The Origin of "Fancy" Kicks

Makalakumu

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I wanted to discuss the origin of "fancy" kicks with this thread. By "fancy" kicks, I want to group some of the more high risk kicks like high kicks, jump kicks, and jump spinning kicks into an easy to talk about catagory. My thought is that since these kicks are not very practical, I am very skeptical that they had a place on the battlefield or that they were even a central part of a real self defense scheme. If that is the case, then where do they come from and why do we practice them?
 

Gemini

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There will be replies from those who know considerably more than myself, as I am no authority, but I'll chime in from what I know.

From anything I've ever heard from any viable source, high spinning kicks never had a place on the battlefield. That's not what they were designed to do. Certainly,like everyone else, I've heard such things, but never from any source that could be substantiated. They were conceived for contact sport and demonstrations, nothing more. I could be wrong, but I've never seen any substantial proof to the contrary. If anyone can offer proof, I'm all ears. My opinion isn't set in stone, only based on what I've read from reputable sources. Not hear-say.

That being the case, first, there is no such thing as an impractical kick. Any kick that is used in the wrong circumstance or at the wrong time is an impractical kick. Any kick that surprises your opponent and scores is very practical. By impractical I can only assume you are referring to the fact that they take so long to develop as opposed to say, a mid-section roundhouse. True. They don't generally work well when your opponent is fully ready. They do however, work VERY well once your opponent is commited to an action or is off guard or balance. It's all in the timing. Because they take longer to execute, you have to be able to time your opponent farther out. More difficult? Absolutely. Impractical? Not if you know what you're doing.

Regards,
 

punisher73

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I have seen various stories as to why there are fancy kicks.

1) The old story about being designed to kick a man off of a horse
2) The hands were highly prized and so to not damage them kicks were designed to attack the head.
3) Variation of #2 was that it was a korean game played not using the hands (kind of like various wrestling games for kids) and then the kicks were incorporated.

I'm NOT saying any of these are true or that it really answers your question, just these are things I have heard along the way as to why.
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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Gemini said:
That being the case, first, there is no such thing as an impractical kick. Any kick that is used in the wrong circumstance or at the wrong time is an impractical kick. Any kick that surprises your opponent and scores is very practical. By impractical I can only assume you are referring to the fact that they take so long to develop as opposed to say, a mid-section roundhouse. True. They don't generally work well when your opponent is fully ready. They do however, work VERY well once your opponent is commited to an action or is off guard or balance. It's all in the timing. Because they take longer to execute, you have to be able to time your opponent farther out. More difficult? Absolutely. Impractical? Not if you know what you're doing.
I disagree. I think there are impracticle kicking techniques. As a seasoned tournament fighter, I know what gives me a higher chance of scoring and I know what is probably going to get me into trouble. If I spent an equal amount of time developing high-percentage kicks that I would developing lower percentage techniques, I would develop a degree of excellence with my high percentage moves that would far outstrip the effectiveness of the lower percentage techniques.

With that being said, I think we can wheedle out which high kicks, jump kicks and jump spinning kicks are higher percentage and lower percentage. Those are the ones we should focus on...shouldn't we?
 
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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punisher73 said:
I have seen various stories as to why there are fancy kicks.

1) The old story about being designed to kick a man off of a horse
2) The hands were highly prized and so to not damage them kicks were designed to attack the head.
3) Variation of #2 was that it was a korean game played not using the hands (kind of like various wrestling games for kids) and then the kicks were incorporated.

I'm NOT saying any of these are true or that it really answers your question, just these are things I have heard along the way as to why.
I believe the game you are referring to is Tae Kyon, but I could be wrong. Yet, that is an interesting angle. Do the Fancier kicks derive from that game? If so, how does that effect the practice of our martial art? How does it effect our training for self defense?
 

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I heard somewhere that the jumping back kick was deigned to glance away a lunge with a sword and simultainiously knock back the attacker without damaging knuckles on armour.
I'm not sure if this is true though.
 

swiftpete

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Whitebelt said:
I heard somewhere that the jumping back kick was deigned to glance away a lunge with a sword and simultainiously knock back the attacker without damaging knuckles on armour.
I'm not sure if this is true though.
Would that be a good idea? If someone was coming at me with a sword i wouldn't like to knock him away from me to let him get a second swing. Get in there instead!
 
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dohap

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Most of them came from older tradition of playing/competing with feet only. Taek Kyon is also based on this tradition, not to forget about Kyokushinkai's sparring (no hand attacks to face).
Some sources claim jumping kicks were designed against man on the horse ("..they were trained to kick the man off the horse..."), unfortunatelly there are no evidence about real/historical situations ("...knights X, Y and Z were using these kicks against A, B and C during the battle of E...").
Take a friend with sharp sword or spear and try to kick him to the head with spinning dora chagi...
 
