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In Bruce Lee's Fighting Method I read that spin kick in JKD is hit directly to the opponent. However, I noticed a Taekwondo friend hitting his kick in a cyclic manner. Which one are most effective and why?
To further clarify what I am talking about, I cite Bruce Lee's "Fighting Methods: Skill in Techniques (1977) by Bruce Lee, Mitoshi Uyehara, and Mike Plane. The following screenshots are from the book, describing spin kick. enter image description here enter image description here

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    Can you explain what you mean by "in a cyclic manner"? Do you mean the difference between a spinning side or back kick, and from a spinning crescent or heel kick? – Macaco Branco Jan 4 '15 at 0:48
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    Not sure, but I think what MehdiHaghgoo might be referring to is the fact that Taekwondo will often keep the knee bent during the spin and then snaps it out (extends the leg) at the very last moment to complete the kick. This is a two cycle/phase motion. And to be technical, you first turn the upper body, then lift the leg while rotating the lower body, and then snap the kick out. JKD, I believe, just turns everything simultaneously and keeps the kicking leg fully extended throughout the kick (emphasizing waist and hip strength). I'm not certain this is what he/she is referring to. – Steve Weigand Jan 4 '15 at 7:46
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    It's hard to know how to interpret that, though. "Direct" in JKD can mean that the kick impacts on the front of your opponent's body (in a direct line from you to your opponent). But Bruce Lee also said that it can hit at a 90 degree angle (at the sides of your opponent), if that is the most direct path. In this case, I think using a spin kick to hit the front of your opponent's body is wrong. The only way you can make that work is by stepping to the side of your opponent first. So I think your interpretation of "direct" might be wrong. Can you list the page number in "Tao of JKD"? – Steve Weigand Jan 4 '15 at 20:42
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    @SteveWeigand - Depends on the kick. Heel and Wheel spin kicks use straight legs. – JohnP Jan 6 '15 at 15:48
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    A point of terminology - Typically, a "spin" kick is one in which you end up back in the same stance you started. So if you start right foot back, you will end up in the same place, same stance. A reverse kick is one where you advance a stance length, as you don't replace the kicking foot behind you, but place it in front. As far as efficacy, they all can be effective when done properly, it's more a choice of space and application than anything. Some reverse and spin kicks in TKD target in a linear fashion, some target in a circular fashion. – JohnP Jan 6 '15 at 15:51
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If you are fighting for real then you skould not kick higher than your opponent's balls. Reason is you're legs are to easy to get a hold of. Bruce Lee's high kicks and spin kicks are just for show. They look cool but if he used them in a real fight he would get his ass kicked. There are plenty of targets to hit below the balls, especially the knees. i would practice all areas below the balls and focus hitting exactly what you're aiming at. Hand techniques are very effective without risking you're legs getting caught and throwing you to the ground. Bruce Lee made the sport popular with his kicks but in reality it is wise to keep you're legs on the ground.

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  • Are you sure they are ineffective in real fighting? – codezombie Jan 9 '15 at 23:12
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    Yes, it's a higher risk than using low kicks, that is 100% certain. The risk is partly because you can have your leg grabbed, but also because it can cause you to slip or lose your balance. Adding spins to it increases the risk, and it causes you to use more time, which means it takes more time to recover if things go wrong (like if your opponent rushes in to body check you). But, there are opportunities for everything. When you're done developing your basic techniques to a high degree, you can add a spin side kick to your game. Caveat is to always have a back-up plan when things go wrong. – Steve Weigand Jan 10 '15 at 4:22
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    @SteveWeigand Yes, it's higher risk. However, it's not ineffective. Where most people go wrong is they don't set up/disguise the kick, they just throw it. Fast techniques (jabs, front leg snap kicks, etc) don't need much in the way of prep/disguise. The slower and more involved you get, the better you need to set it up. There are numerous videos through the years of professional fighters quite successfully using spinning kicks in fights. The percentage of success only goes up against the massively untrained general public. – JohnP Jan 15 '15 at 20:48
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    Very true. Any technique can work. Just depends on the situation. Doesn't change my general recommendation. Train high percentage stuff first and foremost. Get great at it. The low percentage stuff can come later. And practice a back-up plan when things go wrong. Eventually those low percentage techniques can be pulled off so reliably that they become someone's most useful technique. (Percentages are just averages and can be used as a guide, but each person is unique. ) – Steve Weigand Jan 16 '15 at 4:00
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They're both effective at their intended purpose. Just to be fair though, TKD also has a spinning back-kick, which is much closer to the JKD spinning kick.

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I'll admit that I don't follow Steve's explanation of the difference on the spinning kicks, so I won't address that.

There's also this video where they discuss another perceived difference between the two. Namely, the teacher is suggesting that all TKD (or, as he says it, Karate) back kicks require a full 360 degree spin, and are therefore slower, albeit potentially carrying more power. As best I can tell from the video, the JKD spin kick is closer to an abbreviated back kick than a TKD spinning back kick.

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  • JKD also requires 360 degree spin. – codezombie Jan 4 '15 at 18:57
  • Ah. The one in the JKD video above uses a 180 or so. Is that not the one you're speaking of? – Macaco Branco Jan 4 '15 at 20:24
  • People in the video don't not seem to be doing it perfectly. One instance of Bruce Lee's spin kick is in his "Enter the Dragon" fight with Oharra. – codezombie Jan 5 '15 at 7:24
  • The fighter pivots on his right foot and after delivering a left kick, he instantly returns to his former guard, hence 360 degrees. – codezombie Jan 5 '15 at 7:28
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    You would be referring to this one? youtu.be/Kpu_lTDyd88?t=1m55s – Macaco Branco Jan 6 '15 at 0:13
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I dont know about JKD but in Taekwondo, there are many effective round kicks like one of them is called "Touch Back" which directly hits the face of opponent by sole of foot and the other kick is known simply as round kick in which opponent is hit by the heel of foot. Also there is a kick called Hook which hits chin of the oppenent. Moreover there is backthrust and butterfly which are used as counter attacks and probability of hit is upto 90%.

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  • This is a decent description of several TKD kicks, but it really doesn't answer the question. – Macaco Branco Feb 13 '15 at 13:41

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