Tuesday, September 15, 2009

spin hook kick part deux

First night back after the test and what do we do besides the belt ceremony? Back kicks and spin hook kicks. The instructor claimed these are the 2 hardest kicks they teach for the colored belts.

Part of my instruction tonight was actually figuring out I was doing it wrong. I was starting out the spin hook kick exactly like a back kick. In a back kick, you essentially turn around 180 degrees and peek over the shoulder that is on the same side as the leg you are kicking with. You are picking your target with your peripheral vision. Your shoulders should be square to your opponent as you start the kick. Your kicking knee should brush your plant knee as you perform the kick and then strike with the heel of your foot.

The first big difference in the spin hook kick is how far that initial rotation is. Instead of a 180 with your shoulders square, you do a 270 with your shoulders lined up toward your target. Note that your feet have not changed location yet but they have rotated to allow the rotation of the upper body. Your non-kicking foot is generally pointed in the 270 or more direction. This initial rotation amount is where I was really wrong. I had been starting my kick at the 180 degree point.

At this point in time, you pick up your kicking foot to your side like you are starting a side kick. You then use the momentum and tension you've built up with the rotation in your body to perform the kick striking with either the back of the foot in a break or the bottom of your foot in a normal kick. Note that the target of this kick is your opponent's face. It is meant as a knock-out strike.

I found that concentrating in how I started the kick really helped with my balance and control of the kick itself. I was getting my kick up to my head level with quite a bit of speed and that essential lateral movement through the target. In other words, it felt awesome. I'm not saying I was perfect nor in any way doing this so that it felt natural. That will come with practice. However, it's nights like these where I feel like I really accomplished something.

The instructor was really good at demonstrating this kick in slow motion to us. Something that I find very hard to do while trying to maintain balance. Some day, I like to think that I would have the ankle strength to maintain my balance and position.

1 comment:

Bil said...

Wow. No wonder you TKD guys are so refined. That's complicated!