The purpose of crescent kicks?

Discussion in 'Tae-Kwon-Do' started by Ivan, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. Ivan

    Ivan Purple Belt

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    Is there any point to these kicks? I feel like it's very hard to have any power behind them, and I can only imagine them being used for blocking like in the movies.

    Do you use any crescent kicks in sparring, and what for?
     
  2. andyjeffries

    andyjeffries Master of Arts

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    100% used in sparring, usually from a clinch situation, coming over the shoulder. It takes a lot of practice to stop thinking of them as a distance kick, but to think of them as a super up-close kick, turning your body to the side when kicking (e.g. if you kick inward right legged, you turn to your left 90 degrees to the direction of the kick) and bring your foot all the way through with strength all the way to the floor.
     
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  3. Jaeimseu

    Jaeimseu 3rd Black Belt

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    The primary purpose for crescent kicks seems to be so that Chuck Norris will have something to do on TV.

    Taekwondo players sometimes use inside crescent kick (or a crescent kick/axe kick hybrid) when in close to an opponent.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  4. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Basically what andy said. From close in people can't see it, which can be good if you can get power behind it. I never could, but some others have done it on me.

    Another thing that I've never seen anyone advocate, but I've made work-if you fence (for foil and epee) and you're quick enough you can use a surprise crescent kick to clear the blade before your own thrust. Would work better if you had a different weapon in your off hand to turn into, and it's not actually legal in fencing (I only ever did it in practice, never an official bout for that reason).

    It doesn't work as well in kali/stick or knife fighting, as doing this requires a thrusting motion from the attacker, and a somewhat long weapon to clear, but I think (haven't thought to try, might next time I get to class) it might work against a thrust from a staff or a spear as well.
     
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  5. Monkey Turned Wolf

    Monkey Turned Wolf MT Moderator Staff Member

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    @Dirty Dog saw your agree. You've done non-olympic fencing, right? Have you also tried using the crescent kick to clear a blade? haven't seen anyone else suggest it before, wondering if others have made that work too.
     
  6. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    If your opponent use TMA guard with one arm forward and one arm backward, your crescent kick (or hook kick) can knock his leading arm down, you can then punch on his face. It has value to "open your opponent's guard".

    Also the outside crescent kick can be used to escape your opponent's low leg attack (such as foot sweep, front cut, inner hook, outer hook, ...).

    In the following clip, application of jumping double inside crescent kicks and outside crescent kick can be seen. The guy on the right uses left leg outside crescent to escape his opponent's right leg foot sweep.

    The crescent kick can be used for both offense and defense.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  7. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, I have. I spent 15 years or so playing HEMA with various SCA groups. I used crescent kicks both to clear a blade and to parry. My memory (which I don't claim is perfect) is that I used them more as a parry than to clear a blade. That could be, in part, because I'm very much a counter-punch guy with rapiers.
     
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  8. wab25

    wab25 2nd Black Belt

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    I have done similar while sparring in karate. Instead of clearing their blade (karate is empty hand after all ;) ), I clear their hands. You can continue the motion of the crescent kick, after the clear, and make a small circle and turn it into into a side kick. The other guy sees the opening made from the crescent kick whiffing or clearing his hands and rushes in... right into the side kick. The nice part is, you don't even have to clear their hands, to bait them in... the bad part is, it only works once...
     
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  9. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    That's so true. If you do it again, your opponent will move in, catch your leg, and sweep/hook your rooting leg.
     
  10. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Black Belt

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    For me, crescent kicks have limited application, and then, only in conjunction with a follow-up move. It (an outside crescent kick) can clear an overly extended guard and, as wab25 says, be turned into a side kick. A spinning back kick with the other leg is a good natural follow-up as well. An inside crescent can also clear and be followed by a front kick with the other leg.

    They may be good to clear a stick. Against a knife, or even worse, a gun, I'll leave that to the movies (see next paragraph.)

    Ivan questioned their practicality in blocking. As far as using them to block an attack in progress, I've seen it done effectively, but only by experienced practitioners with extremely fast reflexes and kicks. Since I do not fit into the "extremely" category, I do not employ them this way. I can do it in practice when I know what's coming, but not in kumite when I don't. So, for me, the blocking application is not practical.

    Ivan also questioned their power. Crescents can be thrown in large, mostly straight leg, arcs, or can be thrown in a tighter arc with a snap. The first can generate some good power, with proper execution, and have range. The latter is shorter range, have snapping power, but much faster and is the way I do them.

    They are flashy looking so are great for performance purposes in movies or some form competitions. To me they are mostly a diversion or a bridging technique to safely close the gap in preparation for another move and are best used rarely in limited application. .
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
  11. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    I use crescent kicks. But I probably use them a little different that how other here use it. When I was training them, I could probably rupture my opponent's organ with it.

    There are 2 parts of it that I use. The Peak of the kick, and Fall of the kick. I think most people use the peak of, but I learn that I could probably rupture some organs and damage the legs if I use the fall of it. I found that the kick can be useful but you have to learn how to drive the power to the kick. Most people use the Peak to clear the guard. I think I've seen maybe one person get KO'ed with it. Here's a video of me using the Peak and Fall of a crescent kick to attack. Both are sneaky kicks so you have to know how to set them up.


    I decided not to delete my blooper at the end. It happens. lol
     
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  12. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Great question. And there have been many good posts. To your last question; YES! A ton of them.

