Taekwondo Training with DOG

Training Taekwondo front kicks with Dog Pulmu.


The front kick in martial arts is a kick executed by lifting the knee straight forward, while keeping the foot and shin either hanging freely or pulled to the hip, and then straightening the leg in front of the practitioner and striking the target area. It is desirable to retract the leg immediately after delivering the kick, to avoid the opponent trying to grapple the leg and (unless a combination is in process) to return to stable fighting stance.

The front Kick described is the typical basic front kick of Karate or Tae Kwon Do. But Front Kick can also be defined more broadly as a straight forward kick directly to the front, and then include several variations from many different styles. A front kick can be delivered forward in a penetrating way (hip thrust), or upwards to attack the head. The height to which it.

In Taekwondo, the front kick bears name ap chagi. It is distinct from the push kick (mireo chagi) in that the power should be delivered instantaneously. Since the leg moves forward while the shin and foot naturally swing upwards, the easiest application of this kick is that of directing one’s energy upwards, perhaps considering it a “kick to the groin”. However, one can deliver massive force forward with this kick as well, which is considered its main application by most instructors. Directed forward, this is actually one of the most powerful kicks in Taekwondo, and it is quite often used in exhibitions and board-breaking competitions where power is demonstrated.

In order to not injure ones toes while executing this kick, it is usually delivered through the front base of the foot (ap chook), if not with the flat upperside of the foot (bal deung). If performed with the bare foot then the ball of the foot is used on impact with the toes drawn up to prevent injury. To strike with ap chook one has to raise one’s toes so that their tips will not be the first contact point. Even when directed forward, this is not a kick where the first contact point should be the base of the heel, as is considered beneficial in some other martial arts having a similar kick. In Taekwondo, one would strike forward with the ankle extended, so that the upperside of the foot forms a straight line with the shin, and with the toes bent back (pointing up). In other words, an “ap chook ap chagi”. Having the foot in any other position when directing this kick strictly forward would be considered highly unorthodox, and is a common error among beginners.

In addition to being a kick in itself, the front kick is an exercise used by many instructors to teach the principle of lifting ones knee before the rest of the kick commences, something which is considered important in Taekwondo, where it is somewhat literally translated from the Korean ap chagi (앞차기), (and many kicking arts with the notable exception of Capoeira). In competition fights (known as “sparring” or “kyorugi”) this kick sees little actual use, except possibly as a component in an improvised kick which is perhaps intended as an “an chagi” or “naeryo chagi”.