1. Short leg kick (rainbow kick): lead leg steps out at an angle onto ball of foot, lift right knee up high, strike a fist’s distance above opponent’s knee using your shin. Ankle should be extended away from body but leg is still bent. As you step in, your head should be to the left and off-center so as to dodge a punch. Left hand remains on guard, right hand drops to back right pocket while kicking. “Show back of your shoulder” to opponent when kicking. After the kick lands, you create a different angle when retreating by making sure your knees rub against each other.
2. “Non-static” rainbow kick: the aim of this drill is to practice gauging distance and timing of your rainbow kick against a moving opponent. The opponent should move around, changing distance and staying mobile. At will, the opponent stops and places his glove in position. The attacker launches immediately into a rainbow kick.
1. Hook into rainbow kick: attacker throws a hook. Opponent steps back at an angle to avoid the hook and places glove in place on thigh. Attacker should follow the opponent’s step and go in for the rainbow kick, then retreat.
- Opponent should only wait for a 1-Mississippi count for the attacker to kick before retracting their hand–the attacker should be following the opponent so as not to lose the window of opportunity
2. Hook + rainbow kick + hook: begins as above exercise with a hook into rainbow kick, but after the rainbow kick the attacker throws another hook immediately as their back foot comes back to their stance, using the turn to give the hook more momentum. This combo is meant to give your opponent doubt about chasing you after an initial strike, during which time you are vulnerable. As the opponent retreats from your hook, you chase them with a rainbow kick. Then as you are disengaging your leg from the kick, you’re using the extra momentum to launch into another hook to dissuade the opponent from getting into close range.
from Instructor Joe:
- When going for the rainbow kick, Instructor Joe prefers to lift his rear leg (knee toward sky) as high as he can so as to get as much force as possible
- It is important to simulate real force or intention when practicing strikes. The way you strike will change the way your partner reacts–if you throw lazy hook with no force or footwork, it is bad training for you and your partner.
- For the rainbow kick drills, remember to look at opponent’s face instead of anywhere else.