A big article on frontkicks

Nobody asked me to (;-), but some people wrote they liked my article about roundkicks, so I decided to write a similar article about frontkicks. The principle is the same, so I suggest you read my roundkicks article first.

Again, I will list all types of frontkick I know; but I will only list these that kick above the knees, ie I will not list frontkicks to the legs:



1)Tiger+LightLegs/RubberLegs - "Pe de panzina" - this is Carioca frontkick done from Peneiracao. It is done with a forward step using the sole; tactically, it is a stun-attack. Can be done with RubberLegs for more power. Cannot be blocked with arms.


2)Tiger+Nemer+LightLegs/RubberLegs - "Real Bencao" - this (including the Nemer wind-up) is the only true Bahian Bencao. It must be done from proper Bahian ginga from the back leg, using stealth entry. It hits with the sole. Tactically, it is a jabkick, but done from a very close range. Of all the frontkicks here, it is the only one that can be turned into Au. Cannot be blocked with arms.


4)Tiger - "Modern Bencao" - modern version of Bencao, done from rear leg or with a step. Both versions are equally inferior (to a real Bencao); but at least this is a physical kick that hurts, unlike the one below. Hits with the sole. Can be blocked with arms,can not be turned into Au.


5)Dragon - "Trash Bencao" - even 'more modern' version of Bencao that has you leaning backward as you kick. This kicks is completely worthless, as it does not transfer any power. I only put it here so that you might judge for yourself what your Mestre is teaching you.


6)Eagle+LightLegs - "Pontape" - old-style capoeira toe-kick, kick with the toes into opponent's chin, solar plexus or groin area; if it hits precisely, the energy it generates hurts seriously or kills. From the rear leg. Can be blocked with arms even though it is a LightLegs kick.


7)Eagle - "Ponteira" - modern version of Pontape, 'a football kick'; only a physical strike people do in roda when they are angry. Done with the ball of foot from the rear leg. Against a real capoeiragem, this is a worthless kick.


8)Bear+Seduction1 - "Heavy frontkick" - old style frontkick to the pelvis; produces a knockout via nerve action. Easy to block or evade, so it is supposed to be used as a finisher after setting the opponent up


9)Eagle+LightLegs - "Escorao/Drawing-fake kick" - this kick uses the same mechanics as Pontape, but it is done in a completely different way. It is in fact not really a frontkick, as it is done after faking the opponent out by pretending to run away. I add it here just for completeness sake.



10)Snake - "push kick/teep" - used usually from the front leg with the ball of foot to push the opponent away for tactical reasons. Can be also done from the back leg.


11)Eagle - "thai front kick" - however, when they actually produce KOs with their frontkicks, they use Eagle frontkicks; this is the same as Ponteira.



12)Eagle - "maegeri keage" - that Ponteira again. This is again the same Eagle frontkick as in capoeira and thaiboxing.


13)Tiger+Seduction1 - "maegeri kekomi" - this is similar kick as modern capoeira Bencao; but with Seduction1 modificator added so it is done with the ball of foot for more percussion. From front or rear leg. Not as powerful as karate players imagine it to be, see also below.


14)Mantis - "tsumasaki geri" - frontkick with the tips of your toes; taught in Uechi-ryu and other supposedly 'old-school' karate styles.  If you would take my advice, do not waste your time with any such kick. It sounds hardcore, but that is about it.




15)Eagle - "taekwondo frontkick" - Ponteira again. This might be the most popular frontkick there is, at least on the mitts.


16)Snake - "sparring frontkick" - ...but when they spar, they prefer to throw front kick from the front leg; which is a different kick, the same as thaiboxing push kick


They also throw the same pushkick from the rear leg


But note this is a different front kick (Snake) from the karate mae-geri-kekomi (Tiger+Seduction1).



17)Snake+Seduction1 - "Chase frontal" - a pushkick done with whole sole. Note the added Seduction1 modificator compare to Snake frontkick (pushkick).


18)Rooster - "Chase frontal bas" - pushkick to the leg while turning the toes outward. I like to call it cripple kick.



