The question mark kick is a deceptive move utilized in various combat sports, such as Muay Thai, kickboxing, and karate.
This technique can be used to deceive an opponent by making them think you are going to attack low when in reality you are aiming for something higher.
The question mark kick is an advanced Muay Thai move, however, it is fairly easy to learn and master.
Where Did The Question Mark Kick Originate?
The origins of the question mark kick are uncertain, with some believing it to have originated from karate and others claiming it to be a Muay Thai technique.
The former seems more likely, as the technique involves a snapping motion, which is similar to many karate kicking techniques.
In contrast, Muay Thai fighters generally kick straight through their target instead of using their legs as whips. The question mark kick, however, necessitates a snapping kick like karate.
The source of the question mark kick is a mystery, but its effectiveness has been demonstrated in a variety of arenas, including mixed martial arts and professional Muay Thai contests.
Understanding The Question Mark Kick
Succeeding with the question mark kick is a matter of deception and quick movement. The technique begins as an ordinary low kick; then, you surprise your opponent by suddenly aiming higher midway through the movement.
The key to catching an opponent off guard with the question mark kick is to set up the attack with low kicks or forward.
To throw off your opponent, initiate the technique by delivering a few powerful low kicks. This will make your opponent anticipate further low kicks. After this, surprise them by switching to the question mark kick.
To execute this technique, you raise your knee while throwing a low kick and then quickly change the direction of your legs, so that it strikes your opponent’s chin. This quick shift redirects the power of the kick to its intended target. When performed correctly, the kick has enough force to finish a fight.
Let’s consider the different ways you can incorporate the question mark kick into your repertoire.
Question Mark Kick Techniques
Back Leg Question Mark Kick
One of the simplest variations of the question mark kick to master is kicking with your back leg. This is the leg that you typically learn to kick with when you first start training a kicking art, so the motion should not feel strange.
A good way to set up this question mark kick is a front kick or body kick. Your opponent will then anticipate other attacks directed at their midsection. Here is an example of how it looks:
In order to gain the necessary momentum to land the kick, raise your knee and twist your front foot to open your hips as you deliver the kick.
To execute the technique, begin as if you were aiming for the torso, but then shift your leg so that the tip of your foot strikes your opponent’s chin, making sure to whip your leg into the strike.
Lead Led Question Mark Kick
The mechanics of this technique are similar to the back question mark kick. You must also make it convincing by preparing for the attack. A calf kick or front kick is great to set up for this technique. Here is an example:
- In your fighting stance, lift your main knee as if you were about to throw a front kick.
- Execute the kick as if you were targeting their lower body and move your back foot to open your hips.
- Change the direction of the kick to your opponent’s chin as they lower their guard to protect their body.
- Question Mark Kicks from Body Kicks
A roundhouse kick to the body is a useful method to set up the question mark kick, particularly if you are proficient in executing powerful body kicks. These kicks hurt, and it won’t be long before your opponent starts to lower their hands to guard their body. To set up the kick:
Set up the attack with a few roundhouse kicks to the body. Make sure to turn your hips, feet, and torso and attempt to kick through your opponent.
When your opponent begins to block your body kicks, raise your knee and pause for a moment. This pause is a critical element of the technique since you want your opponent to be ready to defend against a body kick.
As soon as your opponent lowers their guard, switch the direction of the kick, making contact with the balls of your feet.
When done correctly, the kick goes over your opponent’s guard and strikes their chin. The motion of your legs appears like a question mark, thus giving the technique its name.
Question Mark Kick With Both Legs
Here is an advanced approach to set up a question mark kick. You need to practice many drills to make this technique part of your arsenal, but if you do it correctly, you can deliver a combination that can finish the fight. Here is what it looks like:
Begin by throwing a basic combination of jabs and crosses at your opponent’s head.
This makes your adversary think that the upcoming strikes are directed at their head.
Subsequently, throw a front kick to the body and immediately follow up with a question mark kick.
At this point, your opponent will be confused, making it easier to land the kick.
Low Question Mark Kick
You do not always have to target the head when throwing a question mark kick. You can invert the technique and use it to deliver a powerful low kick. Here is an example of how it looks:
Start the kick by throwing a few high kicks at your opponent’s head. In response, they will likely raise their guard to defend themselves from further strikes.
Then, lift your knee as if you were executing another kick to the head. Change the direction of the kick downward at the last second, hitting your opponent with your shins.
Make sure to twist your front foot and hips as you perform the technique to guarantee it strikes with maximum force. The downward motion of this technique can be very disabling to adversaries, hindering their mobility.
Tips For Throwing The Question Mark Kick
If you keep the important details in mind, the question mark kick can be successful. Here are some tips on how to execute the Question Mark Kick.
Preparation: The Question Mark Kick is a crafty kick, so you must prepare before throwing it. Launch a strike at your opponent’s body to make them protect themselves and provide you a chance to throw it.
Raise The Knee: To execute the question mark kick, it is essential to first lift your knee. Point your toes outward and make sure to use the power of your hip to lift your leg. It is important to get your knee high enough to create the desired shape. This will give the kick the appearance of a front kick.
Turn The Hips: To ensure the kick will properly redirect, it is important to twist the hips to the side. Drawing on the power of the leg and hip muscles, aim for a 45-degree angle. This will help the kick to redirect and provide the necessary power to make it effective.
Turn Your Front Foot: For the kick to go in the correct direction, it’s important to twist the foot of the non-kicking leg. Make sure the foot is pointing in the same direction as the knee. This will help the kick to redirect and go in the desired direction.
Pause: It’s important to pause as you raise your knee. Leave your knee in the air for a half second to bait your opponent. This will create a reaction from them and if they move, you can quickly follow up with the kick or your next move.
Whip It: To add strength to the kick, drive your hip forward and extend your leg. Make sure to point your toes and direct the heel towards the target. This will help the kick to have more power when it is released.
Sell It: To be successful with the question mark kick, it is important to create the illusion of a regular front kick. Deception is key, so try to get your opponent to believe the feint before switching up to the question mark kick.
Strike With The Toes: When delivering the kick, strive to strike the opponent with the ball of your foot. To avoid injury, avoid hitting with the top of your foot. If possible, aim for the lower part of the head like the nose or chin. This will provide more power and control.
Question Mark Kick – Conclusion
The question mark kick is a deceptive and powerful technique used in various combat sports. It’s a versatile move that can be used to set up low kicks, high kicks, and even head kicks.
It requires quick movement and deception to be successful, as well as proper execution of the technique. With practice, anyone can master the question mark kick and use it as an effective tool in combat sports.