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Kingeri is a Karate groin kick. It is in fact one of the easier Front kick techniques, but is not usually included under the term Maegeri. This is probably because the strike is very definitely vertical and as such is only really effective for groin kicks and for hitting someone who's bowing at you. Needless to say it's an illegal move in tournament Karate.

It is performed by lifting the knee up to a little higher than target height and straightening the knee. If the knee is straightened at the correct time then the lower leg is whipped out in a sort of 'catapulting' motion. Great force can be applied, and thus considerable pain. Indeed I've read that a powerful enough strike to the groin can paralyse or kill an opponent, due to it being a nerve center. Apparently this goes for both men and women, but it's easier to cause moderate pain to men. (Bear in mind that since we're discussing potential fatalities, moderate in this instance means excruciating under normal circumstances.)

From a self defence point of view, this is a useful kick to keep in your repertoire, because most people are more aware of the knee to the groin. However, performed correctly, a Kingeri is only very slightly slower than the knee and may well have the advantage of being unexpected, particularly considering the potential range of such a kick. Just be sure that your assailant really is an 'assailant' and not just someone trying to ask your for directions or something. Also should you miss, or should they block it, don't expect a second chance. This kick should only be employed as a 'sure thing' and when you have no other options available to you.

On the other hand for general fighting purposes this kick can be very useful indeed, provided you don't mind the label of a 'dirty' fighter. But dirty fighters are often the winners, and all fighting is wrong anyway, so don't be too proud. In the midst of a ruck often your opponent will just not be expecting anything like this. Obviously it's a mid-long range technique so you might have a bit of difficulty placing it, but if you do then you're almost gauranteed to win the fight. Again, if you miss, or if your opponent manages to recover then expect them to be distinctly angry.

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