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Improving Kicking Balance

While kicking Mawashi/Ushiro Geri, I tend to lose my footing when rechambering my leg after the kick. Are there any tips/tricks for improving this, other thank kicking thousands of times?

And also - What stretches/mobility exercises are responsible for improving side-kick (yoko geri) striking power?

Might consider throwing kicking complex into the air without power to focus on balance. In my TMA days I was able to improve quickly by throwing a front kick (chambering) into a side kick (chambering) into a back kick and repeat without putting down the foot.

Another was; roundhouse, side, hook with same leg in same position.

As for power, kick hard and often on the heavy bag.

If possible, try to run through the kick in slow motion to check you’ve got the technique down, then speed it up. An as imoko suggested, kicking complexes do really help with balance.

For power in your side kicks, I’d work on hitting a very heavy bag. Then when you come to hitting something lighter, you’ll be much more powerful.

PRACTICE! there is not replacement for this at all! One thing my coach used to make us do is when ever I watched TV I was supposed to do this standing on one leg and change from leg to leg when needed.

At one point I got so good at this that I could stand on one leg and eat my dinner without changing legs or putting my other foot on the floor. It certainly made meal times entertaining! As for kicking strength of any king A. get stronger and faster B. kick all kinds of hell out of a heavy bag

At my old dojo, we practiced on wrestling mats. Nothing easier than kicking standing on concrete when you’re used to kicking on shifting, heaving mats.

As my kicking background is not japanese- aren’t these two completely different kicks?

Ushiro geri: (if it’s a back kick)
there’s a little trick to get the footwork & balance faster.

Basically, you perform the technique with a slight jump forward. Just an inch.
That way, your standing foot will have it a lot easier to assume the 180° position.

It’s difficult to explain without teaching right next to you. You shouldn’t gain height, you just use a little momentum to “fall” better into the kick’s last phase.

Try it a few times and perhaps it’ll help you.
Some beginners found this way more natural to pick up.

Stretches won’t improve your side kick force output. If you can kick at a certain height, that’s enough.

Depending on your technique, it may theoretically be better too be less flexible.

Great exercises here:

The uneven ground suggestion is another good avenue. I used to train in my backyard on the lawn which was also a slight hill. When it came to kicking on even ground the sense of improved control and balance was definitely noticeable.

Consider some yoga movements and balancing on the stability ball as well. If you can shadow box while standing on a stability ball (took me about 3 months to get) you’ll not have an problem with kicking control.

My instructor has us balanace a wood board on the leg for the sidekick. You slowly unfold the leg and rechamber (20 times per leg). As you get better you can put a few more boards on the leg. Other option is to have the leg extended and move the grounded leg in a circle (clockwise and counter-clockwise) - I can’t quite extend my leg in this one yet.

I also second yoga. There are some pretty good asanas for standing balances.