In 2001, a legendary movie was scripted, filmed and produced.
It was a movie produced in a language that only 80 million people in the world spoke (compare it to English, which has 340 million speakers), yet it transcended every international boundary.
It was dubbed in English, which allowed the Americans to enjoy it.
It was dubbed in Mandarin Chinese, which then went on to inspire a localized parody here in Singapore.
The movie was hilarious, absurd yet inspiring. It had elements of humour, kungfu, sports, romance and thrill.
And if you have guessed what movie I was referring to by now, congratulations.
I am referring to the great movie Shaolin Soccer.
And you may be wondering…
What has Shaolin Soccer got to do with the headline of this post?
In the movie, one of the kungfu masters (2nd Brother) mastered a skill named “Hooking Leg” which allows him to do none other than…
I’m serious, look at this:
2nd Brother has mastered flare to the extent that he can even play soccer with it.
But compare that to us, mere mortals.
Besides windmills, it must be one of the power moves that have been requested for help. No doubt, it is ONE of the toughest power moves to master.
So many of us struggle to no end when it comes to flares.
Weeks, months and maybe even years of practice still won’t get us to where we want. Mastering 1 round doesn’t guarantee that we master the 2nd or even the 3rd.
It’s a real burden.
And one of the biggest issues we face is that we don’t know where we are making our mistakes.
We throw flares after flares in practice, hoping and praying to hit those magical rounds. We don’t know if it’s our hands, legs, hips, lack of flexibility or conditioning that is holding us back.
We just don’t.
But that is all going to end today because we are going to dive DEEP into all the common flare mistakes beginners make when it comes to learning flares.
7 Common Flare Mistakes Most Beginners Make For Their First Flare Round
In this post, I am going to talk about the common mistakes beginners do when they try to get their first round of flares.
Click ‘play’ on this video to see the full list of ALL the mistakes you could possibly make (and are possibly making.) Watch my bum smacking the ground over and over again — and hopefully you’ll be able to see what you’re doing when you are learning flares.
We’ll go through all the common flare mistakes based on the mistake you make with your arms and your legs.
Common Flare Mistakes: Your Hands
Watch this video on how to correct the mistakes you make with your hands:
Before we begin correcting your mistakes, let’s get some terms out of the way.
Firstly, which is your master hand, non-master hand, master leg and non-master leg?
- Right-stabber (clockwise): master hand = right hand, right leg
- Left-stabber (anti-clockwise): master hand = left hand, left leg
Now, onwards to the mistakes:
Mistake #1: Master Hand Placed Too Far Forward
Look at the image below.
There is an ideal point where you should be placing your master hand. However, this is where most people place their hands.
If you place your hand too far forward, you’ll end up having to use more energy to throw your body forward, which makes it harder to pull back.
Mistake #2: Master Hand Placed Too Far Outwards
If your body starts further away from your master hand, it would be harder to bring your body back to your master side. This causes your master leg to be unable to generate lift while weight is being transferred to your non-master hand.
Mistake #3: Master Hand Placed Too Far Inwards
As your body starts with a tilt over your master hand, that slight lean makes it harder to do a balanced weight transfer to your non-master hand. This results in you falling away from your non-master hand, and maybe downwards as well (even if your right leg creates some lift.)
Mistake #4: Non-Master Hand Placed Too Far Away
Your non-master hand should ideally be placed directly underneath where the shoulder is. If your non-master hand is placed too far away and at an angle, this will cause you to lose lift and the balance of circular momentum.
Common Flare Mistakes: Your Legs
Watch this video on how to correct the mistakes you make with your legs:
Let’s have a look at the mistakes you make with your legs.
Mistake #5: Non-Master Leg Kicking To Front
Look at this gif over here. Do you see my mistake?
My non-master leg is kicking forward instead of going towards my ear, bringing my weight too far front. This results in a serious lack in circular momentum. Thus, the non-master leg will bring the flare down at the front.
Here is what your non-master leg should do:
Try aiming to kick your ear. This helps you kick upwards rather than forward.
From the front angle:
Do not really kick your ear. Just aim for it. This creates an upward lift and allows for circular momentum.
Well, the common assumption is that you have to kick sideways in flares to achieve a circular motion. However, that is false. Kicking up high (towards your ears) will give you that oscillatory motion that creates the flare. It is akin to you attempting backflip. Jumping up during your backflip will give you more lift. Kicking up towards your ears will maximize the lift on the flare height so that you have enough clearance to swing your legs back for the 2nd round.
Mistake #6: Master Leg Kicking To Front
Take note of the master leg. In this scenario, the master leg has swung in front of the face, killing the circular momentum. You can see how the master leg does not go towards the ear but heads to the front of the face and across it.
Here’s what your master leg should do:
Like your non-master leg, aim to kick your master leg towards your ear. This kick-to-ear helps to create an upward lift, allowing your non-master leg to continue the circular momentum.
Mistake #7: Master Leg Kicking Too Much To The Side
Instead of kicking towards the ear, the master leg is swinging too far to the side, throwing the circular momentum off course.
Now that you’ve learnt all the possible mistakes you can make when learning flares — and how to correct every single one of them…
All you need to do is to put them into use in your next practice.
Were any of the mistakes surprising? Did you spot any mistakes that you were making? How do you plan to correct them?
Let me know in the comments below.