The Humble Front Kick

Martial Methodology

To continue my series on basics, I’d like to explore the ubiquitous front kick — or, in Korean, ap chagi. The foundation for all kicking. It is not only the introduction, but the mechanical gateway to all the other kicks, because it is the front kick chamber through which virtually every kick in Taekwondo passes on its way to extending. If you don’t master your front kick, you round kick and side kicks will never be great on a technical level.

This kick is rarely used in competition — any striking competition, really, not just Taekwondo. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless; rather, it is sorely underrated. Nobody expects it. They’re too busy anticipating round, ax, and back kicks to expect an attack to come straight forward. Think of it this way: everybody is using hooks and overhands because they’re powerful and easier to throw when under…

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