Switch Kicks – Reason and Training Tips for the Kick

This video covers the following: 1. Reasons why Switch Kicks are taught in Krav Maga. 2. How Switch Kicks compare to similar movements with boxing or punching. 3. Training and sparring tips for Switch Kicks.


“This is Randall with KravMagaTraining.com. In this video we’re going to cover some, a few tips to help you out with your switch kicks.

Now before I actually get in to the tips, I want to explain why Krav Maga even does switch kicks in the first place. I’m sure that if you’re not super familiar with Krav Maga, you see these switch kicks and you’re probably thinking “What the hell! I thought Krav Maga was supposed to be a practical system based off of street fighting, you know. It’s not supposed to be some flashy, crappy, jumping around type of stuff. So why the hell are you jumping around doing these double kicks and what not?”. Alright, so let me address that first.

First of all, switch kicks are in our Level 5 curriculum, which means Brown Belt and above material. So it’s for students who’ve been training a long time. Who already know all the basic kicks: Front, side, round, and a few spin kicks and things like that. So we need to teach them something that’s going to keep them challenged. So it’s just really good to keep them challenged. Help them out with their coordination.

It’s also good for conditioning too. You start rattling off lots of switch kicks your heart rate goes up really high. So it’s great for conditioning. To me, for those of you familiar with boxing, it’s like the equivalent of doing a little shoeshine action. So if you guys don’t know what that means, shoeshine is throwing a lot of uppercuts real close and maybe finishing with a hook. Well to me, this is like the equivalent of the shoeshine, but for the lower body.

So it’s mostly for advanced students just to keep them challenged. But it’s also good for them to know how to do it in case they are sparring or fighting someone who has a previous martial arts background, such as say a Tae Kwon Do person, who does throw these kicks on them. If they’re sparring them and they’ve never seen these kicks coming up at them, they’re going “Whoa, what the hell is this guy doing?” Even though that might not be one of the kicks they like to use when they spar, at least they’re familiar with it and they see someone using it on them they will be more apt to defend against it.

So that’s the reason why we teach switch kicks. And like I said, it’s mostly for advanced students.

Okay, anyways, now that we’ve covered that let me actually address a few tips that will help out.

The first one that I think is most important for any type of switch kick. It doesn’t matter if we’re doing double rounds, double fronts, front/round, there’s a whole bunch of them. The key is, the first kick, don’t try to hit so hard. Try to put all your power in the second kick, and this is what I mean: Think about just touching them with the first kick, like really fast. Notice on this first kick that I’m not turning my hip over. I’m not trying to cause damage. I’m using it mostly as a setup to blast them hard with the second kick. A good comparison is, it’s like throwing the old 1,2. Jab, cross. Yeah, you could crack them really hard with both punches. But the truth is, usually the jab is more of a setup punch. It’s not designed to knock people out. Using the jab, measure your distance, see where that guys at, “boom”, then you kill them with the cross. Well, the switch kick is kind of the same thing. Use the initial kick just to gauge, just a way to set them up. Get your opponent to respond, to react, open something up, and then kill them with the second kick. So watch. First kick is fast, second kick is power. And that can be done with any kick. Same thing, maybe I’m doing double back kicks. I don’t try to hit hard on the first one. Just touch. It’s the second kick that counts, that kills them. So to me that is the most important tip is to make sure that you think about hit fast on the first one but hit hard on second one.

And the other thing is… try not to jump so high. I see that’s a common problem too. They think like “oh, I need some hang time to be able to double kick”. The truth is, your head doesn’t really come up very high. As a matter of fact, you don’t want to jump really high. It’s just going to throw you off. When you’re way up in the air that long you’re way more vulnerable to counter strikes. So stay relatively low to the ground. If you watch my head it doesn’t really go up that high. So think about bending your knees, just touch them with the first kick, and as soon as you make impact with that kick it’s just a quick jump on the second kick. And that’s actually a drill that you can do is do the first kick and just hold it out there. Touch the target. It’s actually a good drill for your balance. Hold it, hold it, hold it, and then when you’re ready, blast it with the second kick. Whether I’m doing double rounds, double fronts, whatever.

So I think those are two important tips. Hit quick, hit hard on the second kick. And then you can try that drill that I just showed you we’re you think about staying close to the ground. Hold your leg up and then when you jump, it’s not a big jump. It’s more like you’re just taking your foot off the ground. You’re not really jumping up in the air. So you’re switching legs, thus the name switch kicks.

So anyways. I’m tired. All this fucking switch kicking is making me tired. Like I said, earlier. So, I’m done. The video’s over.”

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