• orjanpettersen


Each week MASTERCLASS gives you brief but key information on how to optimise a simple Krav Maga strike or technique.

This week we’ll cover the so-called signature strike of Krav Maga; the kick to the groin.


This kick is renowned (or notorious, dependent on which side you’re on) for its brutal and show-shopping efficiency.

The groin kick does however have its considerations and limitations that you need to be acutely aware of.

Firstly, it should be executed at a closer (hand-striking range or just out of it) to optimise the surprise element of it. Starting the kick at too long a range simply allows the opponent to move away or, if skilled, defend against it and it puts you in an unbalanced and less defendable position until you land the kicking leg. The relative closeness of the kick also adds to the surprise element as it’s done downwards up, out of line of sight of the opponent.

Secondly, the groin area is not a big target (author note: putting away any male insecurities and simply making it comparable to other target areas. Also note: it’s effective against female opponents too). This is especially true if the groin area is not open and readily accessible to be kicked. It can easily be missed in a dynamic fight.

Thirdly, even if connecting solidly with the testicles, this may not be sufficiently effective. If the target person is under the influence of intoxicating substances, the pain may not register the pain until a long time later, when the substance effect has worn off. Striking a groin with great accuracy and power just to receive a non-reaction is not the best encouragement in a fight. No pain. It’s going to be tough one.

HOW TO DO THE KICK TO THE GROIN (back leg or legs in a line).

This kick is ‘simple’ - but only if you allow it to be.

When practicing, focus on these fundamentals:

If you have a target, such as a partner with a pad or other striking absorbing surfaces, start by finding the right range. Reach the hand out straight in front of you. You should be able to just or nearly (within a foot or so) reach the person holding the pad.

Next, generate power and release the kicking leg by ‘stomping’ the base leg forward onto the floor with a small step to close to the right distance, make some forward body momentum and remove all the weight off the kicking leg. Keep your hands up and in front of you throughout to defend your upper body and in readiness for hand strikes to follow on.

As you prepare to land the ‘stomp’ the kicking leg should already be in a forward swinging motion, in a direct line towards the groin. The ‘motivation’ for the kick should be to slice the person into two halves, from groin to head - like a volley football (soccer) kick (only on a two-ball target). The kick should be fast, explosive, loose - and excessively brutal. The connection point is the lower to mid part of the shin, with the toes pointing backwards to tense the shin for the impact. Kicking with toes or in-step can easily miss the groin if it’s slightly pulled back if the kick is detected.

Recoil the leg back to your desired tactical position, for example landing forward for another hand strike follow-up, back to the line of the base leg to start another kick or as a first step if running away towards the same side or pivoting around or by landing on the line with the base leg to push off towards the base leg side to run in this direction.

HOW TO DO THE KICK TO THE GROIN (with front leg).

The only difference kicking with the front leg is that you must close the distance by the same quick ‘stomping’ step with your back leg to put it on the same line as the kicking leg was on.

Once landing, the kicking leg should already be in its loose and fast trajectory towards the groin.

All other fundamentals of the kick remain the same.


Picture: The Krav Maga Master Gheorghe Husar (right) demonstrating a kick to the groin on a pad held by The Krav Maga Educator Orjan Pettersen.

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