TECHNIQUE: FRONT KICK
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.