The Front Kick is the most important kick. It should be the most accurate, fastest, most polished kick in everyone's arsenal. It should be the kick you throw more than any other. For one simple reason.
You're opponent should be in front of you.
Yes, rear kicks and side kicks and hooks and crescents are all useful, powerful kicks. But the opponent should be standing in front of you and you should be in a fighting stance. If either of those things are not true, you should make them true immediately. You may be ambushed, you may be surrounded. But you need to face the man you intend to defeat. Each, individually, with all of your attention at every moment.
I am not saying you will never throw a back or side kick. Certainly I do all the time. I'm not saying the fighting stance has to be a perfect neutral bow, or L stance, or guard position. I'm not even saying your opponent won't get behind you, or you won't have to face more than one opponent at a time. But you must be fighting from your stance. And you must be facing each opponent with everything that you are.
And when you are facing your opponent, you're front kick is the shortest distance between your foot and his first most vital target. It requires no twisting, no turning, and no pivoting. It is a simple lift and extend. It is a motion you do every step you take, every day of your life.
It should be a devastating move, to any target, delivered with absolute conviction. To the leading lower shin of the opponent it can jam a rushing maneuver. To the inside of the knee it can crush the joint outward, folding the leg over sideways. To the inner thigh, stop a roundhouse kick in mid flight. You can strike the groin to cause pain, the hip girdle to collapse your opponent forward, or the bladder to accomplish both. You can break ribs, rupture organs, and even stop the heart.
The front kick can do all these things. And more. The same kick to the back of the knee has a completely different effect than to the front or side of it. Snapping the kick has a different effect from thrusting it. Are you striking forward with the kick, or upward? Chambering or sweeping? Landing forward or back?
The front kick is the lead hand jab of the lower body. It is not simply one kick among many. It is the kick. It may not have the most potential power. It may not have the greatest range, or height. But it is one of the core moves of your fighting arsenal, and deserves its place in any combination of strikes.
Beginner: Practice front kicks ten times, each leg, thrusting and snapping, in the air, and on the pads, the shields, the bag, and the body.
Intermediate: Student A faces Student B in a Fighting Stance. Student B holding a focus shield. Student A uses Step Thru Front Kicks to push Student B the length of the floor. Then Student B advances and Student A defends with Step Thru Front Kicks (Retreating). Repeat.
Advanced: While sparring, Students practice using Front Kicks against various targets for Anatomical Repositioning, (Bladder, Hip Girdle, Lower Ribs, Guard).