How to Sideswipe

A sideswipe is an inverted 540 kick.

How to Sideswipe video:

Learning how to Sideswipe:

First, have a strong 540 kick. If you learned your 540 kick with a side stepping setup, great! If you didn’t, then you need to practice your 540 with a side stepping setup (I’ll give you some pointers below in the step by step picture walkthrough). If you also have the raiz, that will be super helpful when learning how to sideswipe, but you don’t need to have the raiz, it’s not essential for this trick.  In fact, I learned the sideswipe before I could raiz.

To turn your 540 kick (with side stepping setup! essential!) into a sideswipe, begin by stuffing cooked, white meat turkey into your pockets (or underwear). The more the better. Also, it’s best if it’s freshly cooked, no leftovers from the fridge (please). The turkey will help you. What the turkey meat does is it forces you to drive that first, non-kicking leg straight back instead of around.  It should be pulled back hard, similar to a snappy back lift stretch kick.  So that’s the big key to learning how to sideswipe: white meat turkey pockets.

When entering the trick, spot a target on the ground and keep looking at it. The pull from your non-kicking leg and the torque from your arm swing will pull you around when it’s the “right time”. You’ll know when it’s the right time if you setup correctly.  So your job is simply to keep looking at your target, because doing this will give you float.

How to Sideswipe step by step:


Preparation for sideswipe. Preparation H. Triple H. Wrestler. Jujimufu…


You do NOT want to trip on your own pants while sideswiping, so pull them up.


My setup for the sideswipe and the whole family of sideswipe related tricks is a wind up.


This is pretty much just a front stance with a winding up motion.


Wind up over. Start swinging arms.


A turning motion starts from the wind up.


I’m looking at a spot on the ground out in front of me (not directly below me). Look where I’m looking. Seriously: look at my eyeballs. My eyeballs haha! MY EYEBALLS!


Foot placement is everything here. It’s generally a good idea in the sideswipe NOT to cheat the foot placement too much (like you would on a 540 kick). Meaning, try to plant the foot directly out in front of you, not turned around as pictured above. When you do this, your foot will almost always do what you see mine doing above anyway.


Most important sideswipe tip is this: When you enter the trick, pull your non-kicking leg (my left leg in the picture above) directly behind you. This is also different from the 540 kick. It turns, of course, but doing this is what gives the sideswipe its aesthetic float.


Looks kind of like a raiz, yes? If you are sideswiping correctly then you should feel the kicking leg being pulled by the rest of the body. Use your body to pull your leg through, don’t try to use your kick to make it through.


At this point I’m still not even kicking, I’m still putting all of my effort into my lift.


Now I’m kicking. When you reach the peak, spot your target on the ground below you and pull your kicking leg through. It’s similar to the feel you get when you aerial or flash kick when you need to spot the ground and pull the leg underneath you.


At this point the only things I’m trying to do are pull my leg underneath me as fast as I can and keep my non-kicking foot and knee pointed for aesthetic.


As you kick down, pull the non-kicking leg back. Again, this is similar to a flash kick.




The sideswipe usually has some momentum left over to rip into another trick. Notice how my body is setup right now, it looks similar to my front stance starting wind up right? Well, it’s easy to do sideswipe after one another over and over again thanks to this ending stance.







My experiences with the sideswipe

The sideswipe is not hard, it’s actually easier than a 540 kick once you get the hang of it.  The 540 kick is more forgiving for technical error than a sideswipe, you can muscle out a 540 kick and land short.  The sideswipe isn’t as forgiving, you have to have very good technique to get through and actually finish the trick.

  • In other words, you will see more 540 kicks landed short than sideswipes landed short.

So when you get good at both 540s and sideswipes, you may find, like me, that the sideswipe is easier, because the sideswipe has a greater potential for POWER.  You can use more POWER in a sideswipe because of the “dig” in the setup.  A 540 kick doesn’t have the same “dig” as a sideswipe, so it doesn’t have that same capacity for generating power in the trick.  And so this is why I actually enjoy doing sideswipes more than 540 kicks: because sideswipes are more aggressive.  And aggressiveness is the meaning of the universe.

One Reply to “How to Sideswipe”

  1. Josiah says:

    So is the sideswipe faster as well? I was wondering if it was the more aggressive because your upper body seems to yank your kicking leg straight down. Also how much harder is swipeknife vs a normal jackknife?

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