Kicking is an essential aspect of many martial arts and combat sports. It is a powerful way to strike an opponent from a distance, deliver decisive blows, and create openings for follow-up attacks. In this article, we will discuss the five primary kicking functions: Shuffles, Spins, Crosses, Jumps, and Drops. A Function is a movement which moves the body towards or away from an attacker by crossing a Distance Zone.
Shuffles: Shuffles are small, quick steps that are used to close the distance between you and your opponent. They are often used to set up strikes or to move into a clinch. Shuffles are an important part of footwork and can be used to quickly change direction and evade attacks. There are four types of Shuffles which we call Phases. Each Phase is used for a different purpose or timing.
Spins: Spins are a technique where you rotate your body and deliver a kick with your rear leg. They are often used to surprise your opponent and create openings for follow-up strikes. Spins require good balance and coordination to execute effectively.
Crosses: Crosses are when the front or rear foot moves past the other without rotating the hips. A Step Thru is not considered a Cross because your hips turn and you change the direction you are facing. A Cross is used to add power to your kicks while keeping your Center Line turned away from the attacker.
Jumps: Jumps are a technique where you jump and deliver a kick with your lead or rear leg. They are often used to create distance and evade attacks. Jumps require explosive power and good timing to avoid getting hit while in mid-air. Jumps can also be combined with the Spin to increase power or deception.
Drops: Drops are a technique where you drop to the ground and deliver a kick with your lead or rear leg. They are often used to surprise your opponent and create openings for follow-up strikes, to avoid a weapon strike, or when you are falling and cannot stop the fall. Drops require a quick recovery to avoid getting stuck on the ground.
In conclusion, the five primary kicking functions - Shuffles, Spins, Crosses, Jumps, and Drops - are essential techniques for any martial artist. These techniques require a combination of footwork, balance, and timing, and can be used in a variety of situations to set up strikes, evade attacks, and create openings for follow-up attacks. Remember to always practice these techniques with a focus on precision and control to ensure they are effective in a real-world scenario.