Side Kick

Side Kick: Pull your heel up and back toward your buttocks as you did in Front Kick, into Ready Position. Then kick to the side, with the side of your thigh facing toward the ceiling. Keep the knee of your supporting leg unlocked and spring loaded. Imagine pushing a boulder. To kick higher, turn out the foot and toes of the supporting leg first. This opens up the hip joint and allows higher kicks. Sound the word yes or no with each kick. Alternate sides. Benefits: Practicing the Side Kick is excellent conditing for the buttock muscles, which powers your leg and kicking motions from behind and underneath. (From The Nia Technique Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas).

It is week 25 of my 52 week challenge, and the move this week is Side Kick. We will incorporate this movement into our daily routines and play with high, middle, and low planes of movement as well as the five sensations of fitness, agility, stability, strength, flexibility, and mobility. Seek comfort as you play with this move. At the end of your week you can report back on your experiences or journal about your findings. Have fun!

Here is a great video on Side Kick from Nia trainer Danielle Eastman:

Last week we played with Front Kick, and as I predicted it was just a really fun week for me. As I delved into kicks this week, I had a few interesting observations about myself. Originally I was attracted to Nia because I like to dance. I had never considered that I might like martial arts too. Over the years, I have had many favorite songs and routines, and they almost all involve kicks and blocks. I had no idea that I would find such joy in kicking. I also learned that I like kicks, and in particular Front Kicks, because I feel powerful when I kick.

This week as I Front Kicked through my days, I was reminded of Debbie’s wise words that speed is the illusion of mastery. When I am dancing, Front Kicks always seem so easy. I don’t struggle with balance, nor do I feel particularly challenged. I am just out there having fun on the dance floor. When I am standing in my kitchen and slowing the move down, I notice that I become much more aware of what my supporting leg is doing. I also notice that my kicks are smaller, and I struggled with achieving balance several times. The solution to my balance issues almost always come down to having or not having soft, spring-loaded knees.

I opted to keep Front Kick at home and in class over the last week. I don’t often care what people think about me, but I do enjoy being able to shop at the local grocery store and walking around my neighborhood without people pointing and being fearful of me. Because of these small conveniences, I decided against kicking my way through the line at the store and the bank or Front Kicking to the park. I did, however, really enjoy bringing my personal focus to class this week. Sharing with my students and co-dancers is really rewarding and fun for me. Having a focus of Front Kick allowed everyone to play with the move in their own way and in their own time. Hearing feedback was wonderful and insightful. Plus, I have it on good authority that sharing is caring. I think that the Care Bears said that.

Shall we review? We have played with six stances: Closed, Open, A, Sumo, Bow, and Cat; 8 foot techniques: Heel Lead, Whole Foot, Ball of the Foot, Relevé, Rock Around the Clock, Squish Walk, Duck Walk, and Toes In, Out, Parallel; 9 steps: Sink and Pivot Table Wipe, Stepping Back onto the Ball of the Foot, Cross Front, Cross Behind, Traveling in Directions, Lateral Traveling, Cha-Cha-Cha, Slow Clock, and Fast Clock; and one kick: Front Kick. This week we will explore Side Kick. Enjoy!

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