First, you must know how to throw a front-leg hook kick and must have the flexibility to deliver it head-high with precision, speed and power. Second, you must be able to spin and throw the kick off the rear leg. Third, you must be able to execute the entire motion while in the air.
Application: Like the jumping back kick, the spinning heel kick is best thrown while countering an opponent’s roundhouse kick, or after the opponent has been weakened by a previous kick. It is also especially effective as a follow-up to a rear-leg roundhouse kick, since the general direction of the spinning heel kick and roundhouse kick is the same. You should capitalise on the momentum created by one strike by following it with another, then you can utilise and/or add to the momentum of the original technique.
Training: The best way to prepare you for a jumping, spinning heel kick is to start with the front-leg hook kick, which is basically a side kick that when fully extended is too close to the torso to be a proper side kick. The curvature between the torso and leg forms a ‘V’ shape, which is improper for a side kick. However, for the front-leg hook kick, you eliminate the curve by swinging the leg into side kick position and simultaneously adding a snappy hooking motion as the kick is delivered.
The front-leg hook kick is a quick technique but lacks the power of a rear-leg hook kick. The rear-leg hook kick can be executed in two ways. The first is to simply turn the body and shoot the rear leg out, similar to a front-leg hook kick. The second, which is much more powerful, requires that you keep your leg almost fully extended during the entire spin instead of turning the body to throw an off-kilter side kick. The leg motion follows a 360-degree arc, with the kick striking the opponent’s head at the 180-degree mark and continuing around to land in its original starting position.
The best way to practise this technique is with the use of the focus mitt, as a heavy bag will offer too much resistance and on contact may cause hyperextension of the knee joint.
See the full technique here.
Andrew Raynor New Hampshire