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We develop a physics-based kinematic model of martial arts movements incorporating rotation and angular momentum, extending prior analyses. Here, our approach is designed for a classroom environment; we begin with a warm-up exercise introducing counter-intuitive aspects of rotational motion before proceeding to a set of model collision problems that are applied to martial arts movements. Finally, we develop a deformable solid-body mechanics model of a martial arts practitioner suitable for an intermediate mechanics course. We provide evidence for our improved model based on calculations from biomechanical data obtained from prior reports as well as time-lapse images of several different kicks. In addition to incorporating angular motion, our model explicitly makes reference to friction between foot and ground as an action-reaction pair, showing that this interaction provides the motive force/torque for nearly all martial arts movements. Moment-of-inertia tensors are developed to describe kicking movements and show that kicks aimed high, towards the head, transfer more momentum to the target than kicks aimed lower, e.g. towards the body.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.