Butterfly Twist - Wushu

Wushu Butterfly Twist

In this lesson you will learn how to do a butterfly twist. The butterfly twist is considered the most difficult wushu jump. There are single butterfly twists, 540 butterfly twists, 720's, b-twists with split and crash landings etc. A butterfly twist (in Chinese Mandarin: "Xuan Zi Quan Ti") is a horizontal pirouette with one or more full rotations. It is jumped and landed on the same leg. Because this is the most difficult and risky acrobatic wushu jump, it is the last jump you should learn. Make sure your butterfly KICK is really good before you try the twist. Find more wushu jumps at wushu main.


  • 1) The Runup for the wushu b-twist: This part might sound a bit confusing, so I recommend you also watch this viideo.
    • How to run into a butterfly twist = Butterfly kick run-up (see video instruction). Stand on your right foot while the left toe touches the floor about one foot in front of the right toe. The left arm and the left palm point straight up. Fingertips of the left hand point to your right. The right arm points to your right side (horizontal) and the right hands makes a fist. (thumb up) Look to your right side. (chin over your right shoulder) You look to your right side at the beginning, but you are going to run to the left side.
    • Let your left hand sink down in front of your eyes, (right side) while your left leg strikes out for a big step.
    • Step on your left leg and then on your right leg in kinda circular motions. Your arms are and stay quite opened to keep the balance.
    • You just stepped on your right leg and now comes the most important step of the wushu butterfly run up. Make a small hop on your right foot, while your arms go to your right and your left leg makes one last big step backwards. This step is to build up some tension in your torso, which you can use when you take off.
    • When you land on your both legs after the hop, your upper body and the left arm point to where you came from, and your right arm points to your right. Your feet should be about 3 ft apart and your stance should kinda look like a bow stance.
  • The Jump - Wushu Butterfly Twist:
    • Now swing both arms and your upper body down and forward, while your right bow stance turns into a wushu horse stance, and the horse stance into a left bow stance. You have to swing your upper body really low. I mean your head has to be about one foot over ground for a moment. All this has to happen very fast.
    • As your head comes up again and all your weight shifts onto your left leg, kick your right leg up. No matter if you want to do butterfly kick or a butterfly twist, the swinging leg has to stay pretty straight
    • Swing up your right straightened leg over horizontal level, open your arms and look forward horizontal. Don't close your arms too early or swing up the right leg with the knee bent. That could lead to an uncontrollable upright rotation and a terrible crash.
    • When the right foot wigns up and the left foot leaves the floor, your arms should still be wide opened.
    • When your right foot is high enough, put your hands together to initiate the actual wushu butterfly twist. Your hands should touch each other or your torso for a moment .Also let your legs close, but don't force them or it will break the rotation. The legs close from alone. For a smooth rotation, make sure your legs are straightened. The rotation axis has to be 45° to horizontal.
    • After a short moment open again and land on your left leg.


  • Learn the wushu butterfly KICK at first. The butterfly twist is the most difficult wushu jump, so you should be able to perform all the other jumps before you try it.
  • Jump into a long jump sand pit at first. Mats should be your second choice.
  • Exercise for the Wushu B-Twist:
    Stand about 3 meters from the sand pit (on your right leg). The sand pit in is behind you. Hop back (towards the sand pit) and strike out with your left leg. swing your arms from the right side and finally jump from your left leg !!! see butterfly run up !!! Jump forward into the pit and, close your legs and land on your belly in the pit. Forearms close to the torso to dampen the fall. Make sure the sand pit is soft enough after every intent (dig dig dig). Then try to land on your side and start twisting until you can land the wushu butterfly twist. Before your first try you will be afraid of falling on the edge of the sand pit. This fear is kinda helpful at the beginning, because if you jump forward, your legs will close automatically and that makes the twist easier.
  • Once you can to the butterfly twist 360, you can try to jump into the sand pit with a more powerful runup and then keep your hands together a bit longer. Keep twisting and see how close you can get to the 720. !!! BUT - Dig your sand pit soft enough to avoid injuries !!!
  • Use frog jumps to increase your vertical leap for the wushu jumps.