Maegeri is Karate's front kick

Maegeri instructional videos

Maegeri consists of two characters called Kanji.

Mae (前) means in front and Keri (蹴) means kick. For basics, Maegeri is Chudan. Chudan means middle level, so aim for the stomach on your centre line.

When you execute Maegeri for basics, use the following way and either step back into left stance or step through into right stance after kicking. 

Every kick has these specific key points

  • Pull your heel in as you raise the knee on centre line
  • Keep the body straight
  • Float your Kamae
  • Apply Hikiashi after you kick

Maegeri has the following specifics

  • Thrust your hip forward
  • Kick straight forward
The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Koshi


When you execute Maegeri, the basic is Chudan. Gedan and Jodan are variations. 

key points

When you do Maegeri, there are a couple of things you need to be mindful of. This video teaches you exactly those things.


Go a step further than key points and dig deep into the explanation. Understand how the body is structured and how it works. 

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how to practise maegeri in basics

hikiashi is what makes your maegeri good. or not...

Hikiashi is the name used for the pulling (hiki) of the foot (ashi), or perhaps better verbalised, the term used to describe the technical movement of the pulling of the foot.

The Kanji for HIki is å¼•ã and å¼• itself consists of two elements. The left part of the Kanji, 弓, means bow (like bow and arrow).|does not have a meaning by itself, but can be interpreted as the arrow or the elastic. You could therefore conclude from the Kanji that Hiki means pull and perhaps in its original context referred to pulling back the elastic to prepare to shoot the arrow. 

In Kyudo (archery) certain stages are used to shoot an arrow. They are Hikiwake (seperate), Kai (join) and Hanare (release). I will explain these terms briefly and connect them to Hikiashi. 

It is like ready, set go.

Ready = Hikiwake
Set = Kai
Go = Hanare


The arrow has to be pulled away from the bow (Hiki) and thereby separating them more (Wake)It is to build up the tension to use the stored energy.

In the initial stage of a kick, pull your heel to your buttocks.


Kai means to join and refers to the accumulation of Shin Gi Tai. It is moment that the bow and arrow are at maximum tension. Kai, which translates to meet or join, in this case points to the becoming one of the body and mind and the bow and arrow.

Just before you kick, your heel should be as close to your buttocks as possible.


This is the moment of releasing the arrow, when the arrow is fired by the build tension (energy), while your posture stays correct and you maintain Zanshin.

The moment that you kick.

get sharper and faster hikiashi with these hands on training methods

I demonstrate several training methods that you can use to practise Hiki Ashi in this video. Keep in mind that you can change emphasis and difficulty by adjusting or using for example either of the following:

  • Speed
  • Rhythm
  • Focus (on your hamstring instead of your heel or the other way around)
  • Using support (or not)
  • Standing up, sitting or lying down
  • One leg at a time or alternating them
  • Adding or limiting body movement

In this video you will see how I have used the above mentioned points to adjust exercises.

training methods for hikiashi

I demonstrate several training methods that you can use to practise Hiki Ashi in this video. 

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what is the correct position of your foot for maegeri?

This headline is actually not so appropriate, since correct depends on the situation and is therefore not a fixed answer. Furthermore, Wado always has a kind of leeway, as Sakagami sensei calls it. In other words, a margin. The strict thinking does not suit Wado thinking.

For basic training, your foot should be stretched with your toes pointing up. This implies the use of the ball of the foot. The necessity of stretching the foot, or actually increasing the angle of your foot compared to your lower leg, depends on the angle of the kick and the position of the target. If your opponent is leaning forward, you have to pull up your foot if you wish to use the ball of your foot for attack. This also applies to kicking lower targets such as the shin.

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applications of maegeri

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Application of Maegeri

Maegeri Chudan with Gyaku Gamae

Attack the body targeting ribs, stomach and solar plexus.

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Application of Sunegeri

Sunegeri with Shikaku

Stop his attack with a knife or dangerous weapon. Keep him at a distance and reduce risk of injury.

hanmi vs shomen maegeri

Maegeri can be executed with the hip either in Hanmi or in Shomen position.

Hanmi means that your hip is angled to about 45 degrees.

Shomen means that your body is facing straight forward.

Hanmi VS Shomen maegeri - Testing which one is stronger

This practical test shows you exactly which one to use in which situation as you'll learn the advantage and disadvantage of both techniques. 



Just natural 
The form that is commonly used is Hanmi maegeri. If you execute Maegeri and step through, as you do in Ido Kihon, your body will automatically turn Hanmi when you extend your leg and step through. You can also say that in case of Ido Kihon, Hanmi is the most natural way to kick.

The advantages of Hanmi maegeri 
Reach and ease are two obvious advantages of Hanmi maegeri. It is after all more difficult to execute Shomen maegeri, because you have to stop your hip while it takes its natural course.

The biggest disadvantage of Hanmi maegeri 
Your body will be in a vulnerable position. We explain in the video how this occurs and will show you with an easy to understand example.



In the front of the temple
Shomen is the place in the front of the temple where the Kamidana (also called Kamiza) is located. The Kamidana is exactly in the front, you look straight towards it. That is why Shomen is often used to describe a posture whereby the hip points straight forward. A more physical name is Mami.

Every disadvantage has its advantage
If I am not mistaken, the above is one of the quotes of John Cruijff, a famous football player from Holland. I think it is a brilliant quote and it also applies to this topic.

The moment that you execute Shomen Maegeri, you have to accept the loss of reach, but you get a stronger kick and position in return. In the video you can see how this affects the ability of your opponent when he tries to bring your off balance.

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