Front Kick is the sixth volume in the extremely well written and fully illustrated, Achieving Kicking Excellence series of martial arts related books.
Front Kick, along with the other nine volumes in the Achieving Kicking Excellence series, goes into intricate detail over all aspects of executing the primary kick, which in this case is the Front Kick, and several of its main variations.
Starting with a basic anatomical analysis of this kick, you quickly progress to the basic principles associated with the Front Kick, and then you dive right into learning the proper execution of the primary kick, Front Kick.
Once you have finished with this section, you are taken to the variations chapter which builds upon the primary kick, Front Kick, by teaching you 10 of its main variations. From here you are taken to the Training and Practice Methods chapter for a look at some very simple, yet effective methods for adding speed and power to your kicks.
Your next chapter takes a question and answer approach to some of the most common problems people have executing the Front Kick and the solutions to correct them.
The next chapter in this book deals with a very brief and basic application section for the Front Kick and each of the variations previously detailed in this book.
The combat/self-defense applications of the Front Kick are discussed and demonstrated in much greater detail in the companion book to this book, Front Kick: Achieving Kicking Excellence; Volume 6, which is Front Kick: Applications in Combat: Achieving Kicking Excellence; Volume 16. This book goes into intricate detail over all aspects of applying the primary kick, which in this case is the Front Kick, and several of its main variations, against twelve of the most common attacks that you are most likely to face in an actual unarmed self-defense/combat situation.
At the conclusion of this book you are given a sneak preview of the next volume in the Achieving Kicking Excellence series, which in this case is the Hook Kick. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (17)
everything you ever need to know about kicking
I have been practicing the martial arts since the age of 14. This year will mark the 40th year that I've studied one system of combat or another. Additionally, I have been a police officer for 31 years and my profession has occasionally offered me the opportunity to use the thingS that I've learned in the Dojo. I have an entire set of Shawn Kovacich's superb series on AchievingKicking Excellence (Vol. 1- 10) and can truthfully say that I have seen no more thorough books on the art of kicking in the all my years in the martial arts. The kicks covered (one per volume) include the back kick, the heel kick, the axe kick, the crescent kick, the reverse crescent kick, the front kick, the hook kick, the hatchet kick, the round house kick, and the side kick.
Each volume begins with an overview of the kick and instructions on how to make the best possible use of the kick. Chapter 1 delves into the anatomy of the kick and which muscles are used, and in what manner, to achieve the maximum possible efficiency in kicking.
Chapter 2 outlines a stretching program and offers helpful tips in that area for the student. Chapter 3 deals withthe basic principles of kicking movement. These include the striking implement, target areas, stability (a biggie!),balance, alignment, sequence of movement, accuracy. Strength, speed, timing and distance, impact, retraction, and visualization. Each area is explained in detail as it relates to developing your kicking ability.
Chapter 4 deals exhaustively with the primary kick. It follows the kick from initiation through each phase of the kick to impact, recoil, and recovery. He troubleshoots the problems that many martial artists experience with the kick at each phase and offers corrective actions for each problem.
Chapter 5 goes over pretty much every variation of the kick known to man and these are dissected with master Kovacich's usual thoroughness.
Chapter 6 is one of the strongest parts ofthe book for me. In this chapter, Master Kovacich discusses training and practice methods. He details skill, strength, speed, and power training. Learning how to do the kick is only half the battle.Developing the kick through specific training methods and exercises is the other half and is usually overlooked by other authors.
As if he hadn't already done enough in this area, Master Kovacich outlines further specific trouble areas for the student in chapter 7. Chapter 8 covers kicking applications for tournament and street.. Master Kovacich shows how the kick is set up and how delivery can be affected by your opponent's actions as well as your own.
In chapter 9 you can see why Master Kovacich's kicks are so good and why you should pay attention to his advice. He is in the Guiness Bookof World records for throwing more high kicks in an afternoon that I believe I have thrown in my life.
If you desire to become a more powerful, competent kicker, then these books represent an important investment for you . I can tell you that, even after 40 years of fighting experience, there are things in these books that have made me re-think some of my training methods regarding kicking.
Master Kovacich will be coming out with a new series of books dealing with the combat applications of each kick in the near future. As I'm sure these books will cover combat applications with the same thoroughness of this series, I eagerlyawait their publishing.
