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Shovel Kick to the Groin (instructional video included)

The most effective way to kick the groin is with the shovel kick. It is one of the best self-defense kicks in your arsenal. You can perform it once, or multiple times on the assailant, until they go down. With a little practice you can effectively slow down, or even end an attack with this kick.

This is not a front kick!

The shovel kick is different than the traditional Karate front kick in that you do not use the ball of the foot or the toes to kick with. Doing so may result in missing the testicles, causing the assailant to start defend that area.

Additionally, do not "chamber" the kick, which is a fine motor skill that takes years of practice to perform correctly, and you may not have time to do during an attack. Also, chambering the kick will be more easily seen by the assailant and may result in them defending or preparing for it.

The right way to perform the shovel kick is to raise your whole leg quickly (lifting via your hip), when performing the shovel kick. You then, point your toes downward, and kick quickly upwards between the assailants legs. Doing this maximizes the power of the shovel kick.

Your instep, ankle, or shin, should make contact with the assailants groin, depending on how far or close the assailant is to you. Kicking in this manner will ensure that you hit the testicles, which has the most nerve endings in the groin area, resulting in massive pain to the recipient.

Important Note:

One kick may not be enough to stop someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or is enraged. For best results, kick the groin repeatedly until the assailant is immobilized, and you are able to run away.

How to perform:

  1. Standing in either a neutral stance or fighting stance, hold your hands slightly above and away from your face (to block strikes coming to your head).

  2. Raise your whole leg (lifting via your hip), point your toes downward, and then kick upwards quickly/powerfully, between the assailants legs.

  3. Do Not lean back when kicking to avoid falling backwards.

Below is a short instructional video of how to perform The Shovel Kick.

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Until next time, Stay Safe!

Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight


The Shovel Kick

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