It’s been over four years since I stopped taking Shotokan. Although I’ve become a much better fighter , there’s one part of my game I haven’t really touched on since then, kicks. It’s frowned upon to kick people while fencing and there aren’t a whole lot of kicks in ringen/abrazare (medieval wrestling). Although my footwork has improved in strides, I haven’t been doing much else with my lower half.
This past week I began taking kickboxing classes. It’ll only be for a short while seeing as when my internship finishes up I’ll be moving a few states away, but I’m still having fun. Day one I show up they get out these large pads and have one person hold them by their thigh while the other person kicks. In the past few years I’ve been using the large muscles in my lower half to push off the ground in order to move in one direction or another. Although it does build strength, it’s not the same kind of force you need for throwing a kick.
Finally after we finish one side of the drill my partner hands the pad over to me. As I’m putting my hand through the straps he tells me, “Wow, you’ve got some really strong kicks.” I might’ve had a smirk on my face for the rest of practice that day.