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How to Do a Back Kick in Karate

Learn how to do a back kick karate move from karate instructor Richard Amos in this Howcast video.


Today we talk about the back-kick or ushiro geri in Shotokan karate. This is the strongest technique that really, in my opinion, exists in our standard karate movements. It's the strongest because it's the leg which is stronger than the arms, it's a thrust which is stronger than a snap, you have the hip rotation which is one source of creating power and you also have weight-displacement which is another source of creating power. So it combines all these large scale power aspects into one technique. Sometimes with the thrusting technique they're a little slower but because we have the hip twist, it speeds it up. So you have not just power but you also have the speed. So from here, what you mustn't think, though, is you're doing a turning kick. That's a different thing altogether. You have these kicks that spin around like this and that's a different thing again. The kick we're going to focus on now is ushiro geri, sometimes we say, ushiro geri kekomi, a thrusting back kick but it's very straight. And what makes that difficult, of course, is we are, obviously, turning.

We have to feel however that our core is going straight to the target. The external part of our body might be turning but it's turning around a fixed solid core that goes straight to the target so when you kick and when you land you're never going to be spinning off and losing your balance. That's what happens when you focus a little bit more on the external. We need to focus on the internal part, the straight core, and external part going around that straight core so everything's going to reference the center. Back and down. Like other thrusting techniques, the elbow comes back, and he comes back on side cross kick. This one, the upper-limb comes back for your ushiro geri. Try not to hook around, it's very difficult because the kick goes very fast and there's a lot of forces that you've got to channel into that straight line. But if you focus on the center and you reference the center, you should be able to get it pretty straight. Ushiro geri. The back kick of Shotokan karate.

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