sokuto does not mean side kick
Sokuto, otherwise known as side kick is called Yokogeri in Shotokan. Yoko means sideways so it is quite easy to understand why they use this term. In Wado, the same kick has a different name: Sokuto. For completeness you could say Sokutogeri, but this is not common. The name Sokuto comes from the position of the foot, which you can understand from the Kanji.
足刀 = Sokuto
足 = Soku (also pronounced as Ashi) means foot
刀 = To (also pronounced as Katana) means sword or knife
You could conclude that 足刀 refers to the cutting side (edge) of the foot. This is the part of the foot that is called Sokuto.
practise sokuto with these methods
There are several different kinds of Sokuto, like Fumikomi (stamp), Kekomi (thrust) and Keage (swing upwards). The dynamic of Sokuto Fumikomi and Kekomi is the same, it is a thrusting movement.
Now I will show you a video, photos and text with several exercises that you can use to practice and develop Sokuto.
I share two training methods, which I cut up in different exercises so that you can develop step by step.
work on sokuto step by step
Step by step means two things:
- Start easy and work your way up gradually.
- Focus on one thing at a time, and more as you work your way up.
1/3 control the movement of your toes and foot
Loosen up your toes and work on motor control.
Strenghten your ankle and work on the angle.
2/3 control the movement of your leg and finally 3/3 in conjunction with your hip
2/3 Twist your body already, so that you do not have to worry about using your hip and use a chair so that you do not have to mind too much about your balance.
3/3 Execute the complete movement, but still use a chair or anything else for support to ease maintaining your balance.
sokuto instructional videos
These are two specific key points from Sokuto (called Yokogeri in Shotokan)
- Move the edge of the heel to the target in a straight line
- Thrust kick with the edge of the heel
It's basically all you need to know for your performance, yet sometimes you want to dig deeper. See several performances and explanations from different angles.
do not kick with the full edge
Like ashi barai (foot sweep), ashi means foot. Soku is the same kanji, with a different pronunciation. To means sword or knife, so use the edge of the foot, a location close to the heel. Sokuto is a very hard part of the body which can be used for stamping and thrusting movement. Snapping actions are not impossible.
Use the edge of the heel which is in direct alignment with your knee and hip: it's naturally stonger (and it's safer too).
you can never be sure without proper feedback...
Kick with the edge of your foot against the ground (be careful with any hard surface). You will feel instantly whether your foot is in the right position or not.