If you don't throw this kick with the power and technique needed....all it does is make you vulnerable to a take down.. so I thought I would put a brief list of some minor points on the technique:
The Kick should be delivered with the shin as a whole...this means the kick is at the same range as a punch.
You should try to keep the leg as straight as possible through the kick (Don't use you knee to deliver the kick...it is powered by the hips and shoulders)
Thinkg BIG! Dtae is not thrown whilst bent at the waist or crouched... it is a big kick thrown whilst straight and upright, you should be on the toes of your supporting foot
You should aim to spin/rotate on your supporting foot - if practicing the kick in thin air, the fore of the kick and rotation should take you round in a circle...kicking through the target
When contact is made, you should be side on to the target...a smaller target for the counter attack, and also your hips will of rolled over and the power will be delivered through the arc of the attack
YOU DO NEED A GUARD!!! two alternatives......1) use the opposite hand to the kick, to guard across your face (your other hand is up to you, however, I fold mine across the small of my back......).......2) Often fighters will use the sam hand as the kicking side, and simply reach forward to touch the targets head, the opposite arm is bent, with the hand reaching to the first hands elbow joint/bicep.
sorry if this is long winded or not detailed enough.....but isn't this what the forum was for in the first place........?