The purpose of our project was to see if there was a difference in velocity and height between a back kick and a front kick in the sport of kickboxing. We found that there was a difference in both velocity and height of the two kicks. These differences suggested that the front kick was more effective.


The two factors that determine the effectiveness of the kick are a large ankle velocity and a high position. According to Putnam, (1987) velocity was an important component of the kick. We determined that the back kick had a higher vertical position when compared to the front kick. Suggesting that the back kick was more effective because of its ability to make contact with a greater range of targets. The front kick, however, had a greater horizontal velocity than the back kick. Thus, the front kick was more effective because it was able to reach the target faster than the back kick. According to Chuang (1992) injury potential was a strong function of kick velocity. The front kick also had a greater vertical velocity. This was important because if the target was high, then the kicker must be able to reach the target at a fairly fast rate in order to initiate the force phase of the kick faster. From these results, we determined that the front kick was the most effective kick due to the fact that it was able to reach its target faster, both in the vertical and horizontal directions. While the back kick had a greater vertical range of motion, it was only a difference of a few centimeters.


One of the main limitations of this study was that the modified back kick that was used for this project was not a true kickboxing move. This is because no one will strike his/her opponent with their back faced to them. Therefore, our movement was not a true representation because our subject was not proficient in the back kick. In order to truly examine different style kicks, greater technology is needed to look at multi-planar movements. We also could not measure force for this project. If we were to continue this study, the next step of our study would be to examine the forces and momentum involved.



Chaung, T.,Lieu, D. (1992). A parametric study of the thoracic injury potential of basic taekwondo kicks. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering 114(3): 346-51.


Davis, J. (1998). Autobiographical training manual. http://www.jps.net/ikf/JohnnyDavis.htm.


Putamen, B.T. (1987). Factors influencing the angular velocity of a human limb segment. Journal of Biomechanics. 20(5): 511-21.


Schwartz, M.L., Hudson, A.R., Fernie, G.R., Hayashi, K., Colechough, A.A. (1986). Biomechanical study of full-contact karate contrasted with boxing. Journal of Neurosurgery 64: 248-52.