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The 5 greatest flying side kicks on the street, ever

The flying sidekick doesn't work much in any combat sport or even sparring, but it has saved lives!

This story is a one small part of a big effort by to understand what works in martial arts. The process is to study what happens on the street, rather than what happens in the arena. If you enjoyed this look at real martial arts, check out the library on:
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The flying side kick, also referred to as the jumping side kick, is a dramatic martial arts technique that is typically used solely for demonstration purposes. Exhibitions like this one well illustrate the invaluable tenets of integrity, perseverance, self control, and indomitable spirit.


Flying sidekicks also figure prominently in martial arts movies. There is perhaps no more prominent use of the flying side kick in entertainment than the ending of Bruce Lee's second documentary, Fist of Fury (1972), which was accidentally released in the USA under the title The Chinese Connection. The close was said to be inspired by the ending of Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.


However, the flying side kick is not generally considered to be overly useful in a self-defense situation, or even in sparring. However, it has been used to remarkable effect in real street situations, and these are five of the best of them!

#5 Flying Sidekick In MMA

This story is on flying side kicks on the street, rather than in the cage, because in MMA they don't really work. The most famous one by far was Fabricio Werdum, and while it was a Holy F@$%ing $#!@ moment, it did not appear to have much of an effect on opponent Travis Browne.


There was however a more effective flying side kick before an MMA fight, which counts as the street. Russian pro Ianshin Aleksandr and upcoming opponent Temirov Temir were trash-talking, when Temir landed a sucker punch; the pair were immediately pulled apart by security.

Aleksandr waited patiently for the guards to clear a path, and then ... he leapt! Happens at the 0:45 mark.


The event this took place at, Hardcore Fighting Championship (HFC), is notorious for pre-fight fights, and other clownshoe antics, so what happened can be taken with a grain of salt.

#4 Flying Sidekick on The Streets of LA

A mentally ill man attacked a fashion photographer with a piece of wood with a nail sticking out of it. The resulting injuries caused hospitalization, and multiple surgeries. The madman was on the verge of attacking a second victim, when, as captured on a security camera, a good samaritan ended the onslaught with a flying side kick.


#3 Flying Sidekick during Hong Kong Protests

In 2019 massive protests broke out in Hong Kong over a bill that would have allowed for criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China in some cases. Opponents said the bill risked residents of Hong Kong being subject to violence and trials without due process, could be used to target journalists and activists, and would generally give China greater influence over Hong Kong.

Below a riot police officer is trying to drag a female protestor away, while a male protestor tries to hold on to her. The tug of war ends when out of nowhere, another protestor enters from left with a mighty flying sidekick, that lands with such force one of his shoes flies off.


After weeks of protests, leader Chief Executive Carrie Lam suspended the bill indefinitely.

#2 Flying Sidekick to Save a Friend

"A good friend doesn't try to break up a fight; a good friend comes in with a flying kick.”
-Renzo Gracie

This video has been removed, and all that is left is the gif below, sadly. However, it's awesome.

Two guys are beating a man on the ground. A man lies slumped on the ground next to a car. Two men are standing over him, one holding the prone man's head, while the other is kicking him.

Suddenly two friend's of the prone man are sprinting down the street, one in a white tee and one one in black. The one in white executes a flying side kick, that puts one of the two attackers to sleep instantly. Meanwhile, the man in black runs through the kicking attacker, dropping him, and then lands some punches on his now prone accomplice.

Meanwhile, the guy who was being kicked comes to, but is so dazed, he ends up trying to attack his own friends.


#1 Flying Sidekick vs. Man With a Massive Knife in China

On July 2, 2012, a female teacher at Guizhou Normal University in Guangzhou, China was sitting in her vehicle on campus, when a mentally ill man armed with a 27-inch steel blade began attacking people at random. She recorded the video below.

Multiple unarmed security guards attempted bravely to stop him using improvised weapons, but were cut down. Two heroic guards, Ni Bing, 48, and Han Yimin, 49, died from their injuries, and a third was hospitalized with serious injuries.

As this horrific sequence of events is occurring, a man can be seen in the teacher's rear view mirror, waiting for the right moment. Suddenly, he springs into action, running forward and executing a huge flying side kick to the crazed murderer, sending him and the knife careening to the ground. One more kick lands and the crowd descends on the killer, beating him and holding him until police arrive for the arrest.

The hero, Zhang Huaiqian, dubbed "Flying Kick Brother" by social media users, spoke with China Daily.

"He wanted to beat me but he had to pick up his knife first," said Zhang. I felt that he was hesitating and I gave him a second kick."


The only question here is how "Flying Kick Brother" managed the leave the ground with such big balls.

The Lesson

If there is a lesson in all this, it is to keep an open mind. Here we have a technique that doesn't work in any sporting context, MMA especially, but it can and has been literally life-saving.

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