Is Axe Kick a powerful kick. Does it make sense to learn it?

Unlocking the Power of the Axe Kick: Is It the Knockout Move You Need?

Is Axe Kick a powerful kick. Does it make sense to learn it? Can it really deliver enough power to knock an opponent down or out, or at least distract him enough to follow up with other techniques.

The short answer is, Yes! A properly done Axe Kick can do all the above. If you look on YouTube, you will see quite a few videos of people getting knocked down or out, with an Axe Kick. And you'll see matches in different styles of martial arts, where an axe kick was a kick that brought in the victory.

Speaking from personal experience, I can say that I held the pads for people who dropped such powerful Axe Kick that there was no way that I was able to hold the pad in place. With both of my arms. And not all of these kickers were big and strong and heavy. Some of them just had a really good technique. At the same time, of course, I have witnessed quite a lot of people who threw an Axe Kick, which did not do much damage. And, again, it really did not depend on the size or strength. It was the technique that separated a good Axe Kicker from a bad Axe Kicker.

What does it mean when I say that they had a good technique?

Well, the Axe Kick, just like any other kick, a punch, a throw, etc., depends primarily on properly developed biomechanical chain where the power builds from one joint to another, from one muscle to another, with each one accelerating the next one. And finally the foot travels at maximum speed. Accelerating to the max just before the timing of impact, and continues that acceleration in and through the target.

Can an Axe Kick really have a lot of power?

Once, a long time ago, I witnessed somebody explaining the Axe Kick and when one of the students asked, but can Axe Kick really have a lot of power? The instructor said, yes, of course, because the leg is very heavy. He said, imagine, a leg which weighs about a Quarter or 20% of your body weight, being dropped on you. And of course, Axe Kick is going to have a lot of power.

However, that was not a correct explanation. So let me offer you the correct one here. The power of an Axe Kick comes from the supporting leg.

Supporting leg? Again? Yeah. Supporting leg. Again. The supporting leg pulls the pelvis in such a way that the hip joint of the kicking leg gets pulled by the pelvis. And once the kicking joint pulls, that acceleration transfers into the knee.


Axe Kick is an extension of the hip, of course, but the hamstring must be tensed at the point of impact. You should never rely on the strength of your ligaments to prevent the hyperextension of your knee. The slight flexion of the knee at the moment of impact.

This is not a downward hook kick. You don't get a full flexion of the knee but slight flexion of the knee. Both protect the knee from injury and allows a lot of force to be transferred from the hip to the knee joint.

Difference between a good kicker and a bad one:

One of the huge difference between a good kicker and a bad kicker is that a person who throws an Axe Kick without understanding it or feeling it, may do so with straight locked, hyperextended knee.

A professional has the hamstrings contracted. And of course, hamstring is not the only muscle that flexes the knee there are other muscles of the lower leg. And it's very important to contract them.

The foot and ankle must be locked at the point of impact for retention of power!

Which brings us to the next point. Most people who throw an Axe Kick make contact with the heel, some people under certain circumstances make contact with the sole of the foot. The foot and ankle must be locked at the point of impact, because if it's not locked, it will wobble.

Foot and ankle will wobble. And if that happens, power will be lost. There's a
small potential for injury also. But definitely power would be loss.
Even when
you throw a punch, there's a difference between your wrist wobbling upon
impact. Regardless of which punch you throw. And wrist not wobbling or not
giving in upon the timing of impact. So when you're contracting your knee into
slight flexion you also contracting the muscles in the lower leg. This stabilizes the foot and ankle so that the power is not lost at the time of impact.

I like to refer to it as a passive versus active Axe Kick or
lazy Axe Kick, if you will.

Lazy Axe Kick is just basically raising the leg up and letting it fall down and hoping that it would do some damage on the way down instead of actively bringing
it down with force.

Not trying to push down. Pushing down has its place in terms of training. When you are trying to develop a specific part of the chain. But the kick has to be accelerated downward through specific biomechanical chain as explained above.

Boost Your Axe Kick: Power and Precision
with our Axe Kick Power Perfect Form Development Program!

The Axe Kick: a high-impact move that surprises and overpowers. But, it demands flexibility to truly shine.

The Axe Kick: a technique that, when executed correctly, can be a game-changer. It's a move that targets high - head, nose, jaw, shoulder, arm, chest - and when set up correctly, it often catches opponents by surprise.

The burning question about the Axe Kick is its knockout capability. Yes, it can deliver knockout power, but let's be clear: this conversation is for those who already have the flexibility to execute it. Flexibility isn't just an advantage; it's a prerequisite. Without it, discussing power is premature.

Now, for those with the necessary flexibility, let's dive into power. The pelvis drives the force of your kick, and understanding the unique muscle engagement for the Axe Kick is key to unlocking its full potential.

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That biomechanical chain can only properly be done if you have flexibility and if you have active strength.

The other point here is, of course. That biomechanical chain can only properly be done if you have flexibility and if you have active strength. Because, as mentioned many times earlier, in EasyFlexibility and ElasticSteel blogs, you don't want to contract that muscle at its outer outermost range. Not going to be powerful there. And the chance for injury is pretty high.

So if you barely got your foot over your opponent's head or over your opponent's clavicle? Barely. Even if you can do a proper technique, even if you know how to do a proper technique, there's not going to be a lot of force.

Let me put it this way. Someone who can throw a very strong Axe Kick over a
specific height, let's say over over four feet height. Now that they have to throw it over five feet height, even if they can reach there. They're not going to be able to generate the same amount of force.
And at five foot height is just a place where they barely were able to reach. Then whatever technique they have is not really going to be applicable if the flexibility is not there.

And as mentioned earlier, the other part is active strength. You can't just have flexibility. You have to have strength in that range. You have to have flexible but also strong hamstrings in that range.

There are other muscles that extend the hip.

Now, there are other muscles that extend the hip. For example, the glutes, they extend the hip. They are very powerful extensor of the hip. And it's great if you are doing a forward jump, for example, but in that range with a leg that is high and the hip joint is flexed that much. The glutes are not really going to help you because that's not where the range is. The range is much lower. If you're climbing stairs. Your glutes will help you. If you're trying to do an Axe Kick you better make friends with your hamstrings.

And here's another surprising fact for you. Even if you have strong and flexible hamstrings but your supporting leg as mentioned above cannot accelerate the chain. You're not going to have much power.

So you have to have strength and flexibility in the hip flexors and adductors of your supporting leg. That's where the initial acceleration comes from.
So if you're interested in learning more about how to develop a power in your kick in your Axe Kick, please take a look at our Axe Kick program.

About the Author:

Paul Zaichik is an Exercise Science Expert, author of multitude of books, and the creator of Zaichik Stretching Technique (formely known as Kinesiological Stretching Technique). His speciality is flexibility training as well as body weight conditioning. His innovative method is designed to have maximum carry over into specific athletic techniques. Paul is the author of books and DVD’s on the topic of flexibility, martial arts and bodyweight training. Over the years, Paul Zaichik has worked with a variety of individuals including athletes, entertainers, and military personnel. His ElasticSteel Method of Athletic Conditioning programs, EasyFlexibility Programs and Zaichik Stretching Techniques are used world wide by both professional and amateurs with great success.

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Well, the Axe Kick, just like any other kick, a punch, a throw, etc., depends primarily on properly developed biomechanical chain where the power builds from one joint to another, from one muscle to another, with each one accelerating the next one. And finally the foot travels at maximum speed. Accelerating to the max just before the timing of impact, and continues that acceleration in and through the target.
Next article Mastering the Art of High Kicks: Effective Cueing Techniques for Engaging the Supporting Leg

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