top of page

Weapon of Choice: The Best Kick to Stun Your Opponent

Updated: Apr 26

The Best Kick to Stun Your Opponent

Black Belt Plus

In the words of Bruce Lee:

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

We asked some of the most decorated martial arts experts in the  world “what is the best kick to stun an opponent?“ Some were in alignment others not. What move would you choose?

Best Kicks to Stun your Opponent

Ron Van Clief - Front Kick

The Best Kick to Stun Your Opponent

The front kick would be the most applicable to self-defense. Kicking the groin, knee, and or thigh (upper leg) this stop-gap kick gives enough time to get away.

Jim Arvantis  - Side Kick / Downward Front Kick 

The Best Kick to Stun Your Opponent

The opening kick should take the opponent by surprise making it difficult for him to adequately defend against. In no case should it pass above the belt line. It must be simple and economical to facilitate strong follow-up offensives if necessary. The type of kick depends on one’s positioning in relation to that of his opponent and the distance encountered. From long range, if you find yourself at an angle to your adversary a ravaging downward side kick to the knee will both stun and stop him in his tracks. 

If you’re more squared to him, then a downward front kick to the knee will be most effective. The ancient Greek pankratiasts emphasized the latter since it was both practical and direct, and often caught their foe off-guard and unprepared to detect such a move. 

Jeff Smith - Front Kick 

The Best Kick to Stun Your Opponent

The best kick to throw in a street situation is a front kick aimed at the groin or stomach(solar plexus) to stop your attacker. This will keep him at a distance where he can’t punch you while your kick is extended and your hands are ready to follow up with a punch or block (if necessary). 

Make sure your hands stay up in your guarding position during the kick. This will drop his guard so you can follow up with a jab and a cross to the head/chin. 

It’s a 100% success rate if you have a strong enough kick and punch. When I was 18 and weighed 150lbs it stopped a 250lbs attacker before. I never started a street fight but I finished quite a few.

Nowadays I like to use my verbal Karate to get out of a difficult situation but you always need a backup plan just in case! 

Joe Corley - Rising Front Kick

joe corley

I believe that the most effective kick to use in self-defense would be the “rising front kick“ to the groin, with the top of your foot, the tip of your shoe, or your shins making as much contact as possible in the testicles in case of a man or the body parts located in the same area if it were a woman attacker. 

As to Why, the answer is that this strike would deliver immediate and debilitating pain to one of the attacker’s most vulnerable body part areas ( the other being the eyes) that would allow the defender to either escape quickly or to follow up with additional attacks or counter

attacks that would further neutralize the threat and/or the attacker.

John Chung - Front Kick 

john chung

The best kick in self-defense must be a ‘quick and simple’ kick. Therefore, the Front Kick is the best kick in the self-defense situation. 

One can use a Front snap kick to ‘stun’ the opponent while the Front thrust kick can drive the opponent away as well as keep them away from you like a ‘stiff arm’ in football. 

In addition, since Front kick is a straight technique, you will have the best balance to be able to assess the situation with your hands/guards prepared for any unexpected attacks. 

So, hands down The Front Kick is the King of kicks in self-defense.

Harinder Singh - Front Snap Kick (to the groin)

Harinder Singh

"The best kick to stun an opponent is a quick lead leg snap kick to the groin. Especially after hiding it by feinting a lead hand finger jab to the eyes. With shoes on you can use the toes to quickly stab or flick at the groin and attack from a greater distance. Since you have a shoe which is your weapon, you do not need much power. If you mismanage the range, the instep, and shin can also be effective. Use your longest weapon to the closest target and employ a keen sense of distance, accurate timing, and effective angles to ensure success.

Graciela Casillas - Oblique Kick

Graciela Casillas 

One of the most potent kicks to incapacitate an opponent is the oblique kick directed towards the shin, particularly when executed with a sturdy sole shoe. The shin, with a myriad of nerve endings, proves to be a vulnerable target, rendering the recipient to excruciating pain upon impact.  

However, within the confines of the ring, I can attest to the efficacy of a well-placed kick aimed at the superficial peroneal nerve situated in the thigh, delivering a debilitating blow. Such was the case in my memorable kickboxing encounter with Cheryl Wheeler, wherein a strategic thigh kick knocked her down.

Burt Richardson - Oblique Kick

Burt Richardson

First, we must ensure that we have footwear that can aid in our kicking. I suggest a shoe or boot with a hard toe, heel, and inner/outer edges that you can put to work for you. As the late, great street savate master Daniel Duby told me many years ago, “If you have a weapon in a street fight, you should use it!”

The particular kick would depend on distance and the ability of the defender. If I could only choose one, I would go with the JKD oblique kick to the shin or knee (similar to the coup de pied bas of savate). It can be used from various distances, you can maintain your balance and defensive hand position while deploying it, the kick does not require great athleticism, it is difficult to counter, and slamming that hard edge of the shoe or heel into an unprotected shin or knee produces a tremendous effect. That is why if I could choose only one highly versatile and effective kick with the shoe on, it would be the oblique kick.

Bram Frank - Oblique Kick

Bram Frank

Growing up in ice and snow where it is easy to slip, one must be aware of environmental surroundings.

The best kick to stun would be a Wing Chun or Chinese-style Kung Fu oblique low kick.  As Bruce Lee talked of a stop the bad guts knee, shin, ankle, or foot. 

No mobility, no threat, and I can do an oblique kick even nose to nose with a bad guy while using my hands and not slip and fall myself.

Jared Wihongi  - Muay Thai-style Roundhouse

Jared Wihongi 

A round-house kick is very versatile, with or without shoes. Power generation is significant, especially with a Muay Thai-style round kick. It can cause a significant stun for anyone unaccustomed to being kicked in the thigh. With shoes on, the same kick can be extremely devastating when delivered to the liver with the toes. When delivered to the head, this kick has a high knock-out probability. 

Tom Callos - Roundhouse (to the thigh)

Tom Callos

Even though I could kick body or head level with extraordinary speed, power, and precision, off the mats and/or out of the arena, I would not kick above the waist. A well-delivered knee or thigh kick, be it a roundhouse, side-kick, or stomp, right on the money, would be the key to stunning someone enough to facilitate an escape. I’d like to add the idea that escape is not fighting, meaning the strategy and movement in escaping a conflict is going to look and feel differently than in a situation where escape isn’t a consideration.

bottom of page