Wushu is a beautiful Chinese martial art that actually has a lot of different subsets of the art such as Changquan, Nanquan, and Taijiquan, which are barehanded forms. Depending on the practitioner, Wushu can be a bit more form and tradition based. It can be a bit more flashy and aggressive as well. That’s why Wushu makes an excellent art for an exhibition or a full contact sport to be judged on a point based system. Wushu actually means “martial art” and it was originally intended to help standardize Chinese martial art. As we can see, there is a bit of complexity when it comes to forms, sparring, weapons and other styles of Wushu. One thing is for certain, Wushu has a myriad of great kicks that require great form, practice, and grace. Here are 7 kicks should learn in Wushu:
1. Butterfly Kick
This is your first step in fancy schmancy fighting! Kidding :). On the serious tip, this gives you a good lesson in moving the air. It’s cool to use as an attack to your opponent’s face but even better as an evade method from sweeps and other maneuvers. You always want to catch your opponent off guard in unique ways. If you do this mid fight, you’ll him by surprise. You’ll learn good foundation for moving in the air as well as how to properly set your body up for bigger moves. Performing this move in a circle not only looks really nice but it’s a great help with coordination.
2. Flying Front Kick
This is another great kick to learn because it helps you focus on a specific target and teaches you balance. If you are getting down your basic slap kicks, you should learn this aerial one when you move up. As far as using this move, this would be a great head-on maneuver. You’ll also build good leg flexibility by training your leg to hit a specific forward striking motion. Here’s an excellent video below showing you a step by step tutorial in setting up the move and performing it properly:
3. Slap Kick
This is what you should learn as you begin getting your forms down to a science. It’s beneficial to develop your length of kicks in both legs. You want to be as strong as you can in your left leg as you are in your right. It’s also good when you do certain pivots or feigns to do attacks from different positions. You never the direction of your attacker so it’s to your benefit to be dominant on both sides. You’ll find that training both legs will make them strong and limber to prevent injuries.
4. Side Kick
This is another good move that will help you with your leg extension and coordination. This is not your typical side kick where you simply kick to the chest or stomach to knock the wind out of someone. It’s a bit more dynamic as a fast and elongated kick to straight to sweet chin music (insert Jerry Lawler). Having great flexibility keeps you vibrant in your legs limber for even more advanced tactics. This is a solid tutorial that shows you how to achieve this feat rather quickly.
5. Grinding Wheel Kick
The funny thing is I know this as a helicopter or coffee grinder. This is a very nice front sweep that used as a low knock down method. It’s not very hard to do just requires a bit of leg flexibility and coordination. It’s good to have strong thigh muscles as you need that for balance and power for your sweeping leg. Then you want to sweep your leg just before it gets to the other leg as you jump over it. This is a good way to build your low attacks and cover ground really quick. Also, try it with your other leg as you build coordination and dexterity.
6. Tornado Kick
A very cool and intermediate kick that uses great full circular motion with the kicking leg. A good way to build up this kick is by practicing the crescent kick motion. Practicing crescent kicks is a great drill because you’ll increase your range of motion. Once you get this down, you’ll be able to better spot while in the air. Good coordination and torque is essential. It also helps to find a good spot. If you ever see Wushu or an Extreme Martial Arts competition, this is a foundational move because you slowly work to 360, 540, and even 720 tornado kicks from this movement. Of course, the latter is impractical in combat. It sure looks good, though ^_^. You want to also challenge yourself and push your body to its limits.
7. Lotus Kick
The main thing with this move is height and extension. If you don’t have the height, some squats or leg training will help you with your push off the ground. Otherwise, it may take some months. Also, it’s important to have your crescent kicks on point just as your tornado kicks. It’s quite amazing how a simple looking kick is quite dynamic and complicated. When you get your timing and height down, try a lotus 540. It might be a rough landing on your first few times. However, you’ll learn to approach your moves with better preciseness and grace.
Wushu has a great complexity in the world of martial arts in its forms, exhibitions, and competitions. Here is just a sample with simple and advanced kicks. What are some of your favorite maneuvers? Any specific practitioners you like to watch? Drop a note below: