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Jumping Turning Kick Bunkai

Originally posted in March 2018.

This past Sunday I shared my views on some of the techniques found in Kanku Sho. Sadly, due to time constraints I was unable to demonstrate the application for the "jump, kick and spin" found near the end of the kata.

Essentially this motion shows three ways of taking the enemy down should we be controlling one of their legs. These three techniques can be applied in the sequence shown in the kata, with each one acting as a failsafe to the other, or they can be used as standalone single techniques.

There are many ways of getting to the initial “leg-pick" you will below. When drilling a technique for the first time, I tend to go start from a neutral position so that I can focus on the technique itself rather than any particular defensive attack-scenario. (I wrote in further detail on the issue with always using the same attack-scenario's for the same technique here)

The key to making a leg-pick entry technique to work is to ensure you off balance the enemy so that their weight is no longer on their front foot. From there the leg/ankle/foot can be picked quite efficiently, however it is important to keep forward pressure when doing so. In the example to the side, I used a quick shoulder barge from a neutral clinch and once the leg is picked, our lead foot can slide around the enemy’s other leg for a simple trip-takedown. From the image on the side you will see how my left arm is keeping the enemy from grabbing hold of me with both arms as I place my lead foot in position to trip the enemy. The takedown is simple from here as I pull my right hand back to my hip (as per the kata) which in turn rotates the enemy as he trips over my left leg. This is stage 1 of the drill.

One option the enemy has to avoid being taken down is to “hop" around or over our tripping leg. It’s a natural response and one which the kata has an answer for. Stage 2 of this technique uses the crescent-kick motion. Our kicking leg rises up into the inside of the enemy's knee. Continual pressure and follow through (not seen in the images for safety reasons) will takedown the enemy easily and ensure he won’t be running after you when you try to escape.

The final stage is to attack the the enemy’s leg from the front. This final takedown/throw is arguably somewhat more brutal than then first two. If the enemy is able to move their standing leg so that the kick at Stage 2 misses, we can step place our kicking foot in front of the enemy's standing leg and drive your leg through the enemy’s leg with an upward swinging motion as you turn and push the enemy’s torso to the ground.

From a pure self defence standpoint I finish the throw with a knee into the enemy’s chest before escaping, or following up with a further strike if needed. In the image to the side you will see that I have dropped the knee into the ribs whilst maintaining of the enemy's arm.

However, if I was to stay true to the kata exactly, then the kata shows more of a fight finish as it places the defender you on the ground as well. This indicates to me that the kata shows you an option of landing with all your weight on the enemy as you drop them to the ground. Great for a consensual one-on-one fight but not so great when dealing with non-consensual violence. However, it is a skill needed for the sake of completeness.

There we have it! 3 methods of taking the enemy to the ground once we have them on one leg. Stage 1 is a simple leg trip to the rear of the leg, Stage 2 is a destructive attack to the inside of the leg and Stage 3 is a throw attacking the front of the leg.

Drills like this can be difficult to describe in words with a few pictures but I hope this gives you some idea of how the Turning Jumping Kick can be applied practically.

Thank you for reading this article. If you enjoyed it please SHARE!

PS who knows.. may be a video to follow?

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