Some instructors teach that when using the side kick in sparring, the knee of the kicking leg should not be chambered high and backward. They teach that the knee should be only lifted straight up so that the kick may be performed more quickly. While this motion may be quicker, it is only quicker by milliseconds, which is insignificant since opponents cannot react or move this quickly. With a full chamber, the kick is not only more powerful when it makes contact with the target, it is more powerful in its motion, which makes it more difficult to defect or stop.
Some instructors teach that, when using the side kick in sparring, the knee of the kicking leg should not be retracted into the chambered position. They teach that the kicking foot should only be dropped back to the floor so that another technique may quickly follow. However, dropping the foot means you are committed to stepping into that position. If your kick failed, the opponent may attack with a counterattack leaving you in a bad position. With the re-chamber, you have regained your stability so that you may step down anywhere you choose, execute another side kick or any other kick, use the cambered leg to push the opponent away, use the chambered leg in a block, or merely drop it back to the floor. At the moment a kick makes contact, you body is extended, off balance, and vulnerable. The quicker you retract the kick, the quicker you regain stability and the ability to defend yourself or continue attacking.
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