    Lets try to drill down some. Are you asking about Inside crescent kicks or Outside crescent kicks? Most posts seem to be referring to Inside kicks so let's start there.
    Yes, it can be hard to generate power. As others have said, it is a very good kick from inside or coming out of a clinch. I think of them as an atypical TKD kick because little or no Yin/Yang is used. I feel this is where a lot of people lose the power in the kick. If the shoulders are overly rotated in opposition to the kicking direction it very quickly cancels out the power. Instead, we teach to 'step through' on the kick. When practicing with air kicks or on a soft target you should end the kick with the shoulder close to the target. In other words, rotate Forward (step through) when kicking; leaving the body up. By stepping though, a follow up with a side kick from the same leg is very natural. If the kick is whiffed or used as a setup spinning kicks are very natural as well. Excellent for very close in spinning kicks. I have recoded knockdowns with this kick.
    It is okay if the kicking motion is somewhat circular in both planes but remember the power and strike are mostly in the horizontal motion.
    A very common strategy is/was to hold/pull the lead blocking arm down and kick over it and the shoulder. Not sure it that is still allowed or not. You had to be really quick with the pull back in the day or it would be called.

    I still argue that they are very good defensive kicks but the motion has to be trained a little differently. A bit more downward motion.

    Outside crescents. One of my highest scoring kicks. I have six recorded knockouts with an outside crescent.
    They can cover a Lot of distance. Are easy to conceal in the primer of the kick. Excellent when fighting someone who is defensive and stepping back a lot. Great wheel kick defense. Lousy spinning side kick defense.

    Because they are commonly used as a stretching kick, too many people never learn the correct kicking motion. As a stretch, the motion is circular. Great hip and hamstring stretch.
    When using the kick as an offensive tool the motion is closer to a square.
    A high knee chamber brings the leg up vertical.
    Opposing body twist launches the leg/foot in a horizontal direction (counter-clockwise if kicking the right foot). Blade of the foot is the striking area.
    The hip finishes the kick as the leg returns.
    It can be one of the most devastating kicks out there.

    One of the things I like best about the kick is that you can decide in real time whether to land with the kicking foot forward or back.

    A mirror can really help you figure out the motion of the kick.

    I hope this helps but as always, practice is your ally.
     
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  13. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    By the way you don't need a heap of power in a kick. A leg by its nature has a lot more mass than an arm.

    All you really need to do is connect accurately.

    I have been very surprised at soft kicks that have put people's lights out.

    Eg.
     
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  14. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    "Crescent Kick" Please define. Chang Hon? KKW?
     
  15. paitingman

    paitingman Brown Belt

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    As @dvcochran stated, inward vs outward is a huge factor.
    You can really put some stank on an outward crescent kick!

    And as stated, crescent kicks are very sneaky and in my opinion, is the most attainable high kick for the flexibility challenged (but you need some flexibility if you want the power)
    Inward is more difficult to generate power, but if I throw my foot across your face, especially without the helmet on, you'll hate me lol.
    It's rare, but say someone closes in on my inward crescent kick or I misjudged and I ended up connecting with my calf; one of my favorite things to do is create a slight angle with just a few inches more distance, where my lower calf or achilles area is making contact with the neck or shoulder, feel the weakness in their posture and whip them down. My friends used to love to sweep me when I was caught like this, so I would naturally try to hop away and get out and I found I could sometimes hop and throw them to the ground with my leg if I was quick about it. A cheeky move that may or may not be a penalty, but you learn a lot of things if you have some pals to bs with in the gym
     
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  16. skribs

    skribs Grandmaster

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    My Master doesn't call them crescent kicks, he calls them axe kicks. The inward crescent kick essentially is an axe kick with a quarter pivot.

    It's not quite as powerful as a roundhouse kick, but it hits from a different angle. Sort of like how a boxer has a straight, hook, uppercut, and overhand (and you can mix in backfists and hammerfists as well).
     
  17. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    Are you saying the striking direction of your inward axe kick is horizontal? The way we teach them is that the direction of striking travel determines the kick (this is also WT terminology).
    So inside or outside crescents strike in a mostly horizontal plane.
    Inside, outside, or straight on axe kick strike in a vertical plane.

    A pretty common thing in how various schools teach slightly different.
     
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  18. dvcochran

    dvcochran Grandmaster

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    A very good question. I feel certain they were around in some form before KKW was formalized. I know they have been around since the the beginning of my MDK roots.

    Are you asking specifically about the mechanics of the kicks?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2021
  19. Earl Weiss

    Earl Weiss Senior Master

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    Sir, the OP asks "Is there any point to these kicks?" In the Chang Hon system there is a specific kick called a crescent kick used for blocking. Other kicks in the system called "Vertical Kick" Might be called crescent kick in other systems. There are 2 . "Footsword" (Basically small toe edge of foot) and " Reverse footsword (Large to side of foot) which move from side to side basically impacting the target on somewhat of a horizontal plane, and "Downward Kick" Which can initially move inward or outward horizontally like the vertical kick but travels downward from the peak impacting with the back of the heal, and then a "Pick shape kick" which raises up and the forward and down (Think "Pick Axe" ) impacting with the back of the heel. All different, with varying amounts of usefulness, but when the time comes nice to have the best tool. So, without know what the label means, difficult to answer.
     
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  20. isshinryuronin

    isshinryuronin Black Belt

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    I was just going to post this ;)

    I'm not a Korean stylist, but have seen some in dojangs and tournaments. I don't know the time frames you're referring to, but in the 70's (when I was actively competing in open tournaments) one did not see axe kicks. In fact, I didn't even know there was such a thing until decades later. Any additional info on this? Perhaps Mr. Weiss?123
     
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