TECH­NIQUE: FRONT KICK

Black Belt - - SCREEN SHOTS -

Tar­get: The so­lar plexus. “It’s a pres­sure point that kuk sool prac­ti­tion­ers call goo mi,” Sung Jin Suh said. “It’s the per­fect tar­get be­cause it leaves the at­tacker un­able to move — and prob­a­bly on the ground — for at least 30 sec­onds. And the so­lar plexus is not too high, which means most mar­tial artists can reach it with their front kick.”

Tool: The ball of the foot. “Make sure all �ive toes are pulled back,” Suh said. “Other­wise, you might jam a toe when you make con­tact.”

Tu­to­rial: “When you get hit in this spot, it feels like you’re out of breath,” he ex­plained. “That makes it great for self-de­fense be­cause it gives you a chance to get away with­out caus­ing him per­ma­nent in­jury or death.”

Pre­ci­sion is im­por­tant, but a mi­nor miss isn’t a deal breaker, Suh said. “In gen­eral, pres­sure points are tiny. For­tu­nately, the area you can hit with the front kick is big­ger than the point. In this case, the tar­get is about 1 inch in di­am­e­ter.

“Even if you miss goo mi with your kick, you can still be very ef­fec­tive. For ex­am­ple, you can break one of your op­po­nent’s ribs. If you kick too low and miss the pres­sure point, how­ever, you prob­a­bly won’t be ef­fec­tive, espe­cially if the per­son has well-de­vel­oped stom­ach mus­cles.”

It’s fairly easy to build enough power in your front kick to ac­com­plish your self­de­fense goals, Suh added. “That’s one rea­son we break boards. It de­vel­ops a part of the body that’s al­ready solid and makes it bet­ter for kick­ing the so­lar plexus.”

Us­ing the ball of his foot, kuk sool mas­ter Sung Jin Suh front-kicks his op­po­nent in the so­lar plexus. The blow usu­ally makes the re­cip­i­ent un­able to con­tinue his at­tack for at least 30 sec­onds, Suh says.

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