View Full Version : How do you train your low kicks?

04-06-2005, 03:05 PM
How do you guys train your low kicks when training alone? I am thinking of my side stomp kick, and trying to figure what equipment I can train it on.Any suggestions?

04-06-2005, 03:09 PM
I just use the exposed 2x4's in my garage walls. I also filled some empty soda cans with foam-o-fill spray foam insulation and lay them down as "feet" to practice the stomp part. I'm sure there are better ways but that is how I do it.

04-06-2005, 05:16 PM
My Spar Pro wears overalls so that he has 'legs' hanging down. I padded the post and I practice my low kicks by kicking through his flacid legs into the post. I also rigged a padded 'groin' so that I can practice my knees to the groin...


Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
04-06-2005, 05:29 PM
Car tire (sans rim!)

Prop it so you hit the tread flush. Small ones work better, more give.

04-06-2005, 06:26 PM
I have a homemade practice dummy, with articulated arms, padded torso, head complete with eyes, nose, chin, etc, and legs. It was originally intended to stand on its own via the legs, which are 3" treated wood posts (mostly unpadded), but the "stand" wouldn't hold up for long under severe stress, so he's hung from a tree limb now.

For solo low kick practice, I just kick the wooden-post legs. I mostly stick with "soccer kick" and "inside stomp kicks" to the knee or shin, though the occasional thai-style roundkick to the knee or PPCT thigh-point sneaks in when I'm not thinking about it. :D

I have, in the past, used a simple post stuck in the ground and marked at knee level, but the dummy is much more satisfying.


Tennessee Jed
04-06-2005, 06:52 PM
I've got a bucket, like the big beer buckets you fill with ice, filled with concrete, a pair of 4x4's coming straight up, and dowel rods perpendicular to the 4x4's, coming out of holes drilled through the 4x4's.

The bucket is plenty tall to practice those lowline kicks with just enough give to it.

When I first started lowline kick practice I would work on trees at the park.

04-06-2005, 06:55 PM
I use the trees in the back yard, door frames (my wife hates it when I do that, as well as practice EOH blows on them), and sometimes just kick the base of my BOB or wavemaster.

Ian Wendt
04-06-2005, 07:19 PM
I usually just kick the base of my Wavemaster. It's filled with 250 pounds of sand, so it's pretty solid. I work the oblique kick or "sipa" quite a bit.

Sharp Phil
04-06-2005, 07:36 PM
I often practice low kicks and kick blocks on the cemented metal posts of the swings at the local park. When there are no kids on the swings, of course.

04-06-2005, 07:40 PM
How do you guys train your low kicks when training alone? I am thinking of my side stomp kick, and trying to figure what equipment I can train it on.Any suggestions?


I use trees & telephone poles for power and to build and condition the body for executing them.

Then I use 2 x 4's cut into 3 to 4 foot sections to practice breaking. If you can break a 3 foot 2 x 4 then you will slice through a Human leg like butter.

Teacher: Eddie Ivester

04-06-2005, 08:07 PM
door frames (my wife hates it when I do that, as well as practice EOH blows on them)

I often get strange looks for the same thing. ;) Our house was built in 1899 and has heavy door frames and wood work. It just begs for it.

I work the oblique kick or "sipa" quite a bit.

Me too! :) I prefer it to a full Thai round kick. I also work a lot of foot and knee stomps ( Chasse, he, he, he ), scoops to the shin. Frequently, from the clinch, a set of front and round knees to the leg sneek in there.

04-06-2005, 10:24 PM
I sometimes play a few rounds of a modernised version of the old English/Welsh sport known as Purring or cutlegs. There's an excellent essay on this subject at the Journal of Manly Arts. (http://ejmas.com/jmanly/articles/2004/jmanlyart_couch_0804.htm)

As practiced during the 19th century, Purring was a very brutal contest in which fighters kicked to the shins and knees while wearing shoes with thick, sharp-edged soles . The low kicking techniques were used both as an adjunct to wrestling (i.e., from a clinch position) and in the loose or freestyle form, which looks more like early street savate and was played by rules similar to those of bare-knuckle boxing.

Our modern version is played according to the old rules but we use hockey shin and knee protectors for safety. Some techniques are too dangerous to employ even with the protectors on - side stamps to the sides of the knees, etc. - but this is a great way to train for spontaneous, realistic low kicking.

04-07-2005, 02:36 AM
I just use my Thai bag and incorporate my low kicks into my workout routine. I don't use the low side kick much though, I prefer the Thai round kick for lower leg kicks.

However, what pops into mind immediately for good training tools for a lowline sidekick are:

An old tire (as someone mentioned above);

Another option would be if you have a regular punching bag, you can prop it against a wall or post;

You could get a 4" diameter PVC pipe, fill with cement and use that as a target, it would make it about the thickness of a knee and make a nice round target to practice on.

04-07-2005, 05:48 AM
You could get a 4" diameter PVC pipe, fill with cement and use that as a target, it would make it about the thickness of a knee and make a nice round target to practice on.

I have been planning to do this for a while now. I was thinking of putting a pair of them in the legs of my Spar Pro's overalls to have something more 'leg-like' to kick and more importantly, something that moves a bit.

EDIT: I was also planning on getting a pair of old booots to put the bottem ends of the 'legs' in to practice the shin rake/instep stomp, etc...


04-07-2005, 05:53 AM
You can't beat (Hey that was nearly a pun :D ) the old heavy punch bag. For power kicks I have it hanging to take the impact of the kick - same goes for shin kicks and blasts.

