I have found that the best way to describe a technique is to define it in the order of the execution of the movements that make up the technique (moving from initial movement to the target impact). Thus, in a jump spin heel kick, you first jump, then spin, and then kick, while striking the target with the back of the heel.
To dissect the meaning of a technique’s description, you then work backward through the description (moving from final impact with the target backward to the initial movement). Thus, a jump spin heel kick means:
- Kick. A kick is a technique that involves swinging, thrusting, or snapping the foot at a target.
- Heel. The heel is the lower, rear section of the foot. In a heel kick, the knee is straight; therefore, the back area of the heel is the only area of the heel that is in position to strike.
- Spin. A spin is when the initial body movement is a rotation of the trailing side of the body in a backward direction.
- Jump. A jump in the martial arts is when the legs propel the body upward (sometimes with an angular motion to aid a spin) causing the feet to leave the floor. In a jump, the feet are neither lifted straight up nor backward and upward. Instead, the knees are jerked upward toward the shoulders, and the feet just come along for the ride. When you watch beginners, color or black belts with poor technique, or over-the-hill black belts perform a jump kick, they usually jump, land on the floor, and then kick. In a true jump kick, the kick fires and retracts, while both feet are off the floor.