July 23, 2024



The Sidekick: Unleashing the Powerhouse of Hapkido by GM Eric Laino

The Sidekick: Unleashing the Powerhouse of Hapkido by GM Eric Laino


In the realm of Hapkido, a martial art renowned for its diverse range of kicks, one technique stands out as a true powerhouse—the sidekick. With its explosive power, versatility, and practicality, the sidekick holds a prominent position in the arsenal of Hapkido practitioners. In this article, we will delve into the reasons why the sidekick is widely considered the most powerful kick in Hapkido. Exploring its mechanics, application in self-defense scenarios, and training methods, we will uncover the unique attributes that make the side kick a formidable weapon in the hands of a skilled Hapkido practitioner.

The Mechanics of Power

The sidekick harnesses a combination of biomechanical principles, making it a devastatingly powerful technique. The kick involves utilizing the body’s rotation, leg extension, and hip drive to generate maximum force. By rotating the supporting foot, engaging the core muscles, and driving the leg forward, a Hapkido practitioner can unleash tremendous power upon impact. The linear trajectory of the side kick allows for focused and concentrated force, maximizing the effectiveness of the strike.

Versatility in Attack and Defense

The side kick’s versatility is a key factor that sets it apart as the most powerful kick in Hapkido. This technique can be utilized in various attack and defense scenarios. In offensive situations, the sidekick enables practitioners to deliver devastating blows to vital targets such as the groin, knee, ribs, or head of an opponent. Its linear trajectory allows for precision and accuracy, making it an ideal tool for target-specific strikes.

In defensive applications, the sidekick becomes an invaluable tool for maintaining distance and repelling attackers. Its ability to cover a significant range quickly and forcefully makes it an effective countermeasure against incoming strikes or grappling attempts. The side kick’s power, combined with its versatility, allows Hapkido practitioners to seamlessly transition between offense and defense, adapting to different combat situations.

Practicality in Self-Defense

In real-life self-defense scenarios, the sidekick shines as a practical and effective technique. Its straightforward mechanics and emphasis on power make it an ideal choice for close-quarters combat. Whether defending against a single attacker or multiple assailants, the sidekick provides a reliable means of generating enough force to incapacitate or create a window for escape. Its linear trajectory minimizes the risk of losing balance, ensuring stability and control during high-stress situations.

Training Methods for Power and Precision

To harness the full potential of the sidekick, Hapkido practitioners engage in specific training methods designed to develop power and precision. These methods include exercises to strengthen the supporting leg, increase hip flexibility, and enhance core stability. By incorporating strength and conditioning routines, practitioners can generate more force during the kick while maintaining control and balance.

Training drills involving target practice, focus pads, and kicking shields help refine accuracy, speed, and timing. These drills allow practitioners to develop the ability to deliver powerful side kicks consistently, even under dynamic conditions. Through continuous practice and refinement, Hapkido practitioners can further maximize the effectiveness of the side kick and unlock its true potential.


The sidekick stands as the crown jewel of Hapkido’s kicking techniques, earning its reputation as the most powerful kick in the discipline. With its explosive power, versatility in both attack and defense, and practical application in self-defense scenarios, the side kick exemplifies the core principles of Hapkido—efficiency, effectiveness, and precision. Through understanding the mechanics, training diligently, and refining the technique, Hapkido practitioners can harness the full potential of the sidekick, empowering themselves with a formidable weapon that embodies the essence of Hapkido’s combative prowess.

To host a seminar with Master Eric Laino call or text him directly at Phone: (570) 242-4963.

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