Flying Kicks

Sensei Post in Training notes,

First let me say that I am not a big fan of flying kicks. I say this for several reasons, first, I am white and as such can’t jump, πŸ˜‰ second, when you are in the air…flying…your feet are not on the ground which means that unless your aim is true you are vulnerable to the forces of physics (vectors, study them!). However a flying kick that is executed correctly is a thing of beauty!
There are several components to a flying kick that are crucial. I am going to use the following two photos someone found and sent me to illustrate a few points about flying kicks. (I’ve blurred out the faces since I wasn’t sure who these belonged to.)

In this first photo we see an attempt at a flying kick…
attempted flying kick

    Let’s examine what is “wrong” with this persons kick.

  • She is leaning her upper body forward
  • Her back/bottom leg is hanging
  • all of her motion & force is up
  • Her face is forward and her hand are to the side (you can see the attempt at forward motion)
  • her knee is locked
  • She is kicking with the full bottom of her foot
  • Her thumbs are incorrectly placed on her fists

This first photo is a great picture because it shows a person who appears to have had no training attempting to perform a flying kick. Given an apparent lack of training it is impressive that her arms are in a slightly defensive position.
This next photo is a significant improvement over the last. Here we see much better form…let’s take a look…

In this photo we see a fair well executed flying front kick…
Flying Front Kick

    Let’s examine what is right and wrong with this kick:

  • Right: Bottom foot perfectly tucked
  • Right: Hips/body tilted to allow proper kick execution
  • Right: Foot slightly extended, though the ball of the foot should be extended further
  • Right: Her torso is not forward
  • Wrong: Her back arm is tucked correctly but it is sticking out to the side
  • Wrong: Her front arm is upside down, out to the side and the elbow is locked

Overall a great kick (ignoring the arms).

One neat thing to notice in both of these photos is the sand/water that is flying through the air. In the captured sand/water you can clearly see the direction and motion of the kick leading up to the captured moment. Take a look at these study them and comment if your own assessment or if you agree or disagree.

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