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#83212 - 04/26/04 10:22 PM can't kick high
Novice Offline

Registered: 04/26/04
Posts: 2
I'm new to karate, in my mid 30s, pretty fit but lacking flexibility. I notice that my roudhouse kicks don't go as high as those of my fellow white belts. I can kick about chest height at the most. My questions: (a) should I be discouraged? (b) what is the best way to get myself kicking higher?

Appreciate your help.

#83213 - 04/26/04 10:45 PM Re: can't kick high
alan shindsharonjr Offline

Registered: 03/11/04
Posts: 54
Loc: beachwood.ohio USA
There are many books and methods to increase flexability so I wont go into that.
some other factors you should consider is your body structure. In other words do you have any hip or lower back problems? What is your inseam?
Perhaps high kicks may not be your best weapon.
How powerful are your kicks to the stomach area. A powerful kick at that level can be more deadly then a glancing kick to the head. In other words there are a lot of factors to consider before you spend a lot of time working on something that may not be a good weapon for you.
good luck

#83214 - 04/27/04 01:47 AM Re: can't kick high
still wadowoman Offline
Improved beefier techno-prat

Registered: 04/10/04
Posts: 3420
Loc: Residence:UK- Heart:Md, USA
Hi Novice

Don't be discouraged. I was just turned 30 when I started in karate, and I am still here 10 years later. I have a student who did not start until 42 and heis a brown belt now.

I agree with Alan about the high kicks, they are not the be all and end all of karate, and very unlikely to be employed in a self defence situation. A poweful lower kick is definitely more useful.

It would be nice to be able to do both though, so ask you instructor to show you some safe stretching excercises to do at home and do a little every day.

Good luck, enjoy your training.

#83215 - 04/27/04 06:30 AM Re: can't kick high
UKfightfreak Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 01/08/03
Posts: 2599
Loc: San Francisco
if you go to there is a free article on how to test you flexibility potential - this will tell you how far you can go.

As for high kicks, depending on your current fitness level you should be able to reach maximal flexibility in 8 weeks (i.e. kicking head height easily).

Again go to and read up on dynamic stretching.

#83216 - 04/29/04 07:25 AM Re: can't kick high
schanne Offline
breaks things

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 4370
Loc: Woodbury NJ
Can't kick high, then kick great low.

#83217 - 04/30/04 06:02 PM Re: can't kick high
reaperblack Offline

Registered: 04/30/04
Posts: 558
Loc: Victoria, BC, Canada
keep trying and you'll get there.

#83218 - 08/11/05 11:50 AM Re: can't kick high [Re: Novice]
AshiharaStudent Offline

Registered: 07/01/05
Posts: 121
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Kicking high is a very tough thing to do if you are not flexible, but one thing you should always remember is to stay relaxed. If you tense too much you cannot kick as high. This also applies to the top half of your body too i found out recently. I was wondering why I wasn't kicking very high even though my legs were relaxed.

A big thing that helps suppleness and well being is 'Cod liver oil'. It's helped me no end.

#83219 - 10/07/05 05:50 PM Re: can't kick high [Re: AshiharaStudent]
CobraLionz Offline

Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 39
If you can't throw high kicks then how do you expect to throw good medium height kicks? Just because you can hit a bag semi-reliably medium height your execution is probably a lot sloppier, off balance than you'd like. High kicks can be effective in a fight, you just have to be at a high enough level where a high kick becomes a true weapon and not just intimidation.

That's like saying I have a 1 mile race to run so therefore why would I bother running 3 miles in training?

#83220 - 12/03/05 03:21 PM Re: can't kick high [Re: Novice]
Bushido89 Offline

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 1
I'm not much of a kicker myself. I do however play rugby. In my team there are players that need to be able to kick high in order to get enough power behind the ball to make enough ground. In training I see them perform a number of exercises to increase flexability.
a. Stand up straight, feet together.
b. Bend down slowely (keep your legs locked.)
c. Don't try to go down to far too fast or you might injure yourself.
d. slowely but surely work your way down until the strain builds up too much, wait for a minute or so, repeat twice, and then try again tomorrow.

a. Much the same except the feet are shoulder width apart (I believe it would be prudant to start with this exercise.)

a. Much the same as 1 and 2, except the feet are two shoulder width apart, this excercise is to stretch the groin area.

Please note. These are sports streches and I am not sure how much they will help, but there again, what have you to lose?

Edited by Bushido89 (12/03/05 03:22 PM)

#83221 - 12/05/05 04:35 AM Re: can't kick high [Re: Bushido89]
Leo_E_49 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/24/05
Posts: 4117
Loc: California
Read "Stretching Scientifically" by Thomas Kurz.
Self Defense
(Website by Marc MacYoung, not me)

#83222 - 01/02/06 10:55 PM Re: can't kick high [Re: Novice]

Hey It's awesome that you've starting training. I started training when I was 39. I'm 42 now and I'm so glad I didn't let the early white belt discouragements force me to quit. My kicks are still not as high as I like. The thing I notice is that I was looking at Martial Artist in training with me that have been doing this for a long time. I would watch them which is good to learn, but I forgot to watch myself train. So during meditation at the start of class I remind myself to focus and make this time my training time and watch myself as best I can. The other thing I did was to find someone else in my class that was close to my age and ability, it helps to have a workout partner also in his forties.
Watch for your own uniqueness.

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