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CompleteMartialArts.com - Wheel Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 2)

Wheel Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 2)
List Price: $19.95
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Manufacturer: Chikara Kan, Inc.
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5Average rating of 5.0/5

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Binding: Paperback
EAN: 9780970749611
ISBN: 0970749619
Label: Chikara Kan, Inc.
Manufacturer: Chikara Kan, Inc.
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 224
Publication Date: 2005-09-01
Publisher: Chikara Kan, Inc.
Release Date: 2005-09-01
Studio: Chikara Kan, Inc.

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Editorial Reviews:

This book is the second volume in the extremely well written and fully illustrated, Achieving Kicking Excellence? series of books. Like all the other books in the series, this book goes into intricate detail over all aspects of executing the primary kick, which in this case is the Turning Wheel Kick, and several of its main variations.

Starting with a basic anatomical analysis of this kick, you quickly progress to the basic principles associated with the Wheel Kick, and then you dive right into learning the proper execution of the primary kick, Turning Wheel Kick.

Once you have finished with this section, you are taken to the variations chapter which builds upon the primary kick, Turning Wheel Kick, by teaching you 10 of its main variations. From here you are taken to the "Training and Practice Methods" chapter for a look at some very simple, yet effective methods for adding speed and power to your kicks.

The next chapter takes a "question and answer" approach to some of the most common problems people have executing these kicks and the solutions to correct them.

After you have finished the "Troubleshooting" chapter, the next chapter in this book deals with a brief application section for each of the kicks previously detailed in this book. Please be advised that a second ten volume series of books is currently being written which deals strictly with the combat and tournament applications of each kick.

The book finishes up by giving you a sneak preview of the next volume in the series, which in this case is the Axe Kick.


Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Wheel Kick Excellence
Comment: Like all the titles in Shawn Kovacich's Achieving Kicking Excellence series, book 2 Wheel Kick is a comprehensive study of one of the important kicks used in modern martial arts today. The book is incredibly thorough with numerous photos demonstrating the every aspect of the kick in minute detail. Mr. Kovacich knows his stuff and it is obvious that he has spent many hours honing his technique. The book provides an in-depth study of the bones, muscles and mechanics involved in the kicking technique.

In addition, the book contains a wealth of supplemental information on strength, speed and power generating exercises to enhance the technique. There is also a section on stretching as well as the application of the technique.

This book is ideal for any martial artist who wishes to perfect their wheel kicking ability. The beginner will find a wealth of information to assist in developing proper mechanics while the advanced practitioner will glean some vital knowledge from an accomplished teacher.

Be sure to check out the other books in this series. You are sure to find one that addresses the specific kick that you need work on.

Be sure to check out the other books in this series. You are sure to find one that addresses the specific kick that you need work on.

Aaron Hoopes
author of Zen Yoga: A Path to Enlightenment through Breathing, Movement and Meditation


Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Another Great Book on Kicking!
Comment: I have just finished reading Wheel Kick, the second book in the "Achieving Kicking Excellence" series. The book follows the same format as the first book in the series and continues with the same quality instruction that the first book demonstrated. Wheel Kick contains great pictures, technical prowess, and is yet another excellent book. Shawn Kovacich has a knack for making the technical aspects of martial arts kicks very understandable.

This book leaves nothing out. It covers everything including the anatomy of the leg, stretching, vital targets, foot positioning, timing, distancing, and the importance of correct recoil. Shawn Kovacich covers variations on the back kick which I haven't considered before, and I have been studying martial arts for 25 years. He also delves into training drills, weight training, speed training, and covers several ways to develop your kicking power. If it has to doing with martial arts kicking, it is included in this book and the Achieving Kicking Excellence series.

Wheel Kick is very well written and easy to follow. So many of the technical martial arts books are so dry and boring that is is a struggle to get through them, but Wheel Kick uses a lot of analogies and great photographs which make it interesting and easy to follow the author's points. I especially found the "did you notice anything wrong photographs" and the trouble shooting section to be very helpful. The pictures really helped to drive home specific points and demonstrated specific mistakes, as well as how a good wheel kick should look.

Shawn Kovacich obviously knows his stuff! I am totally impressed with this book, as I was with the first book in this series, and plan on reading more of the series. I highly recommend this book to every martial artist who wants to improve his or her kicking skills. This series is the best that I have seen.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: better than volume one
Comment: I liked this volume better than volume one mainly because the writing style seems better. In my twenty + years of martial arts training, I've never met an instructor or master who broke the kicking techniques down to the scale of detail as Shawn Kovacich has done in this book.

I first learned a variant of this kick in Taekwondo and it was called a spinning hookkick. In Taekwondo, if one executed the spinning hook kick as a wheel kick, it was considered poor form. Later when I started training in Kyokushinkai, the kick was called a reverse roundhouse kick and executed much the same way as Mr. Kovacich outlines in this book. However, my sensei allows me to execute it as a spinning hook or as a wheelkick. He makes no distinction and leaves it up to the individual student. The wheelkick is slower and easier to see than a spinning hook, but is still very powerful. As the author explains, the idea of the kick is to go through your target as if you're swinging a golf club to hit the ball off the tee. Everything one would want to know about this kick and it's variations is contained in this book. A very good reference for all serious martial artists.

