How to Carry out the Side Kick

The side kick, also known as the twist kick is one of the three basic kicking techniques for beginners in almost every form of martial arts. It is still a very useful offensive or defensive technique to have at your disposal. If executed correctly, the side kick can destabilize or even knock out an opponent, depending on your flexibility, aim and the power of your kick.

Executing the Side Kick

Like every other technique, a side kick begins with a standard fighting stance – with your legs two shoulder lengths apart, and one leg in front of the other, and your guard raised up. There are five step, and they shall be explained below.

Step 1: Twist the hip pointing at the target

The key to executing the perfect side kick, or any kicking technique, is getting the hip movement right.

So move your hips to face the target and prepare to kick.


Step 1. Twist the hip pointing at the target
Step 2. Lift the knee

Step 2:Lift the knee

kneeLift the knee of your kicking leg (the back leg) to your waist level and aim at your target just the way it is done with the front snap kick.

Don’t forget to maintain your stance.

Step 3: Point your hip at the opponent

Instead of kicking straightforward, turn sideways keeping the knee pulled back to your body, while your hip is pointing straight at the target and take your aim.


Step 3. Point your hip at the opponent
Step 4. Hit the target with your heel

Step 4: Hit the target with your heel

Push your leg out straight and hit the target with your heel. Depending on your flexibility and aim, your target could either be the face, the chest or the groin.

Hit hard to ensure a more powerful and effective side kick.

Step 5: Back to the standard fighting stance

After successfully completing the side kick, return to your original stance.

Retrace your kick in reverse order from hitting the target in steps 4, 3, 2, 1 and back to the standard fighting stance. Don’t just drop your leg after executing the side kick.

Step 5. Back to the standard fighting stance

Although the side kick is not as fast as the front kick or the roundhouse kick, it is a very powerful kick and is useful in the martial arts. Ensuring you practice this steps in the right other would help you become proficient in the side kick.