Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Participants at the Sabah Shaolin Kungfu Course of March 2007 practicing kicking techniques

Many people, including kungfu practitioners, mistakenly think that there are no or few kicks in kungfu. Actually there are more kicks in Shaolin Kungfu than all the kicks in other martial arts put together! There are thirty six kicking techniques in Shaolin, and each kicking technique may be implemented by more than one pattern.

There are a few important points you need to bear in mind when using kicks.

Kicks contain some innate weaknesses, i.e. weaknesses due to the nature of kicks themselves and not due to inadequate skills in applying the kicks. For example, no matter how skillful you are, as you stand on one leg when kicking you are not as mobile as when you are striking with your hands. You are also more exposed.

Hence, you need to practice your kicking techniques until you can execute them very well before you attempt to apply them. You should also be familiar with the common counters against the kicks you intend to apply so that should your opponent use these counters, you know how to respond spontaneously.

Four basic kicking techniques are introduced in Combat Sequences 9 to 12. These four different types of kicks represent the most common kicking attacks combatants use today.

The video clips below show how these kicking techniques are performed in solo. Later video clips show how these kicking techniques are used in combat and what their counters are.

Please click the pictures or the captions below to view the videos

Happy Bird Hops up Branch

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Here is a side kick using the pattern “Happy Bird Hops up Branch” Having good balance as well as coverage while kicking are important. One should breathe out or at least keep the mouth open when kicking, otherwise the kicking energy would recoil and be locked in the chest. The kick is performed with the sole, and not the edge, of the foot.

Sufficient Practice Before Application

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

It is very important that one must have practiced a technique sufficiently before applying it in combat. This is especially so in kicks because executing kicks involves many innate weaknesses. If your kicks are not well executed you will be handling your own defeat to your opponent.

White Horse Presents Hoof

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

Here is a thrust kick using the pattern “White Horse Presents Hoof”. A common mistake amongst students is to tense the chest or arm muscles when kicking. You should be relaxed, especially at your arms and chest. The kick should be executed at the heel.

The Deadly Organ-Seeking Kick

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

This is the deadly “liew yam theui” (Cantonese pronunciation) or “Organ-Seeking Kick”. The kicking point is the instep of the foot. A flowery move with a supportive hand is important. This pattern is called “Yellow Oriole Drinks Water”.

Naughty Monkey Kicks at Tree

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

This kicking technique is called a whirlwind kick, and the pattern implementing this technique is called “Naughty Monkey Kicks at Tree”. The kicking point is the shin. When used in pairs, they are called “yein-yeong theui”, or “Mandarin Duck Kicks”. Mandarin ducks are usually in pairs, a male drake and a female duck. It is important to guard your ribs and the groin when executing the kick.

Kicking at the Sky

Shaolin Kungfu Show in Sabah

The pattern implementing the high kick here is called “Kicking the Sky”. High kicks are not often used in kungfu because they are dangerously exposed and place the exponent in an awkward position. Nevertheless, there are occasions when this kick may be favorable. You should roll away if an opponent moves in to attack your exposed sex organ.

You can view all the above videos here


Review of the Intensive Shaolin Kungfu Course in Sabah in March 2007

Click here for an Overview of the entire course

  1. The Basics of Shaolin Kungfu Training
  2. Fundamental Combat Skills
  3. Defeat you Hand to your Opponent, Victory you Create Yourself
  4. Avoiding Disadvantages and Seeking Advantages
  5. Basic Principles and Tactics of Combat
  6. Skills derived from Sparring can be Rewardingly used in Daily Life
  7. Some Secrets in Practicing Genuine Kungfu
  8. Various Ways to Move into an Opponent

  9. Applying Combat Sequences in Sparring
  10. Linking Sequences to be More Combat Efficient
  11. The Secrets of Continuous Cannons
  12. The Mechanics of Continuation
  13. Marvelous Techniques Beget Marvelous Techniques
  14. Perfecting Forms and Developing Force
  15. Applying Tactics in Combat
  16. Objectives of Form Training in Solo

  17. Being Fluent in Kicking Techniques before Applying them in Combat
  18. Using Tactics in Kicking Attacks and Defences
  19. Different Levels of Sophistication in Sparring and Fighting
  20. The Legacy of Uncle Righteousness: Secret of Continuous Cannons and their Counters
  21. Benefiting from the Experiences and Teachings of Past Masters

  22. Poetic Patterns Can be Very Deadly
  23. Moving Back One Step when in Diffiuclt Situations
  24. Linking Sequences to Form a Kungfu Set
  25. Felling Techniques in Kungfu are Different from Judo and Wrestling
  26. Butterfly Palms and Hiding Flowers are Excellent in Countering Felling and Gripping Attacks
  27. Let Mercy Flow from the Hands

  28. Benefits of Solo Set Practice — Combat Sequences 13 to 16
  29. From Pre-Choice Sequences to Free Sparring
  30. Applying Shaolin Patterns Correctly and Spontaneously in Free Sparring
  31. Shaolin Kungfu against Boxing and Kick-Boxing
  32. Shaolin Counters against Wrestling Shoots
  33. The Secret of Grandmaster Ho Fatt Nam
  34. Why Shaolin Kungfu is Technically Faster than Boxing
  35. Shaolin Techniques, Tactics and Strategies against Boxing
  36. Revealing Secrets of Past Taijiquan Masters
  37. Overwhelming Opponents with Just One Pattern
  38. Poetry and Elegance in Effective Combat

Courses and Classes