For the stab kick (boot kick) it gets propped against the wall and takes the full force. Incidentally this is a good way to break up last years Christmas tree ( the bigger the tree the better - it lasts longer for more training).


04-07-2005, 08:36 AM
Our take on on working low line kicks is to view them as "leg destruction" kicks. We use what my 1st instructor called an "Elephant Leg". It was a basic canvas heavy bag, filled with sand, and wrapped several times over with duct tape. It weighed a freakin' ton, hurt like a bitch when 1st kicking it, was held upright on the ground as opposed to being hung and would not move and just bend very little on impact. The theory my Sifu had on kicking this very hard and practically immovable bag was "If you practice kicking an elephants leg, then you'll go through a mans leg like a twig". We worked with 3 main kicks. The front stomp, the side kick, and the 2 variations of the hook (or roundhouse) kick. The 1st being from the squared platform (hook), and the second from a forward platform using the rear leg (roundhouse). This basic kicking practice made for some good "low line kicking".

04-07-2005, 02:03 PM
I use a traditional WC mook in my training. It doesn't help however when training low round kicks. For those, I like to train on a thai bag.

kyle reese
04-11-2005, 07:38 PM
Nice discussion, clearly lots of experience here.

It is important to remember a few things if you want to have your health and ability to train/fight until you are very old. Trauma is trauma: no amount of toughening your shin bones will stop that. All conditioning the shins does is dull the sensation of pain by gradually deadening (read: damaging) the nerves under the skin.

If you are getting (not sure how to spell this correctly) hemotomas by kicking hard things, back off. It isn't helping, it is only hurting. When it heals it doesn't strengthen, it just gets hurt again.

Yes, as put forth by Marc here first I believe, the tire against the wall is the best way to condition your shin, besides kicking the heavy bag. Don't unload on the tire (the flat part w/ the tread): bounce your shin off it so that the tread kind of bends in a bit and rebounds your leg.

If you are kicking things like iron bars, steel posts, etc. for very long, you aren't kicking very hard. Those objects will only teach you to hold back on the kick for fear of injury, and will definitely injure you if you do let the kick go properly on that surface/object. Avoid. Protect your body and train smart, not like some moronic movie character where we see fictional fighters unloading on banana trees or whatever.

The heavy bag against the wall or other upright backstop is a staple when alone. The hanging 6 foot bag is as well. If it isn't too soft (like some pseudo water bags and the lightly filled ones) it will more than do the job of training your round low kick and shin conditioning. Stay healthy.

If you engage in pad training (technical training, as we call it) with a partner, meaning shin guards, gloves, etc. just the impact from blocking each others low kicks and kicking elbows and forearms with your body kicks also helps condition the shins somewhat. Again, though, the pads are worn for a reason: trauma is trauma and you can't condition against it.

The tire and the heavy bag, and the kick shields to a lesser degree, will help you deal with the pain. Thai kicking is very hard on your body, but of course it is MUCH worse on the receiving end. Hahaha I think Thai boxing was a really macho invention, you've got to hand it to the people from that part of the world: you have to really let your mind go and be a berserker to slam your body around that way. I love it, and I used to get so high on the adrenaline in my training that I hurt myself very badly and didn't realize it until the next day. Enough stories...the good old days are in the past. haha

Breaking boards and things is a nice test, but avoid the injuries. The real key to power is doing the round kick with the right technique and body feel on your part, and visualizing/"feeling" the kick go all the way through the dude's leg and be stopped by a giant smash/crash by the femur. Bone on bone is the goal. Also focusing on the end of the kick, just as with punches, being at a point way past the point of impact with the leg, is a key.

With the foot stomps, good target awareness and the ability to hit it when you see it is all you need. Learn to stomp with your foot cupped and even so your don't break or damage your heel. The bones in the top of the foot are so fragile that no training is required for the power to break them. You need to train to keep from breaking the bottom of your own foot more.

Side kicks and such to the shin/knee same story: precision and the ability to hit a moving small target from any angle upon presentation. Power is much less of a concern. If you throw the kick right, the power is there to break the fragile bones just due to the disparity of the force.

Have fun.

04-11-2005, 09:54 PM
I still condition using the method my Thai instructors recommended.

(this is going to be specific to the round kick, but the idea works on anything)

Start off by learning your technique and practicing on air until it flows easily, your hips are rotating properly, your hands are covering, your head is off the centerline, make sure your toes are pointed and TIGHT (as if you were pinching something with your toes)

Go kick the heavy bag, start off lightly hitting it to make sure everything is correct. Get a good 20-30 kicks at light power, at the middle of the bag (softer area), work down gradually to the bottom of the bag (where it's normally rock hard), and keep kicking lightly until you finish out your 100 at light. Once you get these done, gradually increase the power of your kick. If it ever hurts, back off the power and try to go more gradually.

Eventually, youll be able to throw full power kicks at the hardest section of the bag with no problems. Your shins will get built up, and strengthen. Compare the legs of a person that's been doing thai boxing for years, to a beginner. You'll notice that the shin bones of the pro are thicker and wider, and the supporting muscles around them are stronger and tighter.

If you do your conditioning right, you won't have any problems with years of training, pretending you're in Kickboxer with Van Dam and throwing round kicks until your shins bleed will only make your shins bleed.

All-in fighting
04-13-2005, 03:26 PM
british riot gear shin guards, put them on and let your friend kick--very good protection---good for drills, boxing vs. kicking etc--ralph

04-13-2005, 03:35 PM
Ooops...forgot about those. My training partner has the Hatch brand version. They make for some good kickin'!!!


04-13-2005, 08:10 PM
Skpotamus- Thanks for sharing that!