“Mae Geri” (Front Kick) is one of the most fundamental, yet powerful, kicking techniques in Karatedo. The kick is executed in the following manner: Facing your opponent square, the ball of your foot is kicked to the abdomen of your opponent at any points along the centre line of his/her body.
Some people twist their waists prior to the delivery of “Mae Geri”, believing this would help generating greater power. The fact is just the contrary: not only it would not help gather greater power, it would actually reduce the power of the kick; this is because: the impact produced by the waist-twisting and its consequent power generation mechanism, instead of being transferred to the kick, would actually vanish even before “Mae Geri” takes place. This untimely application of waist-twisting would in turn give rise to three undesirable consequences: First, waist-twisting would essentially result in a twisted body posture, which is a weak posture in resisting reaction at impact. Second, the overall kicking speed is lowered if the kick is performed after waist-twisting. Third, premature waist-twisting motion could serve as a signal to your opponent that an attack is to be followed. Thus it is actually working to the advantage of your opponent since s/he would be able to react earlier.
The correct manner to execute “Mae Geri” should be: Lifting of the leg should be followed by twisting of the waist in a natural way until the kicking is delivered to your opponent. In this way, the waist is in the strongest position to receive any impact. This ideal timing of waist-twisting does not only enhance the kicking power, but also enables an effective transfer of kicking energy from the ball of the foot to the supporting leg on the ground at impact, and in return further increases the energy for attacking action. To understand this fully, student can try this out with a kicking bag.