This article came at the request of some of my wushu students in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In this post, I will be demonstrating how to perform a 720 wushu jumping inside crescent kick, also known as a tornado kick, or xuan feng jiao (xfj).
A jumping inside crescent kick is essentially a jump kick that involves spinning in midair while performing a jump as well as a kick. There are generally two accepted ways to perform this kick, using a two foot takeoff method or a one foot takeoff method. Both are correct, but I will be covering the single foot takeoff in this article. The difficulty in this kick comes from that fact that you have to off with the kicking leg, kick in midair while spinning, and land on your kicking leg or a horse stance or splits depending on what you want to do. The 720 comes from the fact that you rotate 720 degrees while in midair.
- Take two running steps starting with your right foot.
- One the second step, raise both arms up and to the right.
- Take your third and final step, turning 90 degrees to the left. You should now be at a right angle of the forward direction. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. Your weight at this point should be on the left side. Your knees should be bent.
- Swing both your arms down and to the left as you begin to shift your weight from your left side to your right side.
- Continue to shift your weight completely to the right leg. Your legs at this point should start to straighten. When your weight has shifted completely off your left leg and into your right leg, push off with your right leg. Your left foot should start to leave the ground at this point.
- As your right leg begins to leave the ground as well, start your counter-clockwise rotation.
- As you rotate, position your left hand out to the left of your body in preparation for the kick.
- Kick your right foot into your left hand. Be sure to turn your ankle so that the kick makes proper contact with the hand. The kick should be between shoulder to head height, but no more.
- As soon as your finish your kick and follow it through to your left side, keep rotating until you are about to land.
The author performing a 720 xfj.
What I just told you are general directions to doing a jump inside kick. You need to master that before attempting to add extra rotation. However, since this article is about how to do a 720 xfj, I’ll go through some tips and pointers in order to get that 720. This assumes you can already do a regular xfj and can either do a 360 or 540 degree rotation.
- During your jump spin, delay the kick until you are facing the direction you are headed. If the direction you are headed can be considered 12 o’clock, and your takeoff is 9 o’clock, you should delay your kick from the moment you take off till you rotate back to 12 o’clock. When not attempting the 720, one can kick at the 3 o’clock position or even the 6 o’clock position. However, by delaying the kick till 12 o’clock, you’ve already spun 270 before you even kick.
- Instead of throwing your arms up and down in a U-motion for when you are shifting your weight into the jump, do a half U, more like a J, and when you lift off, change the swing to a slightly horizontal arm to aid with the rotation. The U-motion that is taught is mean to give you vertical height. Once you have that and are working on increasing your rotation, this modified U will give you that edge.
- This seems obvious, but at the very moment you kick, turn really fast. What I mean is that you need to accelerate your rotation the moment you complete your slap to your hand. It is the only way you can get that little extra bit of rotation. So many students relax or slow down the moment they kick. Your kick should not end on contact. Rather, the kick should follow through until it comes down all the way. This way, it helps your rotation.
There’s really not much else to say other than, practice practice practice. There is no secret sauce. As with other moves you are working on, have your coach or colleagues watch you to make sure you are indeed doing everything you need to be doing. Also, videotaping yourself once in a while can be a real eye opener. Having the ability to break apart your moves in slow motion can reveal bad habits and help correct that much faster.
For more information on how to execute this jump and even more high level jumps, I highly recommend Raymond Wu’s book – Fundamentals of High Performance Wushu available at Amazon.com.
Any additional tips and pointers that would help students would be appreciated. If you found this helpful, feel free to leave me comments. Thanks.
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