Book Review Crescent Kick

Crescent Kick is the fourth book of the Achieving Kicking Excellence series by Shawn Kovacich. Just as he did with the other volumes of the series, Kovacich attacked the instruction of the crescent kick with meticulous detail and thoroughness.

This book is the most detailed written description you will find on executing the crescent kick, and should be included in any martial artist’s book collection who incorporates kicking into his or her training. This is not a book you just sit down and read cover to cover for enjoyment. It is a resource text to be studied and referred to at various times during your training or teaching. Yes teaching! I think instructors will learn tips on how to teach the crescent kick by reading this manual.

The most valuable sections of this book are the chapters that teach the basics of the crescent kick and then the variations. The variations Kovacich covers include: Step-Back Crescent Kick, Back Spin Crescent Kick, Hop/Slide Forward Crescent Kick, Hop/Slide Backward Crescent Kick, Front Leg Crescent Kick, Switch Crescent Kick, Off-Setting Crescent Kick, Butterfly Crescent Kick, and the Back Spin Crescent Kick. The chapters do have some repetition, but this enables the book to be more easily used as a reference tool, since you can pick the book up and review any of the kicks without having to refer back to different chapters. Kovacich uses plentiful photographs and illustrations to demonstrate all aspects of the kick, striking angles, foot placement, and the arc of the kick. As I mentioned, he attacks this with meticulous detail and you will not find a more complete written account of the crescent kick anywhere.

The chapters on strength, speed, and power are the weakest chapters of the book. While it is nice that Kovacich included a bit on these topics, the real strength of this book is with the detailed instruction of the kick itself. There are many other resources out there that cover strength, speed, and power in more detail and depth than Kovaich does here. The good thing is he introduces these concepts and any good martial artist will further his or her study of these to incorporate into their training with different resources.

The trouble shooting guide offers some good tips to better your kicking, and Kovacich also includes a short chapter on crescent kick applications.

If you want in-depth instruction on the crescent kick and ten of its main variations, this book with over 200 pages of text, photographs, and illustrations is a must have addition to your martial art library. It is an excellent resource for any martial artist regardless of style.