Kekomi-geri, thrust kicks, are variations of the “snap kicks” which we have discussed previously. By convention, all thrust kicks have a “-kekomi” suffix, and all snap kicks have a “-keage” suffix. This website breaks from this standard convention since Goshin-Jutsu relies on snap kicks so heavily that we assume that all kicks are snap kicks unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Thrust kicks are thrown just like standard front, side, rear, or [[Stomp kick|stomp kicks], except that your knee locks at the moment of impact, when your leg is fully extended. This augments the technique’s power, and improves the technique’s ability to cancel an opponent’s forward momentum, or to off-balance them. This off-balancing aspect is why many other martial arts refer to thrust kicks as “push kicks.” However, we discourage using this name, as it establishes a wrong mindset which leads to a weak technique. Instead, visualize your kick thrusting through your opponent’s bones, just like breaking down an empty cardboard box to fit it in the recycling bin.
All thrust kicks strike their targets using your heel. Be aware that this causes thrust kicks to have a slightly shorter range than snap kicks. Your muscle memory will lead you to miss or glance off of your opponent unless you make a serious commitment to padwork and bagwork.
Be aware that locking the knee requires unlocking the knee before you can rechamber. This additional step will slow down your rechambering, and a skilled or clever opponent can exploit this moment of vulnerability to unbalance you.
[video front, side, rear, and downward thrust kicks, fast and slow, from the front, side and rear.]
Thrust kicks are also half-jokingly called Sparta kicks, for their use in an iconic scene from Frank Miller’s “300.”