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Hatchet Kick (Achieving Kicking Excellence, Vol. 8) Paperback – February 14, 2007

5 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Shawn Kovacich has been a practicing martial artist for over 30 years, and is a high ranking black belt in both Karate and Taekwondo. Shawn also holds ranking in the martial arts of Aikido, Hapkido, and Judo. Shawn is also a certified Krav Maga instructor and over the past several years has been primarily focusing on a wide variety of armed and unarmed combat fighting skills.

In addition to being a high ranking black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do, Shawn has also worked as a psychiatric aide in a state run mental hospital (and NO he was not a patient), he has also been a law enforcement officer, provided security for a major casino, worked as a bouncer in various bars, nightclubs, and strip clubs, as well as, providing personal protection services.

Shawn has also gained world wide attention for his two world records for endurance high kicking as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records. He achieved his first world record on September 27th, 1986 with 10,502 high kicks in 5 hours and 30 minutes. His second record was even more impressive, with 11,000 high kicks in 5 hours 18 minutes and 43 seconds. This was accomplished on January 21st, 1989.

Shawn is the author of the highly acclaimed Achieving Kicking Excellence series of martial arts books, as well as, the highly acclaimed and very well received Achieving Kicking Excellence DVD series. He is currently working on several additional martial arts and self-defense related books, as well as several additional instructional DVDs. Several of these books and DVDs, including a separate book and DVD series on Krav Maga, are scheduled to be released beginning in the spring of 2012 and continuing thru 2014.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chikara Kan, Inc.; 1st edition (February 14, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0970749678
  • ISBN-13: 978-0970749673
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,850,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I have been a practicing martial artist since 1982 and I am also the author of the Achieving Kicking Excellence series, which is a multiple volume set of books which focus entirely on the physical technique of kicking. The first ten (10) volumes in the series are already in print (as you can clearly see in my bibliography) and the next ten (10) volumes in the series, Applications in Combat, will focus strictly on the combat/self-defense applications of each of the ten primary kicks against an actual attacker. These ten (10) volumes are scheduled to be released in September 2009.

I completed initial filming for the first three volumes in the Achieving Kicking Excellence instructional DVD series last year with my good friends at Aiki Productions (www.aikiproductions.com), which focus on the various principles associated with kicking. Volume one focuses on the principles of execution while volumes two and three focus on the combat applications and the defense against the very same kicks respectively. These three two-disc DVD volumes are scheduled to be released in 2009.

I am also currently working on a series of DVD's based on various techniques found in Aikido, Hapkido, Jujitsu, and other joint technique associated martial arts. The first DVD in that series will focus solely on the proper execution and self-defense applications of Shiho-Nage (four directions throw). This DVD is also scheduled to be released in late 2009 or early 2010.

Also in 2009, I have several other martial arts related books scheduled to be released. Some I have authored by myself, while others I have co-authored with a variety of noted authors in a variety of professional fields, such as; martial arts, physical fitness, criminal law, among others.

It is my primary goal to create a timeless body of instructional work in every book, DVD, etc. that I create, and for each one of them to be the best source available concerning the particular subject that I have written about and/or put onto film.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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
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Format: Paperback
I have been practicing the martial arts since the age of 14. This year will mark the 40th year that I've studied one system of combat or another. Additionally, I have been a police officer for 31 years and my profession has occasionally offered me the opportunity to use the thingS that I've learned in the Dojo. I have an entire set of Shawn Kovacich's superb series on Achieving Kicking Excellence (Vol. 1- 10) and can truthfully say that I have seen no more thorough books on the art of kicking in the all my years in the martial arts. The kicks covered (one per volume) include the back kick, the heel kick, the axe kick, the crescent kick, the reverse crescent kick, the front kick, the hook kick, the hatchet kick, the round house kick, and the side kick.
Each volume begins with an overview of the kick and instructions on how to make the best possible use of the kick. Chapter 1 delves into the anatomy of the kick and which muscles are used, and in what manner, to achieve the maximum possible efficiency in kicking.
Chapter 2 outlines a stretching program and offers helpful tips in that area for the student. Chapter 3 deals with the basic principles of kicking movement. These include the striking implement, target areas, stability (a biggie!), balance, alignment, sequence of movement, accuracy. Strength, speed, timing and distance, impact, retraction, and visualization. Each area is explained in detail as it relates to developing your kicking ability.
Chapter 4 deals exhaustively with the primary kick. It follows the kick from initiation through each phase of the kick to impact, recoil, and recovery. He troubleshoots the problems that many martial artists experience with the kick at each phase and offers corrective actions for each problem.
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Format: Paperback
Shawn Kovacich is a long-time martial arts veteran who has faced many formidable opponents in tough bare knuckle tournaments and as a bouncer working in places most people avoid. Just to see if he could do it, he set a world records for the Guinness Book of Records, throwing 11,000 high kicks in 5 hours. He shares his superb knowledge of kicking in a 10-book series he calls "Achieving Kicking Excellence."

In the Hatchet Kick volume, Kovacich has included something for every martial artist. If you like how-to-do books with lots of detailed photos, you will find that here. If you're looking for a technical explanation of how to execute this difficult but highly destructive kick, this book is for you. My favorite feature, and one seldom found in martial arts books, is the section that explains which precise muscles are involved and how you need to align your body to maximize whichever variation of the kick you're doing.

The book also includes exercises - weights and free-hand - that target the specific muscles needed to develop your power, speed and accuracy in the hatchet kick.

Not only does the author show you several approaches to launching the hatchet, he also shows how to apply it against an opponent. And as he does in this entire series of kicking books, Kovacich includes a Trouble Shooting section to answer the most common questions he has received over his long teaching career.

Achieving Kicking Excellence Hatchet Kick is a complete book on developing and delivering this exciting-to-do and exciting-to-watch kick. Every martial artist - veteran and newbie - will benefit from its insightful instruction.

I've been training, teaching and writing about the martial arts since 1965 and I highly recommend this book.

Loren W. Christensen, author of over 40 books, martial artist, 8th dan.
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