19)Eagle+Nemer - "Spring leg/Tan tui"


When people see Spring leg, they usually without thinking presume it is used as a penetration-type frontkick (Eagle frontkick, "Ponteira"); or a groin kick (Sparrowhawk frontkick, below).

But it is neither, as its mechanics, Eagle+Nemer, cannot be used for either application.

In fact, there is only one possible application for Eagle+Nemer frontkick - you clinch opponent's upper body, and fire this 'Spring leg' between his legs or under his thigh(the low version). The energy lifts his pelvis, penetrates into his spine and subluxates it above the tailbone. So 'Spring leg' is a spine subluxator, loosely speaking; it cannot be used for anything else. It is a kick that in one swift movement cripples the opponent by messing up his spine so you can finish him.

But your Chinese teachers will never tell you this because a)they do not know it  b)they consider it a fighting secret.

So they will feed you many fables on how this kick can be used for this, for that, for bringing out the trash - listing many things it cannot do so they do not have to tell you the one thing it really does - it fucks up opponent's spine.

In fact, I would not be much surprised if the enigmatic name of the kick 'Spring/Pond leg' would be an old Chinese inside-joke, meaning 'Fucks-up-your-spine leg'.

It also shows you that most of the front kicks listed here are just toykicks compared to the real weapons - such as the Spring leg.

I hope you understand that I am not telling you to try this one on your training partner - DO NOT TRY THIS MONSTER, OR YOU WILL MESS UP SOMEBODY'S SPINE!; I am just telling you where in the country of martial arts you stand.

20)Snowleo+Seduction1+LightLegs - "scraping kick/downward contusing kick" - place your foot on opponent's belly and drive/scrape downward, injuring him with the scraping force; used in kungfu



21)Sparrowhawk - "groin kick" - this is used to kick the balls. Surprisingly, the groin kick is none of the frontkicks mentioned above.


22)Bear - "door kick" - used to break down doors



On this kick, I would like to demonstrate the importance of understanding the proper archetype.

Bear frontkick is obviously quite powerful, as it can be used to break down doors. So why is it not used in martial arts?

Simply, because its energy, which is so effective against a door, dissipates when used against a human body.

And vice versa, your great martial arts kicks might be quite lousy against a closed door.

So the type of energy generated by the kick - in other words, the animal archetype - is absolutely crucial for each application.

Just the fact that you can touch something - or somebody - with your leg means nothing. It is the animal mechanics that determines the effect.

(Yeah, we know, Bruce. Kick is just a kick. Too bad you cannot see now how stupid your were.)


For example, Tiger+Seduction1 frontkick - karate 'mae geri kekomi' - works great for breaking boards:


And this is probably why they have chosen it in karate as their primary frontkick - because it breaks boards so nicely. So it must be very effective, right?

The problem is that this kick is very lousy against a human body. So lousy, in fact, that no other martial art uses it.

Laconically, it is a board-breaking kick, not a martial arts kick. Yet, in karate, they train it over and over for many years - well, because it can break boards.


You should not care what a kick does against a door or a board; but what does it do against a human body.

In that regard, Eagle+Nemer frontkick (Spring leg) is probably the most horrific of the frontkicks; but it needs a clinch to work and has also tactical problems I will not analyze here.

Tiger+Nemer+RubberLegs (Real Bencao) is a close second, followed by Tiger+RubberLegs (Pe de panzina) and then Eagle+LightLegs (Pontape) if you aim it right.

Note that the most effective kicks come from old capoeiragem - that is not a coincidence.

As for the rest, judge for yourself which kick is just a tag-kick, which is a setup and which does real damage.



happens when you accidentaly throw Eagle+LightLegs frontkick(Pontape) instead of your common Eagle frontkick(Ponteira).

It is funny how the Japanese gentleman takes marketing advantage of it to teach his own, run-of-the-mill Eagle frontkick (karate maegeri keage) that will never work like that UNLESS he adds LightLegs; but he evidently cannot teach that.


















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