I normally like to start my posts with a humorous anecdote about some aspect of class, but I’m so sleepy I don’t have it in me.  I’m on day four of heavily interrupted sleep.  Long story short – life with geriatric, stroke-addled cats is brutal.

I haven’t been posting much lately because I either keep forgetting what we did the night before or I can’t think of pithy things to write about.  However, last night had a brief change in the regular goings on.  One of the Wonder Twins asked about jumping kicks which progressed from the crescent kicks we were practicing to a whole room of uncoordinated jumping, twisting and groaning. 

I usually leave this kind of analysis to Colin or Mark, but trying to sort out the body dynamics for this kick was dizzying. The kick is a jumping outside crescent, by that I mean that the right foot (in this case) comes in from the right and the striking surface is the bottom/arch of the foot.  With the jump added we pump the left knee into the air to launch before we perform the kick.  We could all do that via a huge twist in the torso (leaving my back incredibly sore this morning).  Teacher added a level of complexity to this – coming down from the landing with spinning back fist.  To do this the left leg had to not only pump into the air but also in the direction you needed you body to move (in this case up and to the left).  This was to mitigate the need to twist the torso in mid air.  We were horrible.  It was the proverbial bunch of monkeys humping a football.  Something to practice obviously since we never practice jumping kicks, even though they are part of the TSD curriculum.  Teacher is very uncomfortable teaching the techniques because they leave the floor and source of power. 

The rest of the night was practicing wrist-twist, four corners throw and various locks and basic throws.  Lots of fun now that I can teach a bit better and have the Wonder Twins to utilize as ukes. 

At the end of class we have one student stand while the rest us get in line and present as the uke. The student practices what they learned that evening.  I saw the frustration in everyone’s faces and even I would lock up when folks would offer a left hand. 

Teacher had everyone sit down and had me demonstrate Neihanshi Cho Dan before bow out.  Not sure why, but it was a nice treat to show everyone what I was working on.


BSM said…
In TKD we had a ton of jump kicks. The only three I'd ever consider trying in a real self-defense setting are the jump front snap, jump axe, and jump side kick (both from stationary and moving).

I used to break with the jump axe and it'd be very good on a prone person.

The other two are calculated risks. They have a lot of power but if you mess them up you are hosed.

Potatoe Fist said…
I think I'm going to have to search for some videos. I can see the jumping axe and front snap with no problem because the lack of or minimal torso work, but the side and our crescent will require a lot of work.

I don't think I would use any of them in a tough situation, but for learning and progress they seem really great.
Colin Wee said…
Colin and Mark. Is 'Colin' referring to me?

My two cents - I have learned and sporadically practiced jumping kicks since my first black belt. From what I know, they're tiring and don't add a lot of practical value to your bag of tricks. Hahahahah.

My rule of thumb for jumping - if you're going for height, the kicking foot leaves the ground last. If you're going for distance, the back foot leaves the ground last.

The major benefit I can attribute to jumping kicks is the associated development of control that can be used for 'skipping steps' used to modify standup kicking.

This is where the support foot leaves the ground momentarily whilst the kicking leg is already in the air. In standup fighting, such adjustments can give you the additional reach or modification of angle of entry you need to hit hard to reach places. Your opponent's support knee, his groin, ribs, solar plexus, etc.

Otherwise, the other benefit is to use BOTH legs to kick your opponent. During sparring, it may be tactically advantageous to let your opponet think you are doing one kick when in fact two kicks (one from each leg) are going to land sequentially close together.

I used to like to do an instep kick followed by a roundhouse. This meant that both legs were (for a time) in the air together, but the roundhouse was a head-high number that is a deal closer.

You can do the same with a front-roundhouse combination, instep-hook, etc.

In a real situation I might do a jump low sidekick or jump short range roundhouse. But otherwise, I'd rather knock them out with a hand technique if possible.

Potatoe Fist said…
Colin, I was indeed, referring to you. As I expected you did a wonderful job of breaking down the kicks and how they are applied. It's also nice to hear that the use of jumping kicks is somewhat frowned upon. That's probably not the best way to say it.
Colin Wee said…
Most of that info was really quite basic, so I don't know if I really brought that much value to the post.

However, I'd like to add:

Most jumping type kicks as used by modern day stylists require a whole lot of flexibility and gymnastic ability. If anything is to be frowned upon, it is the idea of these fancy nancy kicks that require lots of hip flexibility and room to swing or pivot. I think the hip stretch and opening for long range standing kicks is a relatively good innovation by taekwondo. I think the extension of this relaxedness to jumping kicks and their ilk is a sport-based detriment to real self defence.

My take is that jumping kicks need to have the control, the risk calculation, and a good understanding of inner/outer thigh tension in order to make them part of your arsenal of weapons. To take them out just because of the popular understanding that jumping kicks are useless on the street is pure dumb.

Likewise, to think that all jumping kicks need to hit high is also dumb. The jump in itself can be used for position changes, distance bridging (as in hopping in), and perhaps to ensure the kicking leg injects power to the opponent. Saying it this way means you may not even leave the floor more than an inch in some cases. Just the way I like it. hahahahha.

Any high kickers and jumpers out there who'd like to flame me?

BSM said…
I struggled to kick high - it was an age thing. Colin is right: mini jumps can be used as feints in a tourney or in a real situation. I forgot about that.

My Sabum had a cool tourney trick. He'd set up 3 chairs and put board holder on the other side (usually 3 - 5 people). Then he'd run, jump, clear the chairs, and hit the boards (2-3 solid) with a flying side kick. I never saw him miss but he must have in the early days!

Neat trick that I could not do. Would it work in combat? Only with surprise but if you hit just do the physics. That much body weight hitting with a flying side kick could cripple a person.

One other reason to practice them: They build leg strength. So even if you don't use them much they translate into your other kicks.
Colin Wee said…
I came out of those 'hanging in the air' jump kicks badly once. It hurt the heel of my foot for months. Didn't stop me from sparring though. I wonder what that says about jumping? :-)
Potatoe Fist said…
This is a lot of information to digest, but it does confirm many feelings I had about high kicks.

I do know that the fact that I can do higher kicks acts as an encouragement in itself. It sure if fun to get someone's attention. What usually follows is a punch or kick to the groin though. I gotta keep that one hand down low!

I'm not sure I've written about my jumping double kick before, but we set up two water bags and I was able to hit them perfectly, but forgot to put my legs down to catch myself (I was literally amazed that I did the kick) so I crashed to the floor on my tailbone. Sore for weeks. Flashy but painful.
Colin Wee said…
Yeah, we had a lot of groin kickers in my school. It teaches you to use those high kicks very sparingly!

I heard of a an interesting affair once - there was a phenomenal aikijujutsu instructor who was conducting a seminar at my school. One visiting young black belt - a hothead - took it upon himself to denounce this guy as a fraud.

Basically he attacked the aiki instructor with jabs and punches - and couldn't land a single one! Then he backed up and performed a jump flying side kick. At which time, the aiki instructor crouched down low, performed an up block right under the guy's groin.

The kicker basically collapsed upon himself in mid air and fell to the ground. While I wasn't there personally I heard it all looked really funny. And sad. Hahahahah!

As opposed to your tail bone I'm sure that guy was sore (emotionally) for months afterward.

Link on my blog to this post


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