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CompleteMartialArts.com - Hatchet Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 8)


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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: 9780970749673
ISBN: 0970749678
Label: Chikara Kan, Inc.
Manufacturer: Chikara Kan, Inc.
Number Of Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2007-02-14
Publisher: Chikara Kan, Inc.
Release Date: 2007-02-14
Studio: Chikara Kan, Inc.

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Editorial Reviews:

This book is the eighth volume in the extremely well written and fully illustrated, Achieving Kicking Excellence? series of books.

This book, like all the other books in the series, goes into intricate detail over all aspects of executing the primary kick, which in this case is the Turning Hatchet 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 Hatchet Kick, and then you dive right into learning the proper execution of the primary kick, Turning Hatchet Kick.

Once you have finished with this section, you are taken to the variations chapter which builds upon the primary kick, Turning Hatchet 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.

Your 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.

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 then gives you a sneak preview of the next volume in the series, which in this case is the Roundhouse 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: Hatchet Kick Excellence
Comment: Like all the titles in Shawn Kovacich's Achieving Kicking Excellence series, book 8 Hatchet 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 hatchet 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.

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: Kicking series punches up martial art technique
Comment: Achieving Kicking Excellence

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 hatchet kick
Comment: This is Volume Eight of ten books devoted to mastering kicks. Shawn Kovacich devotes this book to the Hatchet Kick. This review examines Shawn's book from a practical stand point--how well does this book enable me to learn the hatchet kick?
I'm 50, 6'3" tall and 220 pounds, but I'm not an athlete--just healthy. I cannot perform the hatchet kick correctly right now, I cannot kick high enough--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.
So, what is a hatchet kick and why would I use it? Shawn writes that the hatchet kick is a hybrid turning wheel kick and an in-to-out axe kick.. The striking surface is the back center of the heel and the head, neck, and shoulders are the targets. Getting inside another's Observe, Orient, Decide and Act loop can win a match for you--or allow you to seize and keep the initiative in a fight. I thought that the hatchet kick would be easy, but I've been humbled! Fortunately, following Shawn's safety procedures on page 11 (take one step at a time) kept me from injuring myself. It's just that unless my opponent's head is lower than my own waist, he's in no danger of my hatchet kick for now!
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: Hatchet 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!


Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Even with expert instruction, this is the hardest of all kicks to master.
Comment: One thing that I learned early on in my classes is that the hatchet kick is not only the hardest kick there is to master, but that it is also the most dangerous kick you, the kicker, can attempt. According to my instructor, the hatchet kick has caused more injuries to the kicker than it ever has to the persons being kicked. The reason for this is due to the extreme amount of flexibility and control a person must have in order to execute the kick itself properly, let alone use it correctly against an actual opponent. However, if you are one of the few people that can actually execute this kick well, it is an extremely devastating kick to be able to use on an opponent

I have been slowly working on my hatchet kick, but admittedly I have been having one heck of a time trying to get it down. After reading Hatchet Kick, the 8th volume in Shawn Kovacich's Achieving Kicking Excellence series, I found a whole bunch of areas that I was having problems with. From the position of my upper body during the kick, the proper rotation of my hips and legs, to the correct downward angle you leg should follow, just to name a few. I used this information (along with the guidance of a couple of higher belts), and have really improved on my kick. Although I still can only get it about halfway as high as it should be to actually be effective. I am sure that with lots of practice and a few years I will get it down.

Shawn follows the same format in Hatchet Kick that he does in all of his books and the way he presents his information is not only extremely detailed, but also very insightful. I can not praise enough this series of books and their author. I have learned so much from his books and can only imagine how wonderful it must be to be able to learn from him in person.

This is not a kick that can be taken lightly. And I would like to stress that it I not something that reading a book alone will help you master. Even though this book, along with all of Shawn's books, will improve your kicking skills, you really need a competent instructor to help you fine tune your kicks, especially the hatchet kick. This is one kick that even if you think you know the basics behind it, the truth is that unless you really understand the entire kick and what is suppose to happen throughout the entire kick, you will struggle and more than likely hurt yourself, especially if you try to use it against an opponent.

I highly recommend that you purchase all ten volumes in the Achieving Kicking Excellence series and you (and your instructor) will see your kicks literally improve by leaps and bounds.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: Great Book to Help One Perfect this Kick
Comment: Volume 8, "Hatchet Kick" in Kovacich's "Achieving Kicking Excellence covers this kick very meticulously. Shawn if anything, is consistent, which aids this series. Format is the same throughout all books in the series, which aids the instructor or the student, making information more quickly accessible. The reader knows what to expect, details about muscle groups, target areas, and proper technique are standard. In this book, more than others, I found his training and practice methods of immense importance (P. 164-169). While I often taught people to help develop their kicking skills by using a chair with roundhouse, hook, and side kicks; Shawn shows how to use a chair as a tool to develop this kick as well. More than just showing pictures, Shawn details in writing how to perfect this kick.

Shawn Kovachich's technical knowledge about kicking in general, and the hatchet kick specifically, is outstanding!




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