High kick is a game that requires a lot of practice. It tests the agility of hunters, especially during the long cold winter months. The goal is to successfully kick the suspended target at the highest mark while maintaining balance. Equipment required includes a high kick stand, string and target.
One-Foot High Kick
The One-Foot High Kick is a traditional Inuit game that demands a combination of power and balance. It involves jumping with both feet and kicking a suspended target with one foot. Athletes must also land on the same foot as they kicked, demonstrating control and balance while airborne. This event is one of the most difficult in the sport, as it requires great leg strength and flexibility.
The game begins with the target seal suspended at a height of about three meters (10 ft). Athletes take either a walk-up or run-up, then jump off both feet and try to touch or kick the suspended target seal with their single leg. Athletes who fail to make contact with the target seal in a valid attempt are eliminated. The target seal is then raised a few inches, and athletes continue to play the game until there is a winner.
NYO Games athlete Emily King, who won gold in the One-Foot High Kick at the weekend’s games, says that this is her favorite event of all the Arctic Winter Games. “It’s the comradery of everybody coming together,” she said. “You get to see all the different people from around the world.” She adds that her gymnastics training helped her become a good Arctic sports athlete. “It takes a lot of strength and coordination to be good at these events.” She can’t wait to compete in next year’s games.
Two-Foot High Kick
The two-foot high kick is a competition in which a player jumps off the floor using both feet, and — while still airborne — kicks a target suspended at a given height. The player must then land on the same foot that kicked the target, maintaining balance on landing. The high kick is one of the premier events at the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics, or WEIO, which moved to Anchorage this year after 45 years in Fairbanks.
The game is a great test of speed and agility, and it has practical applications in ice hunting, World said. A good high kick requires a lot of leg and hip strength, as well as coordination. It also requires a good sense of timing, and training is aimed at improving the athlete’s ability to approach the target quickly while keeping their body in a straight line.
A high kick is often held indoors, and a playing area is roped off to keep spectators out of the way. A crash mat is also recommended for beginners, as the sport free jigsaw puzzles can be easy to learn with a cushion to fall on.
The game’s roots are in traditional Eskimo traditions, such as the ear pull and the seal hop. It’s believed that when a hunter returned to his village and was within sight distance of the people, he would kick both feet into the air. This meant the hunt was successful, and the people were ready to help the hunters.
Alaskan High Kick
Of the 10 unique events contested at this weekend’s Native Youth Olympics in Anchorage, few are more challenging than the Alaskan high kick. A hybrid of force and form, this event requires strength, focus and practice. The best athletes reach a completely vertical position when they kick the target, which dangles feet above the floor.
A player begins by pushing from a seated position, grasping one foot with the other hand for balance. Then, the athlete jumps and kicks a seal skin-covered ball that’s suspended a few feet above the ground. The athlete must hit the target with his or her right foot and land on the same foot that began the run-up. Athletes can only attempt three times at each target height, which starts at 26 inches for girls and 36 inches for boys.
Nicole Johnston is famous for kicking a sealskin-covered ball no bigger than an apple while it dangled at a height of 6 feet, 6 inches — a world record that stood for 25 years. But even the most accomplished players admit that to achieve that vertical position, they have to work very hard. “It takes a lot of time,” said Kaidon Parker, who won the girls competition this year by reaching a height of 70 inches. He’s only been competing in the event for a few weeks, but it’s become a passion.
Pushup High Kick
The Push Up High Kick is an exercise that helps athletes develop the strength and power required to generate an unstoppable high kick. This movement also requires hip mobility and flexibility to ensure the plant foot is fully positioned before throwing the head kick. It’s typically practiced early in a workout to increase heart rate and warm up the body.
When performing this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Kick one leg straight out as high as you can toward your elbow, avoiding leaning too forward. When your leg has reached its peak, lower it and repeat on the other side.
Incorporating strength training exercises like the Max Cardio Turns and Elevated Pike Push Up help athletes build the leg and abdominal muscles required to generate a powerful high kick. Additionally, adding Kbands Leg Resistance Bands to the exercise can help athletes place additional resistance at the bottom of their quads, forcing the hip flexors, thighs, and abs to work harder to support the rotational motion required to execute the kick.