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How to improve shadow boxing kicks

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I've always admired those with a beautiful strong shadow boxing kicks. The ones that cut through the air with complete focus and balance. The one that comes from the hip and snaps like a whip. I've tried to find a good example, you can see something similar here:

I've been trying to improve my own kicks like this but can't get the hip movement right (kick on pad/bag no issue). I was given two pieces of advice, one (very funny) is to twirl like Cinderella to get used to the full twisting movement. One was to kick and then midway in: grab my ankle, pull it towards my thigh/buttock and balance on the ball of my foot while connecting with my hip power. 

Still, it's just hard to get it right. It's way easier to hit a target than kick through the air. 

Anyone having some kind of advice? Just a matter of iteration plus repetition? It's a bit of an ego thing of mine to get it right...but of course also, learning to kick through the target than just hit it. 

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For me the trickiest part of shadow kicks is that a target actually interrupts the overall trajectory, so not hitting anything kind of makes the balance difficult. If your kicks on pads and the bag are fine, I recommend kicking a few times, then just back up so you "miss" the target and try to throw your kick exactly the same as when you hit the target and see what that looks/feels like. Then you can recreate it and do it a gazillian times.

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15 hours ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

For me the trickiest part of shadow kicks is that a target actually interrupts the overall trajectory, so not hitting anything kind of makes the balance difficult. If your kicks on pads and the bag are fine, I recommend kicking a few times, then just back up so you "miss" the target and try to throw your kick exactly the same as when you hit the target and see what that looks/feels like. Then you can recreate it and do it a gazillian times.

Yes I'm at the the same point. More practice, more grip on the move. 

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On 8/31/2021 at 5:44 AM, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

For me the trickiest part of shadow kicks is that a target actually interrupts the overall trajectory, so not hitting anything kind of makes the balance difficult. If your kicks on pads and the bag are fine, I recommend kicking a few times, then just back up so you "miss" the target and try to throw your kick exactly the same as when you hit the target and see what that looks/feels like. Then you can recreate it and do it a gazillian 

This is really helpful!

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When I was starting with Muay Thai I had exactly the same issue that it felt strange to just kick air.
If you have a partner at hand, let him/her hold pads or "something" for you and every now and then they shall move back so that you miss.
Since you don't know when this will be, you will kick your normal way.

At the beginning I was afraid of my already damaged knee because of that twisting move. So when kicking "something" my mind was free, when kicking air it was blocked. So when my trainer helped me by "missing" I still could kick normally and get used to the twist.

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