Over the past 7 -8 months, I have been searching extensively for descriptions of the various kicks and how to properly execute them. I have read numerous explanations of kicking techniques, gauging each according to length, clarity, detail, and thoroughness. Although I was able to learn something from most, none of the descriptions were of the caliber that I had been seeking. Having yet to be satisfied, I continued to search for a description that would meet my criteria - and stumbled upon the Achieving Kicking Excellence series by Shawn Kovacich. I was interested immediately. What initially fascinated me was that the author had created an entire series about kicking, with each book devoted to all the particulars of a single technique. After reading the book, I can say that the series has been all that I was looking for and more. The Achieving Kicking Excellence series is unparalleled in length, clarity, detail, and thoroughness. I believe these books to be the single most exhaustive explanations of each kick that have ever been written.
Achieving Kicking Excellence: Front Kick first covers the basic anatomy of both the bones and the muscles in relation to the front kick. I had never previously considered its significance, but I now realize the importance of understanding anatomical structure. Knowing which muscles are involved in the front kick cultivates an awareness of the contracting and expanding of each muscle during each part of the kick. Understanding the bone structure allows the person to clearly visualize and apply proper alignment to each part of the front kick.
The book then describes the basic principles of kicking. Some of the principles are specifically detailed to the front kick, while others apply to all kicks in general. The principles described include target areas, balance, alignment, striking surface, accuracy, speed, and strength. The author provides a clear description of each principle along with an explanation of how the principle relates to the front kick.
Next, the book details the proper execution of the back leg front kick - the primary form of the front kick. The author breaks the back leg front kick down into 8 parts: fighting position, raise knee, coil, midway to impact, impact, recoil, lower knee, and return to fighting position. Each part is then further broken down into 7 -8 technical points, each point pertaining to the position of the feet, knees, upper body, head, etc with a total of 62 technical points for the kick from start to finish. Accompanying the description of each part of the kick are two full-page pictures [front view and side view], providing a quick visual reference of the technical points - perfectly complementing the detailed explanation.
Following the comprehensive explanation of the back leg front kick, the book then goes on to describe 11 variations of the kick. Although they contain less depth of detail [as well as smaller pictures], each description provides all the information necessary to execute the variation, provided that you have read and understand the explanation of the back leg front kick.
The book then describes a wide variety of training and practice methods to help improve the execution of the front kick. Specifically, the book covers several methods in each of skill training, strength training, speed training, and power training.
Next, the book contains a trouble shooting guide. Detailed in this section are 10 common problems people have executing the front kick. Each problem is followed by a description of the most common mistake(s) that cause the problem, and possible remedies to those mistakes.
The trouble shooting guide is followed by a guide to some of the basic applications of the front kick. The kicking applications guide is brief [in comparison to the second Achieving Kicking Excellence series by Shawn Kovacich - Applications in Combat], containing one application for each variations of the kick. But, keep in mind that the book is about how to properly execute the front kick, not about how to use the kick - so I consider the applications section to be an added bonus to the main content of the book.
The Achieving Kicking Excellence series would make an outstanding addition to the library of any martial artist. The book functions as both an exhaustive guide and a valuable reference. I believe that this series would benefit anyone, from the beginner to the expert, regardless of their skill level. The series could easily be used by a beginner, as an aid in learning the techniques; as well as by an expert, looking to refine their execution of the techniques.
You WILL improve your kick
Although the front kick is usually the first one taught in most martial arts schools, it's arguably one of the most difficult to master. It's not uncommon to see even veteran fighters throw it incorrectly.
Shawn Kovacich is a long-time martial artist with an amazing history that includes competing in brutal full-contact tournaments, setting world records for the Guinness Book of Records (11,000 high kicks in 5 hours) and applying his fighting skill for real virtually every night as a bouncer in some of the toughest joints around.
Shawn is an excellent all-around martial artist with kicks that are extraordinarily flexible, powerful and fast. He shares his knowledge of his kicking ability in a large book series he calls "Achieving Kicking Excellence" that is like nothing else on the market.
In the Front Kick volume, Shawn has included information for every martial artist wanting to make this powerful and versatile kick their own. For the fighter who learns best with lots of photos, the author employs dozens that depict step-by-step over 10 variations of the front kick. For those who want to understand the body mechanics involved, Shawn does an amazing job explaining it all in an easy-to-read format.
