You are here:

Self Defense/What is the purpose of jump kicks and high kicks?


OK Since you already explained a lot about the BS of jump kicks in your website I'll just keep it brief on the stuff I'm not sure about.

Firstly I notice whenever the jump kick explanation of kicking horsemen off is debunked, I notice many martial artists argue that its a move against multiple opponents, especially if they are in front of you from a distance. The stuff I hear is  "run at them, jump and land your kick" and that its supposed to at the very least disrupt the group and knock most members down in one blow, allowing  you to finish  the remaining standing ones and then  stomp on those lying on the ground trying to get up from the impact. On top of that I hear claims against most opponents who take the direct blow-what I mean by this is the guy you land your fight on just after you lept in the air- should not get up. So they argue it has its uses even on single opponents and it should ideally be aimed against the head of a gang when you use it to disrupt multiple opponents.

When you call this into BS, the next common thing I hear is that its supposed to be a  training tool to help condition your flexibility, coordination, agility, and precision. How accurate is this claim? I hear high kicks are practised for the same reasons whenever the effectiveness of high kicks are debunked.

Now somewhat related I seen experts argue the high kick is impractical unless your a vet. They argue once you gained proficiency in the art, you should be so skilled and physically conditioned that you can casually hit someone in the neck and thus KO them within seconds of a fight. They argue high kicks are not useless but are simply moves for higher levels.

How accurate are these claims? Particularly on the one hit KO Jump kick? I ask for the latter question because I once volunteered to be a guinea pig and when a green belter did a jump kick on me, it FUCKING HURTS as hell and my right arm was so sore I could barely use it for about a week. This experience is why I wonder if there is at least some truth to the one hit KO thing as its a beginner who's not in the best shape who did it. I still shrudder at the thought of a properly conditioned and trained blackbelt jump kicking me.

Now from your experience, I already know you state that you tried high kicks and jump kicks and they are crap but is there any use for them at all? Like a time and place where they are spectacular tools?

I mean many effective classical systems practise high kicks and jump kicks and my experience getting hit by one makes me wonder why effective systems kept them if they were so useless.

First off, you're talking awfully close to moving goal posts

You refute their argument/proof/ reason and then they come up with another reason not to change their position.  Ancient tradition for kicking men off horses doesn't work, so now it's about fighting gangs. Oh that doesn't work. Okay it's really for flexibility and coordination

Anything to keep from admitting it's a flash move that looks cool.

Look at this video realize it is how young Masai males, impress chicks.

Then tell me that a bunch of young males in a corner doing high kicks surrounded by young females after a Belt Testing isn't the same thing.  NOT that this is a bad thing. It does have a purpose, it's fun, it's flash, it looks cool and you can wow the audience -- especially that cute blonde.

Besides, the kids love 'em and they're great marketing to sell sign ups. Those ALL are legitimate reasons... but it has nothing to do with using them in the street much less the battlefield.

Here's the thing. The 'this is for a combat reason' arguments ALWAYS have an element of unreachability. You're a city boy. Where are you going to get a chance to kick a guy off a horse. Oh yeah, and what do you know about how to fight cavalry? (Believe me, there's one hell of a lot of historical data about that.) It usually involves polearms, not kicks. You gonna kick someone off a motorcycle? Well let's see, if he's moving at even 20 mph you're going to have a HELL of a time targeting him. Is he sitting stationary? Then he's not attacking you so you're committing a crime. Oh well then it's for gangs. Unless you live in a certain type of neighborhood, how often do you face gangs? Oh and people who do, use guns. Oh, it's a mastery level technique for the one strike knock out? First, do you know how HARD it is == even for professionals -- to get everything just right for a fight ending one move blow? Yeah, count how many rounds boxing and MMA matches go. Again, that 'brass ring' is always somehow magically out of reach.

Here's the thing... learn to recognize when someone is not going to change their mind no matter what you say. It's a belief and that person is not going to let it go. They aren't being rational, they're rationalizing their belief.  Recognize that for what it is and when you see it, go have a cup of coffee instead.

Self Defense

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

See CV

Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at

Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

Awards and Honors
See CV

Past/Present Clients
See CV

©2016 All rights reserved.