Spinning is used in many sports to add speed, and thus power to a technique, such as discus and hammer throwers or disc golfers. When spinning a mass, centrifugal force builds in the mass that is added to any other forces used to propel the mass.
Most martial arts spins are used:
- To increase the power in a technique, as in a spinning side kick.
- Change the angle of attack of a technique, as in a spinning back fist.
- Change the location of the body, as in spinning from an open into a closed fighting position.
No matter the sport, the primary purpose of a jump is to raise the body to higher altitude (except to jump off or into something, such as jumping off a diving board or parachuting from an aircraft, where the purpose is to lose altitude). A secondary purpose is to move the body quickly over a distance, such as jumping out the way of a lunge attack in fencing. Martial art jumps share these purposes but they have two important variables to deal with that most jumps do not have to contend with—an opponent that wants to harm them and unfamiliar terrain. This means that during a martial arts jump, the jumper must remain stable, be able to defend him or herself during the jump, be prepared for landing on an unknown surface, and land in way that permits further offensive or defensive actions if needed.
How to spin
When spinning, spin upper body first, then the lower body. This chambers the body by storing energy in the twist so it may then be released into the kick. The head spins first, the the shoulders and arms, then the torso, then the hips, and lastly, the legs. The head move first since, where the head goes, the body will follow. Also, the you must see the target before releasing the attack. As the peripheral vision acquires and accesses the target, then the technique is released.
Keep the arms in tight as you spin so you may spin quicker. If the arms are extended the spin slows. Watch how figure skaters do their spins. Keep the body vertical, any lean will cause you to become unbalanced. The secret to spinning is to stay upright and keep arms and legs in tight until the last moment when they extend for the attack.
Keep the arms in tight as you spin so you may spin quicker. If the arms are extended the spin slows. Watch how figure skaters do their spins. Keep the body vertical, any lean will cause you to become unbalanced.
The secret to spinning is to stay upright and keep arms and legs in tight until the last moment when they extend for the attack.
- Start from your fighting stance with your knees bent. All fighting stances should have bent knees for quick movements. First, snap the head around in the direction of the spin. The head must move first because:
- The head is a heavy object and it only has the neck muscles to move it so it needs to start moving first so it will be ahead of the rest of the body.
- You tend to move in the direction the head turns. If you are a bicycle or motorcycle rider, you know that when you turn you head to look to the side, you tend to steer the bike in that direction.
- When your head is facing away from the opponent, you are vulnerable; therefore, the head needs to snap around quickly.
- You need to reacquire your target before your kick or hand attack is fired to ensure the target has not moved. If it has moved, you may shift your aim to the new location. Also, when sparring, if your opponent has moved closer, he or she will appreciate your noticing it and your adjusting your focus so you do not striking him or her too hard.
- Since you will not see your opponent for a moment while the head is turned, you need to get the head around quickly to see if the opponent is counterattacking.
- If the spin is done properly, your head will snap around quickly. When the head suddenly stops after the spin, it takes a moment for the brain to settle down and the vision to clear, so the head needs to get around before the technique is fired.
- As the head begins to reach the limit of its rotation, the shoulders, arms, torso, and hips begin to turn sequentially. If performing a kick, the feet have not moved as yet, or they may have twisted slightly into the turn.
- If performing a hand attack, the arms are still in their tight guard position. If you spin into a counter attack, you want to have your guard up. Sparring is similar to an old West gunfight where the fastest draw wins. If the opponent detects the spin coming and quickly fires a same side round kick toward your head and you do not have your guard up, you will get kicked the head before you can fire your technique.
- At this point, the entire body, from head to feet, has twisted into the spin. Your arms are still in a tight guard. It is similar to a coiled spring that is ready to be released. As the twisting approaches its limit, you chamber and fire the technique just as you would if you had not spun. If the technique fired too early, the extended limb will pull the body off balance and make it wobble. Even if you able to complete the technique, your stability will be off enough that you will not be able to properly re-chamber and possibly re-fire the technique, and you will have to step the foot back down. When you are forced to step down, you may step into a counterattack or into a position that precludes your adding a follow-up technique.
- Re-chamber the technique quickly so you may retain your stability and either step into a chosen fighting position, re-fire the same technique, or add follow-up techniques.
- When a spin is done properly, you will never expose yourself to an attack during your attack and you will be able to step down anywhere you choose.
- For a technique such as a spinning back fist, you may not move your feet at all. You may spin, fire the technique and twist back into you original position without moving the feet, except for a slight twisting movement.
- Do not make any other motion with your arms or body, just spin. Spin similar to a Jack-in-the-Box, just move around as usual to lull the opponent into compliancy and then sudden spin. Do swing the arms in the direction of the spin or chamber them in the opposition direction to prepare for the spin. The only exception to this is when using a feign or fake movement to distract the opponent from the spin.
- If you are adding a jump to the spin, jump first, then spin, and fire the technique.