Is The Karate Kid Crane Kick Illegal?

Is The Karate Kid’s crane kick illegal in a real-life karate match? It’s time to find out! In this blog post, we’ll explore the legality of Daniel LaRusso’s iconic move from 1984’s film.

We’ll discuss what makes it unlawful according to official karate rules and regulations, as well as how it could be modified to make it legal.

So, let’s dive in and discover if The Karate Kid’s crane kick is really against the law or not!

History of the Crane Kick

The crane kick is an iconic move that has been a part of martial arts films since the 1984 classic The Karate Kid. This move involves leaping into the air and kicking an opponent with both feet while spinning around.

Although it is a popular move in karate tournaments, it is not allowed in official competitions as it can be dangerous for both competitors.

In addition, some karate schools have prohibited the use of the crane kick because they believe it encourages hazardous behavior. The crane kick is also illegal in UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) matches due to its potential to cause serious injury.

Although this move looks impressive on the big screen, it should not be attempted without proper preparation and supervision. It is important to remember that safety should always come first when attempting any martial arts moves.

The crane kick may be a classic move from The Karate Kid, but that doesn’t mean you should try it without proper training!

Is The Karate Kid Crane Kick Illegal in Karate?

Have you ever seen The Karate Kid and wondered if the iconic crane kick was allowed in karate? We have the answer for you! Unfortunately, the crane kick is not permitted in karate competitions.

This is because it involves kicking above the waist, which can be dangerous for both athletes and opponents. It also requires a great deal of flexibility and balance, which may not be achievable by all competitors. Moreover, it is difficult to control and can easily be blocked or countered by an experienced martial artist.

Furthermore, it does not follow the traditional rules of karate that emphasize safety and respect for one’s opponents. As a result, the crane kick has been banned from most karate tournaments.

Is The Karate Kid Crane Kick Illegal in UFC?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. In all forms of MMA, including UFC, the crane kick is banned due to its spinning back kick component.

Kicks that are illegal in the UFC include any strikes to the head of a grounded opponent or any kicks that involve spinning or jumping. Daniel Larusso’s iconic crane kick was deemed illegal because it was a jumping spin kick and he wasn’t able to keep his feet on the ground at all times.

Additionally, Kung Fu is also not allowed in the UFC as it involves techniques that are not allowed in MMA, such as joint locks, throws, and submissions.

The crane kick may look impressive and exciting, but it’s also a high-risk move that can lead to serious injury if done incorrectly or without proper technique.

Why Was Larusso’s Kick Illegal?

Daniel Larusso’s iconic crane kick from the Karate Kid movie was illegal for several reasons.

To begin with, the crane kick is not permitted in most karate tournaments as it is seen as a dangerous move. In the movie, Larusso used the kick to strike his opponent in the face, which is prohibited in tournaments.

Furthermore, both crane kicks and other kung fu kicks are not allowed in UFC fights as they can lead to serious injuries such as broken bones.

Additionally, karate tournaments have strict regulations on what moves are accepted and which are banned, so using a move like the crane kick could result in disqualification from the tournament.

What Other Kicks Are Illegal in Karate?

Karate is a martial art that has been around for centuries and continues to be popular today. It’s well-known for its quick and powerful kicks, but there are some other kicks that are illegal in karate. Heel kicks, thrust kicks to the head, and spinning back kicks are all prohibited.

Heel kicks can be especially dangerous if they’re directed at the head or spine, so they’re not allowed in most competitions.

Thrust kicks to the head can also cause severe injuries, so they should be avoided. Spin back kicks can easily become out of control and lead to injury, so they are also illegal as well.

Other illegal moves include strikes to the groin, small joint manipulation, and strikes with any part of the body other than the hands or feet.

Is Kung Fu Illegal in UFC?

Kung Fu has been a beloved martial art for centuries, and it is not illegal in the UFC. However, some Kung Fu techniques are not permitted in the UFC.

The UFC has a list of banned tactics that fighters must abide by, such as headbutts, eye gouging, and strikes to the back of the head or spine. In addition, any technique that involves grabbing an opponent’s clothing is also deemed illegal.

Therefore, certain Kung Fu techniques like joint locks and pressure point strikes are prohibited from being used during fights.

Differences between Karate and Kung Fu

Karate and Kung Fu are two distinct martial arts styles, but there are some notable differences between them. Karate is a striking art that focuses on punches, kicks, and blocks, whereas Kung Fu is a grappling art that uses throws, joint locks, and submissions.

Karate’s movements are more linear, whereas Kung Fu’s are more circular. Karate is also considered more aggressive due to its emphasis on strikes and blocks, while Kung Fu emphasizes technique and control over power.

Karate classes typically have a structured curriculum, with students learning techniques in predetermined sequences. In contrast, Kung Fu students learn techniques in an open-ended manner, with each student progressing at their own pace.

Karate has a sport component in the form of sparring matches and tournaments; however, there are no formal competitions or tournaments for Kung Fu. There are some martial arts schools that teach both karate and kung fu so students can benefit from both styles.

In conclusion, the key differences between karate and kung fu come down to the type of techniques used (striking vs grappling) as well as the structure of the curriculum (linear vs. open-ended).


In conclusion, martial arts kicks can be a fun and healthy way to protect yourself and stay fit.

But remember, some kicks are illegal in certain contexts, such as karate tournaments or UFC matches. Knowing the rules is essential for practicing safely and legally.

The Karate Kid’s iconic crane kick may look impressive on the big screen, but it’s not allowed in official competitions due to its potential for violence.

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