April 21, 2017 / in News, Techniques and Styles / by Tim Kittelstad
There are many kicks used in a fight. Some more useful than others. In this article, Kung Fu Kicks, we will show some of the kicks used at Sifu Och Wing Chun. We will review the Inside and Outside Shadow Kicks, Tong Kick, Half Crescent, and Side Kick.
Wing Chun Kicks
Before going into the the specific kicks let us touch on Wing Chun as a system to set the groundwork. In short, Wing Chun’s goal is to end the fight as quickly as possible. Every strike intent on crushing the opponent. Understanding that goal the kicks that we choose to utilize fall into the place.
Inside Shadow Kick
One of the most useful kicks to use is the Inside Shadow Kick. Kicking the opponent in the knee is one of the quickest ways to end the fight. With this Shadow Kick, considerable force can be driven through a target at a downward angle. The setup (implied in the name) is that the kick is done in the shadow of your hands. As a result, an opponent will find it difficult to avoid or stop this type of kick. The reason is because it is usually done in unison with the hands. Not only can it be used to attack it can be used in defense as well. It can be used to stop low kicks to the leg.
Outside Shadow Kick
Equally important, not all enemies or targets will be directly in front of you. The Outside Shadow Kick allows you to hit targets off center. They can also be used to block kicks depending on the angle. Furthermore, one advantage of this kick in particular is it can be used to drive out the support leg of an opponents kick. Jum Saos together with a low shadow kick can block roundhouses and blast the supporting leg.
The Tong kick is similar to a front kick. Uniquely, however, it thrusts in upward diagonal angle. Can be used for multiple targets, but it’s primary hit is the Xiphoid. Combined with a Double Jum Sao, this is a great choice to counter a roundhouse. In addition, it can be used used to strike the ribs or inside of the thigh.
Half Crescent Kick
The Half Crescent Kick similarly takes the same shape as the Inside Shadow Kick. The difference is it drives forward as opposed to down. This kick is usually delivered to the ribs when a punch is thrown. Countering a Jab or Cross style punch with a Crescent Kick is a great option. It is unexpected which it was lends to it’s usefulness.
Overall, the Side Kick is one of Wing Chun’s longest ranged weapons. One of it’s main uses is delivering a powerful strike to the side when turning to face the opponent may not be available. Whether it’s a question of speed or restriction doesn’t matter. The side kick allows an immediate response to someone coming from the side. It can be done two different ways:
Static, fired directly from your stance:
or with a skip. The skip allows for a the distance and power to be increased by swinging the back foot foot. The base is re-established closer to the target and momentum is gained which increases the power.
(To view a video of the skipping side kick click the following link: Skipping Side Kick Video. )
The key to your Kicks
One thing all of these kicks have in common is what part of the foot is going to be used to strike the body. If you read our article “Fighting Footwork” you will see how the body needs to be aligned through the heel for structure. With the correct structure your power drives from your legs through your heels for maximum damage. This is similar to a person doing a heavy squat. Moreover, to support the weight the heel must be used. Piggybacking off of that concept is another, focused energy. If you take the energy you would use to slap someone and applied it to a needle, you will easily penetrate the skin. Just the same with your kick, if you drive all your power through your heel your damage is focused through that one point as opposed to spread through whole foot.
In conclusion, focus your power and train your structure and you will be able to develop kicks that will drop any opponent you face.