The book also includes exercises - weights and free-hand - that target the specific muscles needed to develop your power, speed and accuracy in the front kick.
Achieving Kicking Excellence Front Kick is an information-crammed book on developing your optimum front kick, written by a guy who has truly mastered kicking and applied his knowledge in the ring and in the street.
I've been training, teaching and writing about the martial arts since 1965, and I highly recommend this book.
Loren W. Christensen, author of over 40 books, martial artist, 8th dan.
A Master Athlete and Teacher Shares His Art
Shawn Kovacich is a committed, highly regarded and honored practitioner of martial arts with a specialization in Kicking. Yet not satisfied to have achieved the degree of excellence in his craft, Kovacich has devised a series of books that extend beyond the usual 'self-help' category of writing. His considerably cautious eye and sense of balance, in sport and in life, has resulted in his publishing a series of books - ACHIEVING KICKING EXCELLENCE - that at this point are ten in number but promise in the near future to be doubled in amount. Each of these books, handsomely designed and with excellent photographic illustrations, takes one type of kick at a time and explore not only the development of that kick, but also inform the student reader the kinesiology of that kick as well as slowly advising how to develop and master that kick.
Most books on martial arts fall into one of two categories: some are written in a format that is beyond the understanding of the reader who may be completely new to martial arts while others dumb down the reader with superficial 'quick fix' problems thinking the reader is already proficient in the fundamentals of Martial Arts. Kovacich respects his reader/pupil, and with great dignity of writing style and unfolds each kick mastery with surety of developmental skill and encouragement of each aspect of a single movement. This allows the reader who may be proficient in Kicking to buy just the one book written for the type of Kick the reader finds difficult to master: buying the entire set of books assures the reader that each stage of development will be respected from the beginning to the mastery of the ten Kicks Kovacich addresses.
Each of these ten volumes is equally excellent. The ten volumes include Back Kick, Roundhouse Kick, Front Kick, Side Kick, Crescent Kick, Reverse Crescent Kick, Hook Kick, Wheel Kick, Axe Kick and Hatchet Kick. Having exposure to each of these ten volumes gathers respect for Shawn Kovacich not only as a man who is able to master a tough medium of sport, but also one who has discovered the perfect manner of teaching and communication. The ten volume set is well worth the investment, monetarily and educationally. Grady Harp, May 09
Excellent source for perfecting your kicks!
The following review will encompass three books out of Shawn Kovacich's excellent series "Achieving Kicking Excellence."I recently received and tried out Volume 4: Crescent Kick, Volume 5: Reverse Crescent Kick, and Volume 6:Front Kick.
One of the first books I ever picked up when I started training in Karate was Gichin Funakoshi's "Karate-Do Kyohan."My background was primarily in Chinese Boxing but I decided to branch out into other art forms.My instructor at the time told me that Funakoshi's book was essential if I wanted to perfect my form.The book was a fantastic read and definately gave me guidance on my technique.
The reason why I mention "Karate-Do Kyohan" is that this text is recommended by so many instructors in Karate to students for the main purpose of perfecting technique.When someone recommended Shawn Kovacich's series on kicking techniques, I was a little skeptical.How much could you actually write about a front kick, for example?Funakoshi's book only spends 4 pages on specific foot techniques.Most technical training comes from a one-on-one session with a trainer.My perception on this matter has been shattered after spending some time with just three of Kovacich's books.
Each of the three books has a similar format.Chapter one usually addresses the basic anatomy of the specific kick.Chapter two, outlines a stretching routine specific to the kick.Next, Kovacich describes the basic principles of the kicking movement before going into great detail on the primary kick.Once the primary kick is disected, Kovacich teaches you the variations of the kick.The next section, where each book really shines, are a set of excercises designed to increase the power, speed,and flexibility of each kick.The rest of each book is composed of a trouble shooting guide and kicking applications.
The books do not just present the kick as a series of movements.Kovacich provides detail on what muscles you use in the kick, where your balance should be in the transition, what is the best target for the kick, and how to develop speed and power for your kick.I was amazed at how easy the books were to use and how the approach was almost as good as being in a formal setting with an instructor.
Nothing can replace going to an instructor and learning the martial arts under supervision.I will say, however, Shawn Kovacich's "Achieving Kicking Excellence" is the next best thing in terms of elevating your kicking technique.These books are essential companions to the classic kata texts.
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