The side kick is a transference of leg momentum from forward to lateral through knee positioning, foot pivot and hip torque. Its power comes from repositioning the hips to engage the glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps in one unified thrusting motion. It has considerable stopping power and the ability to bruise muscle tissue and tear ligaments. It is intended for self defense purposes and organized combat events.
The Sack of Flour
A well executed side kick to the lower torso is discouraging if you are an assailant. It is equivalent to a 10-pound bag of flour being hurled into your midsection with force. The impact can knock the wind out of you and deflect any forward motion you may have. You could suffer bruised ribs if the kick is thrown by a trained professional. For the person throwing the kick it is like jamming the heel of your foot into that same sack of flour.
If someone possesses the flexibility to throw a side kick at head level, there is a possibility that they have considerable training. A side kick delivered to the head can easily knock the recipient unconscious. It is equivalent to being hit by a forcibly thrown 15-pound medicine ball. The result could be a damaged jaw or a concussion.
The Drive By
A side kick with the right amount of hip torque from the correct angle can cripple an opponent. It is equivalent to being clipped in the leg by the bumper of a small car that is traveling at 25 to 30 mph. The person throwing the kick can use body torque and gravity to compromise the skeletal structure of the leg of the assailant. The side kick can dislocate the knee joint or break the tibia or fibula. For the person throwing a side kick to an assailant's leg, it feels like using your heel to break a thick stick leaning against a wall.
Spinning for Power
The physics of the side kick can be compounded to manufacture even more power. This occurs in the spinning side kick where the practitioner creates more body torque by rotating the shoulders 180 degrees. During the spin, the practitioner will bring the knee up to chest level, spinning on the ball of the supporting foot and kicking with the other. It is equivalent to getting kicked in the chest by a mule or a colt. The impact can bruise or fracture the chest plate, break ribs and stop your heart. For the kicker it is like driving your heel into a thin plank of dry wood.
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