How To Throw A Front Kick With Henri Hooft
Kicks are great aren’t they. They’re long range and they hit really hard and there’s so much variety in the different types of kicks that you can throw. One kick that has flown fairly under the radar for a while in MMA is the front kick. Sure we’ve seen it used to great effect a few times by fighters like Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida but even after those two scored serious knock outs with the technique we didn’t see it blow up that much.
While the calf kick seems to be the kick everyone is focusing on right now, we shouldn’t forget about other possibly just as effective techniques.
Just because the front kick is one of the first people learn doesn’t mean that it isn’t as effective. In fact, the reason that the front kick is so effective is because it is so simple, yet so powerful. The front kick has a ton of different uses, from keeping the distance to actually finishing a fight.
However you’re going to need to know how to use this technique properly. Don’t worry if you don’t though because we have one of the best active MMA coaches in the world to show us how it’s done.
In this video, Henri Hooft goes over to properly throw and use the front kick.
Who Is Henri Hooft?
Henri Hooft is a former kickboxer from The Netherlands. Now that he has retired from competing, Hooft now trains the next generation of fighters as the head coach of one of the biggest MMA gyms in the world, Sanford MMA in Miami, Florida. While coaching at Sanford MMA Hooft has gotten to work with big name fighters like Michael Chandler, Gilbert Burns and current UFC Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman.
How To Throw The Front Kick
The video starts off with coach Hooft going over the rear leg front kick. There is a minor difference between the front kick and the push kick, also known as a teep. The difference is that the front kick is more about doing damage to your opponent while the push kick is mainly about pushing them away or keeping distance. Keep in mind that both can accomplish either goal but one is better suited to one than the other.
Hooft goes into the actual technique behind the kick. The first part is lifting the knee up, you want to get it at least past your hips. From there you want to extend to snap your lower leg from the knee to make the strike. This is where the technique gets its power from. Make sure that you bend your toes back to face you so that you can land with the ball of your foot.
From there you have a lot of targets. You can go to the head or to the body with this technique. Hooft says that you need to watch out for your opponent’s elbows when throwing this technique, as it can be dangerous to throw this technique, which has an upward trajectory. That trajectory means that if you hit the elbow, it's gonna hurt and possibly even break your foot.
You can do this technique with both the rear and lead leg but coach Hooft says the rear is more to do damage and the lead leg version is more to keep your opponent away and maintain distance.
Hooft demonstrates this by having his partner come in and move forward. When his partner moves forward Hooft uses his lead leg front kick. To use the rear leg front kick, Hooft steps forward on his lead leg to close the distance and land the kick. You can step through when you throw to get your feet on the floor faster.
If you want to land the lead leg front kick harder than you can do a switch front kick. It's just the same thing as a switch roundhouse only with a front kick.
Learn More From Henri Hooft
If you like this technique breakdown and want to learn more from Sanford MMA head coach Henri Hooft, then you should check out his complete video series “H Kick Boxing Fundamentals By Henri Hooft” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking!