Mae Geri Training Exercise

Here is a mae geri training exercise on the punchbag, that is an excellent way to develop power in your front kick and karate strikes, plus it’s great fun 🙂

The Front kick or Mae Geri we are talking about today is mae geri keage (front kick snap).
The kick should travel like a bullet and not upwards where the kick would literally grazing the surface of the target. This shotokan karate front kick wants to penertrate the target, then viciously snap back releasing the shock into the target.

Try to keep the upper body as still as possible as you start the front kick, but if you are working on developing more power, you can be excused small movement, as long as you are aware you are telegraphing the kick.

Lift the knee strongly, keeping the heel of the kicking leg as close to the backside as possible.

Drive from the supporting leg, through the hips, then kick and penertrate into the target, try and keep the upper body relaxed.

Vigorously snap back, keeping the knee high momentarily, then returning to jiyu kamae (free sparring posture)

One of the main problems when using a punchbag is where karateka hit the surface and do not penetrate the target. There are exercises where you do hit the surface, one is where you work on control, so you hit the target, but there is no movement of the punchbag, another one is where you are working on your control, so again, you deliver the front kick and touch the punchbag without it moving, then snap the kick back vigorously.

Mae Geri Training Exercise

Your Attitude When Kicking

Changing your attitude when kicking the punchbag delivers different results, if your attitude is that you are working on speed, then everything will be light, fast and snapping, if your attitude is power, then everything should be focused on destroying the target, I know you probably won’t destroy the punchbag, but that should be the attitude when working on power.

Different Types Of Mae Geri

With this mae geri training on the punch bag, we are working on snapping the kick back, there is also a thrusting front kick with the ball of the foot and a thrusting front kick with the heal of the foot as in the kata Unsu.

It is hard when working on the snapping front kick when you are mae geri training on the punch bag, the tendancy is to thrust on impact, you do need to penetrate the target, but then the snap back must be vigorous, releasing the shock energy into the target.

This is probably the best shotokan mae geri training exercise for developing power in your front kick.

Mae geri is a very fast, direct and strong kick. Another exercise to help improve this kick, is to practice hisa geri (knee attack), working on lifting the knee as fast as possible, with an explosive start from the floor. If you can get the knee lift to be fast and powerful, you are well on the way to developing a fantastic front kick. You can also practice driving the knee forward into the punch bag, driving from the supporting leg and driving both hips forward.

Try not to telegraph by swinging the arms, dropping the head, turning the front foot out, or lifting the shoulders,

We hope you have found this mae geri training exercise useful. Be sure and warm up and stretch fully before trying this exercise, then start slowly, then gradually build up the speed and power.

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Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle