Tuesday, May 26, 2020

What is Mobile Kicking? by Badger Johnson

What is Mobile Kicking?

The main difficulty in landing a strike, getting an entry, and even getting a takedown is the ability to quickly close the gap between the attacker and the opponent.

To do so is also an opportunity for the opponent to increase the gap as they sense an attempt. The opponent can do one of three things. He can jam, he can lean back, or he can sidestep. He can also block which is less reliable since it requires almost perfect understanding of the angle and attack being attempted.

This essay will describe the method of closing the gap known as ‘mobile kicking’.

The components of mobile kicking can be broken down into a few components:

  1. The dynamic chamber
  2. Unweighting
  3. The subtle skip step

The purpose of the dynamic chamber is to begin the attack in a non-telegraphic manner, while not disclosing the exact target of any subsequent kick or other attack. The chamber may result in a subsequent kicking attack or it may involve a fake which is followed by a hand strike or even a penetration step to a takedown.

Unweighting is the movement involved in reducing the friction with the ground by slightly lifting the weight either by a slight dip or a slight rise in the body’s center of gravity. It’s most often seen in skinning as the skier will unweight to get the body weight off of the turning ski, allowing carving a turn.

In sparring it reduces the friction with the ground of the standing leg allowing a sliding forward which is impelled by the motion of the dynamic chamber (lifting the lead knee).

The skip step happens not as a conscious movement but as a result of the dynamic chambering and the unweighting, and allows the standing leg to slide forward very quickly in either a straight line or a vector off of the angulation of the body, and causes a near instantaneous closing of the gap, disguised behind the subtle distraction of either a hand feint or fake and the dynamic chamber (which can be a fake or a feint as well).

You can most easily see the procedure by watching the GIFs of Michael Jai White:

Sidekick realtime

Slowmo sidekick

Spinning back kick realtime

Slowmo spinning back kick

Above GIFs made from "Michael Jai White on Covering Distance (part 2) full frame and slower"

You can also see it in the below 2 GIFs from this video of Raymond Daniels:



and an early version in these 2 GIFs (1st, 3rd and 4th kicks) by Bruce Lee against Bob Wall in Return of the Dragon:

Real-time of the 4 kicks in this scene

Slow motion on the initiation of the 1st, 2nd and 4th kicks

Now that you know what mobile kicking is, the next time you see it used you will be like:

Please check out Badger Johnson's other essays:



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