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Which is better, a (Karate) Snap Kick or a (Muay Thai) Thrust Kick?

Updated: May 23, 2023

As a Karate student, I've always wondered which Kick is better - a push kick or a snap kick. I decided to ask Sensei Yashpal for his wisdom.

Sensei explained that both kicks have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the situation and personal preference.

Karate Kick or Muay Thai Kick
Push Kick or Thrust Kick?

A Push Kick, or "Kekomi." (Muay Thai Kick)

A push kick of Kekomi is a powerful kick that can knock an opponent back. It's excellent for creating distance between you and your opponent and can be used to keep them at bay. However, a push kick needs tremendous energy and can leave you vulnerable if you miss it.

Kekomi represents Thrust
  • The kick continues to push through the target.

  • The knee locks completely before withdrawing.

A Snap Kick or "Keage." (Karate Kick)

On the other hand, a snap kick, "Keage", is a faster kick that is great for striking an opponent's head or body. It's also less tiring than a push kick and can be used to surprise your opponent. People often assume it's usually less potent than a push kick and can be more challenging to execute correctly.

Keage represents Snap
  • The Knee is never fully locked.

  • The Kick happens fast and quickly.

A Front Kick (Mae Geri), Roundhouse Kick (Mawashi Geri) and a Side Kick (Yoko Geri) can all be Kekomi and Keage. Both versions can be devastating, and it all depends on the practitioner.

A skilled Muay Thai fighter uses "Teep.", a Kekomi Front Kick, to throw the opponent off the ring. Check it out in One Championship here.

A Karate master may use a Snap Front Kick or Keage Mae-Geri to shatter an opponent's bone and spirit. Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva have knocked out opponents with their Keage Mae-Geri in UFC. Check it out here.

Sensei advised me to practice both kicks and to use them strategically, depending on the situation. He also emphasised the importance of proper technique and form to ensure maximum effectiveness and minimise injury risk.

In one of the drills, he made me work on generating maximum power using a Push front kick, "Kekomi Mae Geri," then I had to match the same impact using a snap front kick, "Keage Mae Geri version."

Generating the same power in a snap kick is more technical and requires practice. However, it makes it almost impossible for an opponent to catch your Kick when done correctly.

It was 2015, and we once practised defence from a knife attack. Anirban (where are you, Sempai?) wasn't convinced. He told Sensei Yashpal that if someone comes with a genuine intention to stab, these might not work. Sensei gave him a rubber knife and asked him to attack with full intensity. Anirban started his dance, and suddenly we heard a loud sound.

Anirban flew from one end of the Dojo to another from the impact of a Mae Geri (front Kick). There was a pin-drop silence. Anirban was fine and could have been worse if Sensei Yashpal had wanted that.

A Karate Class in Gurgaon
Right to left: Me, Anirban, Shaifali, Sensei Yashpal, Amit and Palash

After a few classes, I asked Sensei if that Kick Anirban faced was a "Kekomi" or a "Keage". He didn't give a direct answer. During stretching, as I looked up, there was a sign of Yin-Yang in Dojo in those days, and I realised there's a bit of both in everything. Like in a kick, it is never 100% Kekomi or Keage. In life also, our actions are never always good or bad. We are always transcending between a saint and devil, sometimes both.

It was 2015, and that is when I created the theme of the logo for Kombat Hall, with a Yin-Yang at the centre.

The logo came to life in 2015 with the help of Jamsheed, a creative director who understood martial arts and directed "The Contender Asia, 2008", a series that saw the rise of John Wayne Parr, one of the most inspirational martial artists I know.

Kombat Hall logo and Karate in Gurgaon
When Kombat Hall logo came to life in 2015- Rohit, Anamika Sensei, Sensei Yashpal, Yuvraj and Me

However, Kombat Hall, as we see it today, only came to life in 2022. Here is how Kombat Hall lives the Yin and Yang, not just in the logo but also in practice.

Kombat Hall combines traditional and modern.

Our warriors may practice traditional Karate and be equally at ease at MMA with training that combines both.

Kombat Hall combines strength and martial arts.

Most Dojos believe what they teach is a full circle. We give equal importance to strength and flexibility as it helps a warrior stay injury free and be more balanced.

Kombat Hall combines ground techniques with striking.

All our batches, be it Karate or Kickboxing, have a day of BJJ/ MMA as it completes the training at striking and close range both.

Kombat Hall celebrates the balance of having parents and kids in the same class.

We allow kids to come with their parents in the adult batches as we understand that training together is an experience that is more valuable than binding rules.

I'm grateful for Sensei's guidance and will continue to work hard to improve my martial arts skills.

Also, in Radha's (our Kickboxing champ) words:

Kombat Hall is a platform that teaches us to fight all the negative space in life.

Keep Training Hard.



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