Sanbon Keri

In this section, we will discuss triple kick combinations. Let me begin this discussion by saying that most of the kicks in this section are completely impractical. They will not work as advertised.

Why are they impractical? Primarily because your opponent (or opponents) is (are) unlikely to stand in one position while you deliver three kicks from a relatively stationary position. It just doesn’t happen that way. It is simply not realistic to assume that during a conflict the relative position between two opponents will remain static during the time it takes to deliver three consecutive kicks. Within that time someone will likely move, rendering at least one of the kicks ineffective.

So, why do we study these impractical kicks? The primary reason is that they work on improving both your balance and your ability to kick in sequences These kicks commonly force you to move and focus in different directions and orientations in rapid sequence. This requires you to refine your sense of balance to accommodate these movements well. This is a noteworthy advantage.

An additional reason for doing this kicks is they help build your endurance. You will need increased endurance in your next belt, so these kicks help build your stamina in preparation for both your Ranking Examination and the curriculum content in your next course.

The other significant advantage of these kicks is they leave you with the sense that an opponent can be attacked with some form of two or more kicks from nearly any relative position. If an opponent is within range, you can find a way to kick them. If the opponent moves between the second and third kick, then you will want to have the ability to modify the third kick so it strikes them in their new position. Endurance, kicking spontaneity, and targeting flexibility are your primary goals for these skills.

Sanbou Geri

Also referred to as a Three Directions Kick or sometimes the Triple Kick, this combination involves the delivery of a Mae Geri, Yoko Geri, and Ushiro Geri in three different directions. The kicks are performed in sequence with the same leg without ever allowing the kicking leg to touch the ground. Ideally, the kicks are delivered in rapid succession, but this may not be possible when first learning this combination. If kicking with the right leg, the right leg performs a typical Mae Geri to angle 1. The foot is retracted but the knee remains up and is positioned to support the delivery of a Yoko Geri to angle 4. The knee is pointed downward upon return of the Yoko Geri and an Ushiro Geri is issued in the direction of angle 2. The knee is briskly returned and a Sanchin Dachi or other stance is established.

The hands must position themselves to properly guard against an opponent in the intended direction of each kick. This means the hands will transition from a front guard to a side guard, and finally to a rear guarding position. It is equally important that the foot of the pedestal leg rotate to support each kick in the sequence. This primarily involves rotation of the base foot into and then out of the proper position (pointing toward angle 3 if kicking with the right leg) for the Yoko Geri.

Pay attention to knee position throughout this combination. If the knee is out of position before a given kick then that and any subsequent kicks will likely be errant or malformed.

A key to doing this sequence well is to never kick if you feel even a little off balance. Your balance will only get worse if you do. Instead, pause and regain your balance before doing the next kick. You will eventually do all three kicks with sound balance and flawless transitions – but it takes some time to feel comfortable with the sudden shifts in balance needed to do this combination.

Mikazuki Geri, Yoko Geri, Ushiro Geri

With this combination, all three kicks are delivered toward a single opponent in front of you. Again all kicks are performed with the same kicking leg and the leg never touches the ground throughout the sequence.

Begin by delivering a Mikazuki Geri focused on angle 1. Return the kick but keep the knee up so it is generally in front of you. Rotate the base foot as this kick completes such that the base foot is now pointing back to angle 2. Now raise the foot and deliver a Yoko Geri directed to angle 1. Return the knee so it comes down beside your other knee, but keep the foot held aloft behind you. You should now be facing angle 2. Delivering an Ushiro Geri back toward your opponent.

You will want to now step forward and to the side (to either angle 6 or 8) so you can create distance, allow time to turn to face your opponent, and to move away from your opponent’s center. Typically this is done as a cross step and this is the pattern that is utilized when practicing this combination repeatedly. This allows you to do the combination on one side, cross step and turn so the opposite leg is back, and then repeat the combination on the opposite side. You then cross-step again, turn and adopt your original position with the original leg back. In a combative environment, you will want to either position yourself so you can control your opponent, or move away from their Center Line to avoid a counter strike or to initiate an escape.

Mae Geri, Mae Ura Mawashi Geri, Mawashi Geri

This combination is again designed to strike with three distinct kicks to a single opponent at angle 1. Start by delivering a Mae Geri to angle 1. This is typically delivered at the Chudan level because it may cause the opponent to bend forward slightly, but any location can be effective. Now rotate to the side and point the pedestal foot to angle 2. Deliver a Mae Ura Mawashi Geri to the opponent’s ribs or head. While keeping your knee raised, return the foot and then deliver a Mawashi Geri to the opposite side of the opponent’s head or torso.

Lower the leg to the ground quickly and then step back with this leg to establish a Sochin Dachi or other relevant stance.

Mae Mawashi Geri, Mae Geri, Kakato Geri

Delivering this kicking combination utilizes alternate legs to kick at a single opponent at angle 1. Begin from Sochin Dachi and raise the front leg to strike with a Mae Mawashi Geri. Return this leg to the ground near its original location and use the opposite leg to deliver a Mae Geri. Return this foot to its original location and raise the front leg wide of your opponent and then circle it inward slightly and drop it down as a Kakato Geri to the opponent’s shoulders, head, or neck.

The first two kicks should be focused on getting the opponent to bend their head or shoulders forward to facilitate the delivery of the Kakato Geri.

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