Grand Master Park almost never talked about other fighters.
That’s why I was very surprised when he told me about this one fighter he had seen, whose abilities he admired. That fighter’s name?
He was a world champion fighter. He was also one of the sweetest, nicest, and most soft-spoken people I have ever met. But not in the ring. There Mike was an absolutely wicked fighter.
The move that caught Grand Master Park’s – and later my – attention was the jump spinning back kick. It is an absolutely beautiful move for a couple of reasons. It can be used as an attack or a counter-attack. It’s not as flashy as the jump side kick that you saw from Grand Master Park. But when performed perfectly, it is gorgeous and, most of all, devastating.
Mike was an artist with the jump spinning back kick. Over the years, I saw him compete in many tournaments. I watched him bury so many people with just this one move. In one tournament (that I actually was not there for), he jump spinning back-kicked a guy in the face and cracked the guy’s skull.
That moment was actually the genesis of the sparring equipment that we use today. Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee was in attendance at that match and saw Mike break his opponent’s skull. It inspired him to not just start using sparring equipment, but he began producing his own line of sparring equipment, known as the Safe-T line.
It quickly became a goal of mine to master the jump spinning back kick myself. For the longest time, I was using my side kick as my main kick. It’s a devastating kick. But now, my side kick has become the setup to the jump spinning back kick.
The jump spinning back kick was very effective for me because I could either attack with it, or when people would attack me, I could use it as a counter. When I was in the ring, I could side kick people into the ropes or along the edge of the ring. And when they would try to escape, I would hit them with a jump spinning back kick.
When we used to fight more full contact, I actually broke a few guys’ ribs with it. I got hit with one myself too, and it broke my sternum. It’s a pretty wicked kick. In fact, many of the police officers that I train have told me they use the jump spinning back kick to take down doors when they need to. They find it much more effective than the front-facing “spartan kick” they typically use.
Unbeknownst to me, the kick has become my signature move. From time to time, I catch up with old sparring partners or tournament opponents. I’ve noticed that, inevitably, they will recall some time when I got them with the jump spinning back kick.
They remember me for the same reason that I remember Mike. And for the same reason that Mike was one of the only fighters Grand Master Park ever talked to me about.
That’s pretty good company to be in, if you ask me.
Master Gorino’s Tae Kwon-Do offers a trial program for individuals and families in Buffalo, NY and the surrounding areas that allows you to get a feel for the different classes, meet our instructors, and experience our dojang. It’s a great way to see if Tae Kwon-Do is right for you. To learn more or to sign up, register online or call (716) 836-KICK (5425) and a member of our team will follow up with you on next steps. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals. Pil-Sung!