In the back kick, the leg is chambered the
same as for the spinning back kick, but the hips are rotated less than 90° and the
front of the body is concealed during and after execution.
The back kick and spinning back kick offer many advantages over the spinning
side kick without sacrificing power or simplicity. The spinning back kick, used
most commonly as a follow-up attack in a combination, is safer because it
exposes the upper body and head to the opponent less than the spinning side
kick. In a properly executed spinning back kick, your back is turned to the
opponent and your upper body out of counterattacking range. Timing and
accuracy are essential. If you kick too late or too early and miss your intended
target, your opponent may take advantage of your awkward body position to
counter with a roundhouse kick to your face or kidney, knocking you down. If,
however, you time your kick precisely, the spinning back kick is a devastatingly
The back kick, on the other hand, is even more powerful and faster than either of
the other kicks. Because you don't actually spin your body, you cut the kicking
time almost in half. To execute a back kick, slightly rotate your hips and pivot
your front foot while quickly shooting your rear leg out under you to the target.
The chambering position for the back kick is almost nonexistent because the leg
moves so quickly to its target. In attacking, your entire body weight must be
shifted into the opponent's body with your upper torso perpendicular to the
ground when the kick reaches its full extension. When used for close range
counterattacking, the back kick is an excellent tool for scoring against an
aggressive opponent. To launch an effective counterattack against a roundhouse
kick, for example, your back kick should be short, with less commitment of your
body weight and more emphasis on speedy execution and retraction.
A spinning heel kick is performed
from a low side stance. Beginning with a pivot of the hips, the rear leg is swung
around the body between waist and shoulder height, striking the opponent's body
with the back of the heel. When done correctly, the spinning heel kick is a
powerful kick. However, it is also cumbersome, since the kicking leg remains
straight from beginning to end.
An improvement on the spinning heel kick, soon came in the form of the spinning
hook kick. A faster and more deceptive kick, the spinning hook kick eliminated
the weakness of the spinning heel kick without sacrificing much in the way of
power. A spinning hook kick is performed from a standard fighting stance and
begins with a pivot and leg chamber similar to the spinning side kick. From the
chamber position, the kicking leg swings toward the target and uses the knee to
hook across the target on impact. Because the leg is chambered high, the spinning
hook kick can be used to effectively attack the head, an almost impossible attack
with the spinning heel kick.
To perform a spinning whip kick, begin from a short
fighting stance (feet about one shoulder width apart) with your head and upper
body aligned. Pivot your front foot in the direction of your target until your heel is
pointing directly at the target. Bring the foot of your kicking leg up to your other
knee to chamber the kick. Once chambered, shoot your kicking leg out toward
the target, with your leg reaching its full extension about one foot to the side of the
target. When your leg is fully extended, whip it across the target and return to
your original fighting stance.
Many people will say that this sounds identical to the spinning hook kick but there
are a few key differences. The first is that the spinning whip kick does not use a
turn of the body to chamber the leg, but instead coils the body prior to kicking.
When you pivot your front leg, your body should essentially remain behind and
coil, like a golfer preparing to swing. This creates what is scientifically termed
potential energy, a reserve of energy ready to be used. When you shoot your leg
out to kick, your body's uncoiling force, not your leg's power, delivers the blow.
This brings us to another essential difference between the two kicks. The spinning
whip kick uses the power of the entire body, not the hooking force of the leg, to
create power. By turning the body into an uncoiling whip (hence the name of the
kick), it allows even the smallest competitors to deliver knockout blows.
A final difference between the kicks lies in the positioning of the upper body
during the kick. When performing a spinning hook kick, the body moves forward
toward the target as the turn is made (before kicking) to chamber the leg high
enough. The spinning whip kick coils the body in place instead, creating a static
axis around which the leg moves. A static axis provides the kicker with many
benefits including better balance, more power using less muscle force, more
speed, and quicker response time. It also means that the kick can be executed
from a very short distance, allowing counterattacks to the head while your
opponent is moving at you. The spinning whip kick is often modified in
competition, with the kicker dropping his head out of range of a counterattack
while he is kicking. This is an advanced strategy that should be practiced only
after you understand the dynamics of the a correctly executed spinning whip kick.
If you try dropping your head without understanding the purpose of this
movement, you will find it difficult to maintain your balance, speed and power
throughout the kick.