As was mentioned in the article on Spinning Kicks, the term Kaiten is often used to suggest a kick delivered during some form of rolling motion. Usually when people speak of Kaiten Geri this is what they mean. In this section we will cover the most common Kaiten Geri.
These kicks are extremely powerful and therefore dangerous kicks. For the most part these powerful kicks target the head which may lead to serious head injury or a potentially life-threatening condition. If you are ever struck with one of these kicks you should immediately seek medical consultation. If you suffer any loss of memory, nausea, disorientation, loss of hearing, vision problems, imbalance, or other unusual conditions you should seek immediate medical intervention and assistance. Your life may depend on you receiving immediate medical care. Don’t go home, go to the emergency room.
Accompanied with the threat of brain injury is the possibility of a broken or dislocated jaw, broken cheek bone, a broken nose, damaged eye socket, and/or missing teeth. These are not theoretical injuries. They have all happened.
In practice and in sparring we never allow these kicks to be used to strike anyone. If you practice these kicks with a partner you must both ensure all kicks land on hand pads and never strike another person intentionally.
We practice these kicks because they can be beneficial in some self-defense scenarios. We also practice them so that students are familiar with how these kicks are used so they can protect themselves or avoid these kicks should they encounter them in some outside tournament or seminar.
A major disadvantage of these kicks is that if the kick misses you will find yourself on your back and on the floor. Your opponent may be able to immediately take advantage of your more vulnerable position. You will want to practice rapidly regaining your feet or immediately moving into some follow up movement if you plan to use these kicks with any regularity.
In Tensoku Ryu we do not permit the use of any of the following kicks in tournaments, sparring matches, or grappling activities.
Tate Do Mawashi Kaiten Geri
This kick is initiated by simply doing a forward shoulder roll. Typically the back shoulder rolls forward and just to the side of the opponent. If this is your left shoulder it will eventually land just outside of your opponent’s left foot. The legs are extended upward at the beginning of the roll. The heel of one or both feet then strike the opponent directly in the front-facing part of the head with tremendous force as the roll accelerates.
Usually the roll is initiated from a standing position and a very tight roll is used to produce maximum angular acceleration of the feet.
This kick has grown in use in sparring tournaments. When executed properly it nearly always results in the other person losing consciousness or suffering other symptoms of concussion. This accounts for its increasing popularity. Your only defenses are to keep a very effective upper guard (which will be minimally effective) and moving immediately to the side, back, or perhaps forward if you see the opponent’s shoulder dip in your general direction. This is very hard to do because the entire kick make take only half a second or less. If you are relying on a guard to protect you there is unfortunately no guarantee that a guarding hand will be sufficient to protect yourself from the force of this kick.
Yoko Do Mawashi Kaiten Geri
When performing this kick you would normally roll your torso horizontally in the air directly in front of the opponent. This causes the back leg to swing upward and then arc over in the direction of the opponent. Typically you will strike your opponent in the head using the side of the foot or the heel.
This is a very acrobatic movement and it can generate tremendous power. If your initial roll is very tight and rapid then you will generate exceptional tangential velocity at the end of your leg.
Ura Do Mawashi Kaiten Geri
This is essentially a very aggressive form of a Tobi Ura Mawashi Geri. The spin and jump are more like a spin and fall action, which causes the trailing leg to whip upward with tremendous acceleration. The tangential velocities generated will result in tremendous contact forces.