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MountainSage

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Hate to jump in the middle, but when a person starts comparing sport sparring and military/self-defense you missed the point of both.

Mountainsage
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Makalakumu

Makalakumu

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searcher said:
Two words: sport karate!!!!
I wouldn't use some of these techniques in a tournament. I'd get my butt kicked. In fact, in most tournaments I've been too, the only people who use some of the fancy kicks are the inexperienced and the desperate. In all cases, they lost.
 

bignick

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All of the fanciest, spinny, jumpy, flippy dippy kicks I've seen lately look more like they came from gymnastics or figure skating than anything else...
 

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I'm not entirely sold on the idea that they had a serious historical context. Considering that most of the arts that employ fancy kicks are relatively modern reformulations, I'd bet that the bulk of the fancier kicks were initally developed in the point sparring arena, then evolved from there as someone or another thought, "Hey that was cool. Wonder if I can get in another rotation later in practice..."

For example, a jumping side kick's not a difficult technique. It does allow you to deliver a kick high with an optimal deployment or range and power (a high kick by comparison sacrifices power and reach) If you like that and are trying to focus on the development of the legs in an arena frequented by people who favor their hands, disguising the kick and/or altering its timing by developing a spinning side kick etc will come naturally from favoring a more side on stance enabled by a rules heavy sparring envorinment. Once you do a 180 jumping side kick, someone's going to either by accident or design attempt a 360. Once that's done, it snowballs from there.

*Edit* I'm naturally going to be fairly TKD centered in my outlook, but looking at HKD's general kicks etc, it seems there was either a concurrant evolution, or heavy borrowing going on from all sides during the early formulation of the various KMA's, and differentiating between a double side piercing kick or a double side kick is a waste of time.
 

bustr

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They came from the arts of savate and kapwara. These kicks are absent from traditional katas and kuens and show up in NO far eastern combat manuals.
 

tsdclaflin

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I suspect that the "fancy" kicks were designed to teach balance, timing, accuracy, etc.

There are also fitness advantages to the jumping kicks, id. strengthening, aerobic, etc.

The "fancy" kicks are "normal" kicks with a twist. For example, practiciing a jump back kick helps your back kick. Practicing a spin round kick (one of my favorite, somewhat obscure), helps my speed and form of my round kick (at least my lead-leg one).

From a self-defense point of view, it important to practice the basic kicks at self-defense targets as well as at high, sparring targets. If you always round kick to the face, it will difficult in a self-defense situation for you to kick to the back of the knee unless you have practiced it like that.

My 2 cents.
 

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If I can hit a black belt with a jump spin hook kick a good percentage of the time, and knock them on the ground with most of those, then I am sure that i could use one in a real fight if I wanted to. I'm also pretty damn sure that I never will, doesn't hurt to have the option though, eh?
 
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Makalakumu

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Try a jump spinning hook on Chuck Liddel. What would be the outcome? I would hope that Korean stylists could come together and evolve...
 

Gemini

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upnorthkyosa said:
Try a jump spinning hook on Chuck Liddel.
Personally, I wouldn't try ANYTHING on Chuck Liddel.

I'm not really sure where you're going with this. The majority (not all) have pretty much agreed there is no viable proof that these "fancy" kicks were created for a true combat situation. That being the case, many have questioned why they exist at all. What purpose do they serve?

Some offered possible reasons. Some have said that they would, in a situation where they felt comfortable with it, use these kicks such as a competition. I myself will sparingly use a jumping back kick but limit my "fancy" kicking solely to that kick. Otherwise I'm pretty main stream and do not believe it's in my best interest to have both my feet off the ground at the same time. I have however, seen competitors use these kicks with great success. And no, not just inexperienced or desperate fighters, though I certainly agree they're out there, but also just the opposite. Very experienced and extremely confident fighters. Others have stated they have no problem using them anywhere at anytime. Not my cup of tea, but to each their own. I certainly understand your hesitation to use these types of kicks if you're not comfortable with them, but I do not understand why it bothers you that others practice and use them. Maybe they are not nor ever were intended for a self defense situation. Maybe they were created, as someone stated above, with the intention of increasing a MA's capabilities as an exercise. Maybe for demonstration. Maybe they never were intended for competition but someone somewhere along the line used them and they worked. Wala. a new take on an old game.

I don't know why. But they exist. I agree that it's a good idea to go with the higher percentage. I know of some that do not. Some people strike with their knuckles. Some their palm. Which is right? The one that works for you. Use them or not as you see fit.

Regards,
 
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