Now, I would like to comment on some flaws I've seen in this book. On page 184, he explains that when he strikes his opponent on the side of the head and behind the ear, it's not the best target. The side of the head and behind the ear are indeed very good vital points and well placed kicks to these places can easily knock someone out. I've seen it many times in competitions. The other flaw in the book is on page 27 where he illustrates what he considers the best vital points for the wheelkick. I would disagree with him on many of these spots. For example, the point of the jaw is less of a target to a wheelkick than the side of the chin. He makes no mention of the side of the chin as a vital point, only the point of the chin and the jaw joint. All of those points he has in his illustration on the front of the face are not good targets for the wheelkick. The wheelkick is a haymaker type of blow which is more suited to striking the side or back of your opponent's head. One will not often get the opportunity to hit someone on the front of the face with it.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Valuable set of volumes on kicking for the martial artist
Comment: Valuable set of volumes on kicking for the martial artist


If you are a novice martial artist, a kick-box exercise video nut, or someone who wants to advance their knowledge of martial art kicks, this book looks as if it would be very helpful.

The series of books is organized by type of kick: back, wheel, axe, crescent, reverse crescent, front, hook, hatchet, roundhouse, side kick. Ten books in all.

The volumes are absolutely loaded with pictures of not only kick technique but also of helpful strength-with-weight exercises, especially gym exercises with machines like the hack squat and leg press sled and of course the all-important lunge. So you get not only a discussion of how-to, but of what exercises can improve overall performance by gaining muscle strength. There are pictures with overlays of angles and axes, giving you an idea of proper form, though there is no substitute for a sensei giving you real-time feedback, of course. So these books are a good adjunct to martial arts class in the dojo; something to read and then take to practice and work on with real-time help.

There is a section on sparring--right and wrong. There is a suggested reading list in the back. A very complete series.

The only thing these volumes suffer from is slightly dark and low contrast black and white photograph reproduction due to pictures being on paper stock and not glazed plate stock, in order to keep costs reasonable for publishing. And the cover photo is wonderful but the graphic design (showing the title being shattered by the someone doing the title kick) was a GREAT concept but you can't read the title on the front cover (because it's being kicked to bits!) This is annoying; you have to read the spine to see which kick the book is about. If this bugs you, it's easily fixed: get some stickers or a Sharpie and mark the front cover with something like SIDE KICK VOL 10 or whatever works for you.

Author Kovacich is a black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do (which of course is one of the martial arts for which the kick is the premier technique.)

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Master-level technique: the wheel kick
Comment: This is Volume Two of ten books devoted to mastering kicks. Shawn Kovacich devotes this book to the wheel kick: powerful and swift, hard to block but easy to parry. This review examines Shawn's book from a practical stand point--how well does this book enable me to learn the wheel kick?
I'm 50, 6'3" tall and 220 pounds, but I'm not an athlete--just healthy. I cannot perform the wheel kick higher than my own waist right now--I'll need to improve my flexibility. It isn't too much of a handicap for self defense--or active military service--but for those of you involved in karate matches, you need the high kicks for the match-winning points. Of course, if I fall to the ground or can hold onto something, my kick gains stability, height, and power--at the cost of being fixed in position for an instant. The wheel kick uses the heel bone--the back center of the heel bone. Target areas are the head and side of neck. For me, this is a specialized kick that I'd use only after putting an enemy on the ground--or otherwise gaining an altitude advantage. Unlike the dojo, street fights may take place on uneven surfaces--such as on a staircase.
I have training prejudices: I like to employ mirrors, a video camera or two, a minimum of one sparring partner, and at least one referee when I train. Multiple sparring partners are to keep me from getting stuck kicking at the same height each time, and because in the real world, my problems usually come in bunches. Often, I must train alone or not train at all, so I have to limit my training intensity for safety. A second set of eyes can help spot flaws--and prevent injuries. It is very hard to dial 911 when one's back is thrown out. These kicking techniques can injure the practitioner if done incorrectly. I like both mirrors and video because when I initially practice, I can watch myself in the mirror. For realistic practice, I need to concentrate on technique and the target instead of watching my own reflection--instant video playback aids me in spotting what happened. I can even figure out if my kick was in the right place or not! Shawn wrote about the "crawl, walk, and run" phases of training and the basic and advanced kicking techniques are covered in detail. Exact detail. Train at your own risk. I perform a risk reduction prior to training--assess the risk level and employ risk reduction techniques to make training safe. Remember that training is synthetic reality, intended to be less expensive than gaining real-world experience.
I think that "Achieving Kicking Excellence: Wheel Kick" is well organized. There are ten chapters. The introduction defines the kick and advises how to use the book. Chapter One is kick anatomy: bones and muscles. Chapter Two recommends warm up and stretching exercises. Chapter Three is Basic Principles: striking surface, target areas, and 11 other key points. Clear graphics left me with little doubt about what part of the foot to apply and where to hit my opponent. Chapter Four covered the primary kick technique. Again, the graphics are very clear. They include "dance step diagrams" showing where the feet go--footwork is critical to effective kicking. The photos have numbered labels stressing correct positioning of each part of the body. Chapter Five is variations of the primary technique. Chapter Six covers training and practice techniques to achieve skill, strength, speed, and power. Chapter Seven is a trouble-shooting guide. Chapter Eight is applications: how to use this in competition or combat. Chapter Nine is Shawn's awards and accomplishments. Chapter Ten previews the next volume in the series. There are a table of contents, a recommended reading list, and an index.
This is an excellent study guide. I can train some now, on my own, and when I find training partners (sparring partners and a referee) I might even get proficient!



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