Saturday, February 27, 2010

Martial Art Classroom: How to Execute a Reverse Swing Kick

Head Note (so it'll go into your head, not been kick away by your feet...): This is an article on how to execute Reverse Swing Kick (or any other names that you might has known it before). The tips are purely from my previous training and experiences with a help from a clip I found on You Tube. This might not be the best tips you might find around, but it's work for me, and should work for you too. My advice is, you should get some proper training in basic martial arts first before attempting any tips shown/discuss here! Note that this isn't a basic skill that you might learn in one or two session of martial arts classes. This skill even can't be done by someone with high rank martial art's students unless they have came through a rigorous training!!

*Since this is a very advance technique, it is not proper for me to start an article about it by skipping all the basic, especially all the Taekwondo basic kicks. It's been my vision to make this blog as a partial martial arts blog with  tips about self defense and martial arts techniques. I should start with something more basic, but I couldn't help myself when one friend has recently state how frustrating she was when she couldn't yet get grip of how to execute a proper back swing kick.

Now, for a skill checklist before any attempts to train this kicks are:
1. Basic front kick
2. Basic  high turning kick
3. Back thrust kick

Those three kicks are VITAL to master before you can have any easy and successful attempts in execute a proper back swing (of course the word 'easy' might be subjective...)

Below, a clip from You Tube that might be useful to help you to get grip of the skill/technique:

Now, a key to note is that every single Taekwondo kicks (I'm sorry for only use Taekwondo as an example, coz it's the only arts I've learn officially and know much of it. I believe that any other martial arts might have the same concept nonetheless, but to escape myself from any unnecessary mistakes, I'll just take Taekwondo as a main example/concept in sharing techniques tips =D) is the turning of the anchor leg! The anchor leg is the balance leg or the standing leg when we execute a kick. For example, when you kick with your right foot, your left foot is automatically be an anchor leg, so do vice versa (unless you're doing jumping or flying kick)

As in turning kick and back thrust kick, the turning of the anchor leg is the first motion we need to get it right! As for Back Swing, the turning of the anchor leg is similar with the turning of the anchor leg when we execute the back thrust kick! (Now, if up to now, this article doesn't made sense for you, I advice you to stop reading... Come again when I linked this post in other post in the future, God willing!) Watch the clip carefully at the point of when he start the kick. The front leg, being an anchor leg itself, FIRST start to turn, and the motion of his body turn backward is similar with the turn when we execute back thrust (that's why you need to master the back thrust before start to learn this...)

The different between back swing with back thrust is the direction of the end of the foot. Back thrust, like its name, is to use some thrust in direct motion of the kick!! So, you'll hit your target mainly with your heel. While for back swing, the foot area to hit your target will be mainly on foot print, or accurately around toe mounds and outer arch.

picture taken from here

Unlike back thrust, after you kick with back swing kick, the kicking leg must come back to its starting position. It's vital to come back to its starting point for:

1. to make sure it have enough power on its contact with the target.
2. to make sure the executor can come back to ready position after an attack.


Now we come to an important part. It's not easy to straight away execute a kick just like the video. Having stated three kicks above, the importance of mastering it all is to make it easier and give your body a sense of recognition of all the movements needed in executing back swing kick. The way I did it (12 years ago) is to train by my friend's way. First we need to do is to get the sense of recognition much needed in execute it. We must train ourselves to feel the sense of turning the body and lift our feet to the air backward. While doing this, we will not escape from the feeling of off balance. For starter, just low your body to the ground, and use one arm as an anchor to balance your body, then raise your leg as high as you can. Keep doing this to get the feeling of raising kick and turning the body. Use some sort of high target to measure how high you can go from each kick (no need to get its accurate, just to give some idea of how high you can reach).

Once you get the concept and the feeling right, you can train your balancing, by remove the anchor arm, and raise your body a bit higher with every kick executed. You might get a little bit off balance, but with a repetitive training, you'll overcome it!

In getting the kick right, two important elements are very much needed:

1. Patience
2. Hardwork!

Saying that, you must know that Rome wasn't build in one day... Keep doing the same training over and over again, overcome the dizziness and bored you might feel during the training of it. Here are the elements or equipments to help you to reach your target faster!

1. Target: Any kind of thing can be your target as long as it got height. My favorite is a pillar or pole (flag pole would do...).
2. Partner. To hold a target, or/and to give you a comment about your training/improvement.
3. Good coach/instructor - of course, much needed
4. Fear factor - Erase all the fears yu might have such as fear of falling, fear of injuries and fear of dizziness..
5. A basket to throw up, in case you failed to overcome the dizziness, huhu (ok, I'm just kidding =D)


Assume you're kicking with right leg.
1. In ready position, your right leg will be your rear leg.
2. Turn your tips front of your front's leg, that is your left leg, to the right. Simultaneously turn your body in semi circle to your right.
3. Once you complete the body turn, raised your right leg, and with a momentum of the turning of your body to the right before, give your kick some momentum to complete a circle and therefore enough force into the kick.


1. the target for this kick would be face area, it is as if you slapping your opponent face (just this time with your foot...)
2. It is call 'Reverse' Turning Kick by some, coz when you execute it, you'll notice its pose would be a reverse of the turning kick.
3. In self defense, you can also use the back heel as a contact spot to the target, as its give some more damages to the target. But in Taekwondo sport, just keep it with the area we already discussed...
4. This is one very devastating kick! Keep training until you get the target right, coz as saying goes, the murderous the weapon is, the more danger it is when its backfire... The same as "the higher you go, the harder you fall"... but, hey, that's the risk...
5. You can also train back swing first, then go to train back thrust as both are a link-up skill/techniques that can relate to each other... But the normal way to do is by train your back thrust first.

T/t: Keep practicing to improve ourselves. I'll value any opinions or other/better tips. Just keep it coming on comment/trashback section... =D  

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trashtalk here, beware, everything you said can and will be used against you~ LOL