We continue drawing on other martial arts to supplement your understanding of technique — the fundamentals of which in many cases are so essential that they transcend the fighting system.
Today we’re focusing on kicks, or more particularly, the raising of the knee with the lower leg drawn back before the kick is extended toward the target.
This process of raising your knee/lower leg is an important part of most kicks, but particularly so for side, round and hook kicks.
This video’s instructor refers to it as chambering your kick. Think of it like when a punching fist starts from the “chamber” position high and tight (in goju-ryu at least) to the ribs.
We’ll assume that you are an experienced karateka and understand all of this.
Your focus in this exercise is in developing strength and flexibility in the muscles of the hip, leg, side and low back.
Basically, your knee leads the kick to the target before the lower leg begins to extend.
Please note that to kick high, the chambered knee must be able to be raised as high as possible — accompanied of course by flexibility in the legs, groin and hips to allow appropriate hip rotation and extension into and through the target.
Of course, balance is essential. Multiple kicks with the same leg/chamber position will help you develop that (though we do not usually emphasize such applications in goju kumite).
Here are some kick-boxing drills on chambering your leg that can help you kick better. Work along with it and see if it works for you.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.