Kickboxing has a large variety of kicking techniques. However, the four basic kicks that the beginner starts off learning are: the right and left foot jab and the right and left hook kick.
The Left Foot Jab
This is a straight thrust kick to your opponent’s stomach / mid-section. In a regular stance, it’s performed by your lead leg; the one nearest to your opponent.
One of the important points is to raise your knee as much as possible. This helps to generate power when you kick. Once your knee is raised, you immediate drive your foot forward with your hips.
Before your foot makes contact, it’s important to pull your toes back or they’ll get broken. You’re aiming to strike with the ball of your foot. On impact, try to retract your leg as quickly as possible; it’ll be caught otherwise and you’ll be swept to the floor..
The Right Foot Jab
The right foot jab is performed in a similar way to the left foot jab but with your rear leg. This leg has a greater distance to travel before reaching your opponent and it can therefore accumulate more speed and consequently more power.
In addition, the hips are better able to rotate and add further force to the technique. Again it’s important to retract the kick with the hips once you’ve made impact.
The Left Hook Kick
Instead of striking in a straight line, the hook kick moves in an arc and attacks the side of your opponent’s body: the thigh, the side of the ribs and the head.
You raise your leg to the side of your body and swing it round, attacking with the shin.
Again on impact, pull your leg back to prevent it being caught.
The hook kick is extremely powerful: the curved arc allows the leg to pick up a tremendous amount of speed.
The Right Hook Kick
In a normal fighting stance with your left leg forward, the right hook kick is really powerful. Again, like the right foot jab, the hips are able to participate in the kick adding power as you rotate.
The rear shin also has a longer distance to travel as the kick is thrown, enabling it to build up significant speed as it travels.
These kicks can be practiced either on a heavy bag or with someone holding a kicking shield (link to an example on Amazon).
It’s important that you practice against a solid target so that you can see if your techniques were effective or not.
You can tell by the sound of the impact as well as how far the target moves as to whether your kick has landed solidly.
Training in this way also improves your balance: when you make contact, you’ll have to shift your weight in order to remain on your feet.
By learning these four kicks, you’ll have a solid foundation on which to build.