Kicking plays a role in many sports, including soccer, rugby, football, and combat sports such as MMA and martial arts. Is the kick an effective means of attack and defense in combat science? How fast can the average person kick, and can it really do much damage?
The average person can generate kicks that travel at 60-mph, while trained athletes and martial artists can generate kicks that exceed 70-mph. The speed of the kick will be determined by the style of the kick, and different types of kicks will range in speed and power.
Since time immemorial, kicks have been a part of combat and martial arts and have proven effective in certain combat styles. A kick is not only to hurt an opponent enough to slow them down but can also be fast and powerful enough to end the fight. Mastering an effective kick is instrumental in becoming a well-rounded fighter!
How Fast Is The Average Kick? – Physics
The kick from an average person who does not have any sport or combat training is substantially slower and less powerful than a trained athlete.
The average person can initiate kicks that travel at 60-mph, while trained combat sports fighters and athletes such as soccer players can generate kicks at 80-mph. This is an increase in speed of more than 33% over that of the average person.
Athletes that participate in sports that require kicking train the muscles used in the body to increase their kicking speed and power and learn techniques such as timing and momentum that contribute to the force of the kick.
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Who Has The Fastest Martial Arts Kick?
There is always much debate about who has the fastest punch and kick in the fight world. These statistics are always subjective because there may be a martial artist out there that has never subjected themselves to measurements of their kick speeds. The fastest known kick or punch would be a better description of these statistics.
The person who is still considered to have the fastest kick in martial arts is Frank Dux, with a kick of 72-mph. These were Muy Thai kicks used in full-contact martial arts free-sparring fights in the confines of a ringed area. His fights were dramatized in the movie Bloodsport.
His kicks are reported to be the fastest kicks used during an actual fight. Other records have been set for fast full-contact kicks where the kick has been the focus of the event rather than part of an actual fight.
Who Has The Fastest Kick?
Many sports utilize kicking as part of the techniques of the sport, and some of the fastest kicks ever are in sports other than combat sports. Soccer is one of the most obvious, and there are players in this sport that exceed the speed of the average human kick.
The fastest kick ever record is held by the Spanish soccer player Francisco Javier Galan Marin, who is recorded by Guinness World Records as having a kick of 80.1-mph or 129-kph. The kick used was a soccer-style kick, kicking a soccer ball from a stationary position.
This is the fastest kick that has been officially recorded, but it does not mean that it is the fastest kick ever. Many martial artists do not enter record-breaking attempts to measure the speed of their kicks.
Kick Speed Vs. Punch Speed – Which Is Faster?
There are some surprising results when considering the speed of a punch against the speed of a punch. One would think that a punch would be faster than a kick because of the shorter distance a punch has to travel to make contact.
Kicks are faster than punches because a kick must travel a longer distance to the target, which allows a kick to build up speed. A martial arts kick is powered by much larger muscles in the legs and hips than muscles used in the arms and shoulders to generate a punch.
Another aspect of a kick that generates velocity is the action of the kick. Many of the fastest and most powerful kicks are not traveling in a straight line but in a circular motion. The foot at the end or extremity of the arc will be traveling significantly faster than the leg at the pivot point.
This means that the foot is traveling extremely fast when it makes an impact with the target. The distance the foot must travel allow it to gain faster speeds than a fist in a punch.
The snap kick in Muy Thai kicking to an opponent’s legs or abdomen where the shin makes contact with the opponent is one of the fastest combat kicks.
How Fast Were Bruce Lee’s Kicks?
Bruce Lee was known for his speed and power in his martial arts skills. His famous 6-inch punch is still legendary for speed and power. He studied many martial arts, including styles that relied heavily on kicking techniques. Practicing these techniques increased his kicking speed and accuracy.
There is no official measurement for the speed of Bruce Lee’s kicks, but some claim that he could kick up to six times a second. However, this is not a verifiable claim.
When filming the movie Enter The Dragon, Bruce Lee’s kicks had to be filmed in slow motion to capture the movements properly, and so they did not appear to be unrealistic.
Which Martial Art Teaches The Fastest Kick?
Many martial arts disciplines focus on kicking techniques as an important part of their fighting style. This translates to some styles having better and faster kicking techniques than others.
The martial arts that have the best and fastest techniques are as follows.
- Muy Thai
These styles all focus on powerful, fast-kicking styles as part of their combat repertoire.
How To Train For Faster Kicking (How To Kick Faster)
There are training methods to improve your kicking techniques and improve your kicks’ speed and power. The methods of training will depend on the style of kicks that you are training for. Different kick styles require the training of specific muscle groups to improve the sped of the kick.
We will examine some of the training techniques used in the martial arts form that has the fastest kicks; Muy Thai.
- Train slow. To kick fast and effectively, you need to have perfect technique. Practicing your kicking techniques slowly builds muscle memory soo that when you kick with speed, your technique is still good. Training slow also builds muscle strength to hold the positions for longer.
- Exercise your core. Kicks do not only come from the leg but also the core muscles of the abdomen. A strong core also gives you better balance and confidence in the kick.
- Add ankle weights to your kick training. When you practice your kicks, adding ankle weights will build strength in the muscles used to execute the kick. When you take the ankle weights off, you will be surprised and the improvement in the speed of your kicks.
- High-speed kick repetition. Count how many kicks you can perform in a 30-second interval. Focus on technique, power, and speed. Try to beat your count from your last training session.
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Kicking is an important aspect of most combat sports, especially martial arts. As a consequence, good kicking techniques are important to have in your repertoire as an MMA fighter.
A fighter who can pull a well-timed, well-executed kick out of the bag at the right moment can win the fight with this move or, at the very least, gain an advantage over the opponent.