The typical novice is only able to make use of maybe 10% to 20% of the power that will eventually be available to him.

It should be remembered, too, that in a real situation it is sometimes possible to deliver more than 100% because it frequently becomes possible to exploit an opponent's reaction or momentum, it happens that an alert exponent may be able to strike with 200 or 300 percent of his ordinary force.

As much as any thing else, this is a matter of excellent timing, rhythm and speed. If the kick is faster than the hand, which though constant training it can be, it is also capable of delivering five times as much power as the hand.

The lighter your body weight, more speed is required to develop a kick of equal force to the power generated by a heavier student. The velocity of your kick will ultimately depend on the elasticity of your body, the control of your breath, and the accuracy of your aim and the single-mindedness of your concentration.

The actual velocity of the kick is, perhaps more than anything else, determined by the power expended in the snap of the knee. But explosive kicking is not only done with the legs. Waist, ankles, toes and hips are also important, and to the extent that you are able to incorporate and coordinate these elements into your kicks, they will take on added voltage.

Use Full Power Only At Full Extension

Remember, tension not only hinders speed, it also exhausts your strength. Many beginners tend to use full strength throughout the motion of striking. This is somewhat wasteful as well as unnecessary.

While kicks should always be delivered at top speed, the entire leg should remain relaxed until the moment of full extension or just before contact, by which time full tension and muscle power should be concentrated in a powerful burst.

Raise The Kicking Leg And Knee Up High

So that the execution of a variety of kicks can follow in one smooth motion, the knee should be raised as high as possible prior to flexing.

There a number of reasons for this;
1. The straighter the plane on which it travels, the more forceful the kick. In other words, the more the trajectory of your kick moves in a straight, horizontal line paralleling the floor, the more potent it will be. Imagine your foot as an arrow being delivered from you own waist level to the waist level of your opponent and you will understand the sense of this.

2. Kicking from such a high position allows your opponent less time to react. With the kick cocked high, it can shoot out to a wider variety of targets. Because of this, it becomes more difficult for your opponent to guess where you intend to strike him.

3. A kick thrown from a high position is harder to block. Driven up from the ground directly to the target, the kick can be stopped when your opponent lower his forearm. Not knowing where you intend to kick him, with your knee cocked high in the air, it will be much more difficult for your opponent to settle on how he will block.

Maintain a Straight Line Through The Body While Kicking

Here the object is to make certain you invest more than just the muscular energy of your legs into your kicks. When the hips and whole body are thrust forward into the kick, tremendous power can result.

For example, imagine that you are a delivering a sidekick to a brick wall. The hip and extended leg are in line, but the body is not. The force of the kick is directed back toward you, and as at this point your trunk and legs are functioning as separate units, the kick will recoil off your the brick wall and the shock of the recoil will necessarily be absorbed by your hip joints. As your trunk and legs are not aligned, your upper body will continue forward as the shock of your kick is scattered and misdirected.

If, on the other hand, the entire body, hip and leg are held on the same line, the force of the blow will either break through the wall or repel backwards. There will be no force to obstruct the full delivery of power. All your weight will be behind it.

  JC's TaeKwon-Do
  142 S. Albion St., Unit 176
  Amherst, N.S., B4H 4H4
  902.667.KICK (5425)