Kicking the Air vs Kicking Shields
Ok, so after 3-3.5 years of no martial arts training I got back into it around August 2005.
Joined a Shotokan club - did lots of kicks in the air - didn't really see much improvement in the two months I was there what I could already do.
Joined a kickboxing club - kicks are always done against kicking shields except when going through the motion to teach a newbie the technique - and a lot of times that is done in slow motion against the shields - noticed a huge improvement in both power and technique within two months.
My questions are:
1) Is there any real benefit to kicking the air once you have mastered the basic technique?
2) Do you think people are better off learning to kick the air at first or going straight to kicking shields?
I dunno about throwing kicks in isolation, but as part of shadow boxing it can be pretty useful. It's good to be used to throwing a technique, missing, and not just stopping and resetting, but following through and continuing to move. If you're only used to kicking pads, you'll be rather thrown off when you actually miss a kick.
But no, seriously, i agree with Spatch. Kicking air is ok in shadowboxing, but it's really not going to help you develop much in the way of power and imo it makes people undercommit hip action in their kicks to avoid being thrown of balance.
Kicking stuff is the way to go. Bette for the joints too, i believe.
Not better for the joints of the poor sap on the receiving end of my kicks
Originally Posted by AnnaTrocity
(Actually I shouldn't be tooting my own horn because they're not all that hard these days)
That's a really good point about helping with balance for the times when you miss a kick - obviously not you Annatrocity...you don't miss apparently :P
The only thing with it helping you with missed kicks....is that when you miss you don't know that you're going to miss until it happens....with air kicking you know there is nothing there to hit and compensate for that.
Hitting something solid is definately the way to go. Shocking I'm sure, but hitting solid objects prepares you for (gasp!) hitting other solid objects.
Maybe it's just me that, but every so often I like to take some time to throw some punches and kicks in the air just to examine my technique. I concentrate on the little details like exactly when my weight is shifting, how my hands are held and so on. I personally find it helpful to review the ideal way to do something almost in slow motion, then trying it out on the bag/pads. There's a good chance that concentrating hard and reviewing the details mentally or doing the kick/punch/whatever on the pads with that intention to begin with it would work just the same. I'm a visual person though and I like to see what the "perfect" (best I can muster up) kick looks like so I can try and emulate it time and time again.
In short, pads > air at least 95% of the time, but a fine tuning can't hurt.
Both drills develop different skills. When kicking the air, I kick all the way through and spin around. I try to do the same when kicking a pad, but for some reason I can't.
Originally Posted by Thaiboxerken
Obviously you kick like a *****.
of course it's not preparing you for the actual act of missing a target, but it will help develop the muscle memory for doing so. Also, at least for muay thai style kicking, kicking the air gives you a better sense of the mechanics that go into the kick that slamming away at the pads/bags all the time.
Originally Posted by The Limey
I know, considering the pad is a maxi.
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