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Using whips and moving the body like a whip in martial arts

A whip is a flexible line that requires a specialized swing. It can provide a longer reach and a greater force. The flexible line can be made of single or multiple leather bands, or chains, or metal strips. The end point of the whips may contain a heavy metal ball, or splinters, or knives, or other sharp objects; however, generally it just simply tapers down or is knotted.

Using the whip

A whip is used in various ways. Some of the ways are shown in the following videos.

Eric Girard video “Indiana jones Bullwhip compilation”:

A whipping action can increase speed

Generally, martial artists are taught to go on whipping a wet towel until it is dry. Using a wet towel can be an effective way for mastering the whipping technique. The action of whipping can multiply the speed and thereby increase the power in a strike.

Discovery video “Science Behind Wet Towel Snaps | MythBusters”:

Using whips in martial arts

The use of whips as weapons is seen in many martial arts of the world like Kalaripayattu, Kung-fu, Wushu, Ninjutsu, and more.

Kerala Tourism video “Churikapayattu using Urumi | Kalaripayattu | Kerala Tourism”:

Shaolin Kung Fu video “Shaolin Kung Fu weapon: chain whip”:

wuyuantang video “Women’s Nine Quarter Whip First Place Sichuan Team Yuan Mengyuan 8.82 points”:

Moving the body like a whip

The body can be used for moving like a whip in two ways:

—Moving the entire body like a whip

—Moving a part of the body like a whip

Moving the entire body like a whip

A whip moves in an undulating manner. The fundamental movement of the whip is an undulating motion, where one part moves in one direction and the other part moves in the opposite direction to produce a flexible, fluid, and a continuous wave-like motion. In martial arts, this whip-like motion is used to generate more power with little effort. This whipping motion can be used for the entire body or a particular part of the body. The following video explains the whipping motion by using the entire body.

Alessandro Timmi video “Soke Inoue Yoshimi – Counter-rotations: “This is whip” – Seminar Italy 2013″:

Avi Rokah video “Muchimi 2 – body like whip, How?”:

Moving a part of the body like a whip

Any special part of the body can also be moved in a whipping motion. For example, in Taekwondo, the leg can be used to deliver a spin whip kick, as seen in the following video.

Martial Arts Books and Videos from Turtle Press video “How to Counter Using an In-Place Spin Whip Kick – Taekwondo Sparring – Sang H. Kim”:

The arm can be used to deliver a strike in a whipping motion as can be seen in the following video.

Enter Tai Chi video “Shaolin Kung Fu | Leopard Whip | Kung Fu Training | Martial Arts”:

The arm can also be used as a whip to deliver a sudden sharp slap to unnerve the opponent.

Pramek video “Russian style whip strike – from Pramek’s Combative Striking Series”:

The wrist can also be moved in a whipping action.

Kevin W. Putala video “How To Perform The Whip – Fast and Effective Self Defense Technique.”:

Few applications of the whip-technique

The whip-technique can be used for throwing.

Prime Wrestling System video “How to Throw in Greco-Roman Wrestling – Lat Whip – Wrestling Technique”:

The whipping motion can also be used for locking joints and throwing.

Theron Bennett video “Yonkyu Nage (whip throw) 2015”:

The whip-technique produces more power with very little effort. Even kids can utilize this technique effectively.

BlackbeltAustralia video “Scorpion Martial Arts Kids doing the Whip Throw”:

Sometimes, the position of the legs are changed in opposite directions like a swing of the whip, to deliver an altogether another kick. For example, the knee may be raised as if to deliver a front kick, but then the feet positions are changed, the hips are twisted and a roundhouse kick may be delivered instead. Besides creating a feint, a whipping action can also increase the power in the kick.

Karate Shotokan video “Karate, whipping technique – Rick Hotton Sensei”:

At other times, the flexibility can be used to deliver two or three strikes in a single strike. For example, the elbow can strike the solar plexus, the forearm is raised and the back fist can strike the philtrum, and the fingers can jab the eyes, all in a single fluid motion, because the arm is flexible and moves like a whip. The following video shows two strikes in a single strike.

DK YOO video “Move like a whip – DK Yoo”:


In martial arts, the whip-technique is one of the many techniques for generating power with little effort. Flexibility of the body is of great importance to execute this technique and hence, stretching should be practiced regularly along with adequate warm up and cool down.


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