Q & A: Sang H. Kim on How to Improve Your Weaker Leg for Kicking

Reader Question:

My name is Daniel and I would like to ask you for some advice on how to improve kicking with my weaker leg. I can execute well balanced kicks with my stronger leg but I can't seem to do so with the other leg. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel


Answer from Sang H. Kim:

Dear Daniel,

Here are the steps you can take to improve your weaker leg kicking:

1. Stretch the weak leg muscles well before kicking to warm-up and prevent possible injuries.

2. Strengthen your weaker leg by doing very slow controlled kicks wearing a light (2 to 5 pound) ankle weight. Start with the lightest weight and work your way up.

3. When practicing kicking in the air, choose a specific target before you kick. Do 10 to 15 repetitions of each kick with your weak leg whenever your practice to improve your flexibility and control.

4. Practice 3 sets of each kick on a heavy bag or handheld target at each practice session to develop power.

5. Work on the above four suggestions consistently, at least 3 times per week. You should begin to see results in a few weeks.

6. Set specific goals (like you want to do a front kick at head height) and track your progress in your training diary or notebook.

7. Every two weeks re-evaluate your progress and goals using your training notes and your observations.

Sincerely,

Sang H. Kim

Shoulder Lock (From the Guard)

Excerpted from Combative Elbow Strikes by Jeff W Rosser

Elbow strikes are not limited to only stand-up fighting. They also can be employed on the ground and, regardless of whether you are on top or bottom, an elbow strike can be used to deliver a powerful blow as well as set-up joint locks, escapes, and reversals. In fact, given the nature of ground fighting, elbows are one of your best weapons in such a confined space. The following application offers a defense, reversal, and joint lock from the bottom with the opponent in your guard.

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Starting from your back with your opponent in your guard, deflect your opponent’s punch outward using a knife hand block. Grab the wrist of your opponent’s punching hand as you pull his hand down and pin it flat on the ground.

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Use your opposite arm to execute a round elbow strike across your body to the other side where you have your
opponent’s hand pinned. The elbow strike can be used to strike your opponent’s chin while also putting yourself in Reminder: Please, exercise extreme caution and work slowly whenever practicing this technique. It only
takes a little pressure to elicit severe pain from this technique and any additional pressure will seriously injure
your training partner.position to go for a shoulder lock.

Reminder: Please, exercise extreme caution and work slowly whenever practicing this technique. It only takes a little pressure to elicit severe pain from this technique and any additional pressure will seriously injure your training partner.

As you complete the elbow strike, reach over and back under your opponent’s arm and grab the wrist of your opposite arm. As you do this, drop your feet to the ground. This will make it possible for you to escape from the bottom position.

Now, lift your opponent’s hand off of the ground and bring it up and back toward your opponent’s back.

As you complete the technique, place your free leg over the attacker’s back to prevent him from rolling forward to escape. Keep his elbow at the height of his shoulder and lift up on his wrist pushing it away from his back. It is important to maintain a right angle at the shoulder in order to maximize the effectiveness of this shoulder lock.