How to Do a Spinning Back Kick in Martial Arts

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The spinning back kick is a handy move to know in the martial arts. When done correctly, it delivers a powerful blow with precision and a minimum of risk. The spinning back kick can also provide some much needed distance from an opponent if you are caught out of position.

  • Stand in a fighting stance. Hold your arms in front of you with fists clenched. Your legs should be shoulder-width apart with one leg a step ahead of the other. Weight should be evenly distributed between your feet. Focus your eyes on the exact spot on the target you want to hit.

  • Turn the foot on your lead leg so that the heel is facing your target. This may feel strange when you do it slowly, but when done quickly in a fluid motion, it will feel very natural. Get used to pointing your heel. This is important, because if your heel is out of line, then your kick will miss. Where you point your heel is where your kick will go. Your rear end should be turning toward your target as well. Keep your eyes on the target.

  • Shift your weight to your lead foot with the heel facing the target. Raise the knee of your other leg into the air. You are cocking it for the spinning back kick. Spin your head around to the other side and refocus on your target. This is the most important element of the spinning back kick. You absolutely must look at your target. If you can't see it, you can't hit it. Your back should now be facing your target. The weight shift, knee raise and head spin should all happen at the same time.

  • Thrust your leg straight back like a donkey kicking. This is the kick in the spinning back kick. Impact the target with the heel of your kicking foot. This is a powerful kick because you are using your glute muscles and momentum from the spin. Imagine stomping on your target. It is just like that except you are kicking in the air instead of stomping the ground.

  • Move away from your target and turn around immediately in case your opponent is still coming after you. The spinning back kick leaves you vulnerable while you are spinning and after the kick. If you miss, you are especially vulnerable. Don't miss.

  • Jump.

Tips & Warnings

  • Work on doing the entire spinning back kick in one fluid motion. The spinning back kick is best thrown at the end of a combination of moves or when you are close to your opponent and are retreating. You may catch your opponent coming in on you and hit him with double the impact.
  • Do not attempt to use a spinning back kick on an opponent who is watching you prepare for it. An experienced martial artist will know that it is coming as soon as you step into it. The spinning back kick takes a relatively long time to throw. If your opponent has time, she can easily counter it by kicking you in the rear end. The spinning back kick is not a move that should stand on its own.

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