Crescent kick or BANDAL CHAGI
The crescent kick, also referred to as a ‘swing’ kick, has some similarities to a hook kick, and is sometimes practised as an off-target front snap kick. The leg is bent like the front kick, but the knee is pointed at a target to the left or right of the true target. The energy from the snap is then redirected, whipping the leg into an arc and hitting the target from the side.
This is useful for getting inside defenses and striking the side of the head or for knocking down hands to follow up with a close attack. In many styles of T’ai chi ch’uan and Kalaripayattu, crescent kicks are taught as tripping techniques.
When training for crescent kicks, it is common to keep the knee extended to increase the difficulty. This also increases the momentum of the foot and can generate more force, though it takes longer to build up the speed.
The inward/inner/inside crescent hits with the inside edge of the foot. Its arch is clockwise for the left leg and counter-clockwise for the right leg. Force is generated by both legs’ hip adduction. The inward variant has also been called a hangetsu geri (Half moon kick) in karate and is employed to “wipe” an opponents hand off of one’s wrist. It can quickly be followed up by a low side-blade kick to the knee of the offender.
The outward/outer/outside crescent hits with the ‘blade’, the outside edge of the foot. Its path is counter-clockwise for the left leg and clockwise for the right leg, and force is generated by both legs’ hip abduction.
This is similar to a rising side kick, only with the kicking leg’s hip flexed so that the line of force travels parallel to the ground from front to side rather than straight up, beginning and ending at the side.