Flying jump kicks
Jump kicks are when the kicker jumps and performs a kick. The kicker lands back at the same general area at which he or she was before the jump kick.
Flying jump kicks are when the kicker runs forward, jumps, chambers for the kick, and “flies” through the air for a distance before firing the kick into the target. The purpose of the kick to close the range and kick a middle or high section target. If you don’t gain any height when performing the kick, then the kick is wasted effort; it would be more efficient and safer to close the distance and kick low without a run-up.
Problems in execution
Ramming through the target
This occurs when kickers try to power through the target as though they were a battering ram. When kicking a hanging bag, they try to make the bag hit the ceiling or break its support chain or cable. They forget about using proper technique, the height of the jump, executing a powerful kick, and the recovery when landing after the kick. If they miss the target, instead of landing in a defensive position, they land struggling to stay on their feet. You must land in a defensive position whether the kick is successful or not.
Wasting time and power in the air
Some kickers start their run-up from the end of the training area, jump at the halfway point and then travel through the air for ten feet or more. They seem to think that the purpose of the technique is to achieve the most airtime over the most distance. If they miss the bag, they crash in the wall or land running or sliding across the mat.
From a practical standpoint, opponents are not going to stand still while you run toward them for twenty feet and then travel 10 feet through the air to kick them. Since they see you coming, they will be prepared and, instead of you having a successful kick, you and the opponent end up on the ground in a tangled mess. Also, from a distance, it is difficult to see any obstacles in your landing zone.
When performing a jump kick straight at the target, you should start from a range that allows you to spring to the air, chamber, kick the target. Then you should land back in the same spot you were in before you jumped. You jump for height, not range.
If your range from the target to too much for a successful jump kick, then you can convert the jump kick into a flying jump kick by taking a few steps toward the target before the jump. This means you will land in a spot different from where you started the jump.
Redirection of momentum
Your goal in a flying jump kick is to get close enough and high enough to the target for the kick to be successful. If you watch track and field high jumpers, they run fast toward the bar, but at some specific point, they transfer all the forward momentum they have generated into an upward motion so they can gain enough height to clear the bar. When performing a flying jump kick, you want to jump at a point that allows you to reach the proper height for firing the kick with a minimum amount of flight time.
When your forward momentum is directed upward, it means the recovery is then directed downward. This makes the recovery more stable and allows you to quickly prepare to protect yourself and launch any additional counterattacks.
When landing from a flying kick, you will be initially landing on the non-kicking foot since the kicking foot has further to travel to the floor. You want to land on the ball of the foot with a slightly bent knee so the ankle and knee muscles can absorb some of the initial impact.
What does up, must come down. You should develop strong leg muscles not only for increased jumping ability but for them to better absorb the forces from the abrupt landing after the jump.
Jump up not out
The jump portion of a flying jump kick is more important than the flying portion. When you jump, think about having to jump over something rather than jumping toward it or jumping to a certain height. When you picture in your mind an object to jump over, your goal is to clear the top of the object. If you jump merely for height, then there is no clear goal since that height may be any height.
Jump like a missile
Tell students to stand in their fighting stance and then tell them to jump. The students will probably bend their knees, crouch a little, and then use their knees and hips to push down through their flat feet to the floor. And they will probably only jump a few inches into the air.
To perform a jump kick, a spinning jump kick, or a flying jump kick you need as much airtime as you can achieve to allow you to have time to chamber, execute and recover from the kick before landing. To accomplish this, instead of jumping, shoot upward like a missile.
During the jump, imagine your body is a small missile being launched from a launch pad and you are watching it in slow motion. At the base of the missile, a slight upward movement occurs, and as it begins to increase and then you notice the entire missile moving upward with increasing acceleration until it lifts off the pad into full flight. At normal speed, the missile is standing there and then instantly it launches and is gone. That’s the way you launch a jump.
In any fighting stance, your knees are always bent, maybe a little or a lot, but never are they straight. Begin the jump by using the hips and knees to start pushing upward. Along with this movement, internally begin pulling the torso, chest, shoulders, and head upward and the heels lift as the feet launch off the balls. Everything is moving upward. Once the feet leave the floor, they are pulled higher to maintain the momentum and to keep the body moving upward. The feet continue upward until they are in the chamber position ready for the execution of the kick.