get away with not turning your body if you’re just hacking
away at low targets like ankles and shins and maybe alligators, but as a general
rule, I want you to remember this– the higher you kick, the more you have to
pivot. I’ll say that again– the higher you kick, the more you have to
pivot. Okay. Listening to our bodies, here come
three tips to throw a more powerful side kick. Tip number one: Make sure you turn your
support foot. Make sure that force is running along your foot, not across it. On offense, it’s not so easy to throw a powerful kick if you’re driving in off the side of your knee or the side of your foot. On defense, if you get jammed up because your timing is off, or they catch your foot and throw this back at you, all that pressure coming in is going to cause you to roll your ankle or tear your knee. So, if you’re going to throw a side kick, make sure you turn that support foot. That’s going to give you the power to
really cause some damage. And if things go wrong, it’s going to give you the ability to absorb it and hopefully walk away and reset. Tip number two: Kick with your heel, not the blade of your foot. I know. There’s lots of people out there
who will tell you go ahead and kick with the blade of your foot. I’m just not one of them. If you’re kicking with the blade of your foot and it’s working for you, keep it up. But for me, when I stick the
blade of my foot onto a target, all I feel is pressure on my ankle and my
knee. I don’t want any part of that. What I prefer is to make sure my heel is digging straight into that target like throwing a spear. I can feel the alignment of my bone and
my muscle right behind that. It feels no different than stomping on the ground.
And that’s good for me and bad for the other guy. Tip number three may be the only one you
need, because if you do this one right, both of your feet will take care of
themselves. Here’s the tip– Get your butt in line. This is what I
mean. You’ve got three parts to this kick– your heel, your butt, and your torso. Try
to line those up as best as you can for a really good side kick. Here’s the wrong way to do it. Foot is up, you’re looking cool, but your butt is not
in alignment at all. Your butt is sticking out. Why is that a problem? Well, on offense,
you’re not using the biggest muscles that you’ve got to deliver power.
On defense, if this gets crushed and pushed back into
you, all that power is going to get stuck right here and pinch your
ribs and your hip. That’s uncomfortable and will probably
knock you off balance. So, here’s what I think– aim your butt to
kick their butt. Meaning–I aim my butt then I can kick their butt. That’s probably
why I like it. Because it feels like there’s trash talk built
right into the technique. I don’t even have to open my mouth.
I just turn, kick, enjoy. So, now you know the secret to a
powerful side kick is making that full pivot. Now there are three ways that you
can time that pivot. The first way would be to make the pivot first and then send out the kick second. The second way would be just to
pivot halfway and then while you’re finishing the kick, crank over the supporting foot. The third way is more for speed, where you’re just going to send that foot up as fast as you can in a straight line and right at the moment of impact, crank over your support foot.
Now, they’re all fine. There’s a time and a place for
everything. Just make sure that at the moment of impact, your body has turned
fully and this leg feels just as strong as when you were swinging it or when you
were stomping the heel. If you don’t do that, I promise you– one, your kick is not going
to be very strong, two, you’re probably going to get knocked off balance a lot more than you should, three, you look ridiculous, especially if
your tongue is hanging out of your mouth, and four, there’s a good chance you’re
going to end up with injuries in your ankles, your knees, and your hips. So, listen to your body and let it tell
you how to throw a sidekick. Okay, that’s it. If you like that tip, guess
what? I’ve got more coming. Don’t forget to hit subscribe and you
won’t miss the next one. Even better, jump over to and get on my email list. That way, you won’t miss one podcast,
article, or video I put up. Until next time, keep kicking and keep fighting for a happy life.

27 thoughts on “How to Side Kick – Tips for Power and Balance

  1. As a huge muscular guy that can leg press about 1200 lbs max, I'm very lucky and thankful to have an incredible balance and flexible legs that allow me to front kick above my height (6'3"). The side kick has always been my favorite and I'm glad I can perform these kicks. It'd be a lot better if I could kick as fast as Sensei Ando.

  2. Why are you Sensei if you practice kung fu? That's kinda wrong, you should be called Shifu.
    I know it means the same thing, but kung fu teachers should be called Shifu in all countries

  3. Back in the early/mid 80’s (age 11 or so) I learned the sidekick by slow four count repetitions, grabbing on to the back of a chair for support. A deep chamber, but level, not turned over. Years later I switched from TKD to Moo Duk Kwon, where the sidekicks looked closer to yours. Uechi Ryu taught me non-chambered kicking, where the side kick is designed to go into the pelvis. Great video.

  4. Ahhh awesome! I get it now!! I was doing exactly what you said not to do at the start and it does really hurt haha. The turning the butt part is really helpful as well as turning the posting foot around. Also, you're hilarious haha.

  5. Your knee is down why is your knee down I know you're old but if you're going to make a video like this trying to tell people how to sidekick then do it right AND KEEP YOUR KNEE UP

  6. This correct approach was taught to me when I was learning to throw a sidekick in my TKD classes. Thanks for the posting, reinforces what I learned.

  7. My Sèng(sensei) also teaches me to use my heel to kick it's just that idk if I don't have enough strength in my leg or it's not flexible enough

  8. This is one of the most realest Tutorials i dislocated my knee because of that same side ways side kick it is something I would never wish on anyone great video

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