A butterfly kick or horse kick (xuànzi 旋子 circle) is a jumping kick in martial arts such as modern wushu and taekwondo and capoeira. In certain changchuan styles, this kick is known as Swallow Kick (Yianzi tui).Although the specific nature of the kick varies, it is generally composed of a twist of the body while both legs are lifted from the ground and swung around, while the torso remains as horizontal as possible.
In action cinema it is often seen as a kick used to "cut a swathe" through multiple opponents.
In traditional Chinese longfist, it is used defensively to evade an opponent's floor sweep and land on the enemy's vulnerable side.
There are many variations, and different movements may be captured under the same name or likewise similar movements given under a different name depending on the martial arts school or style. It can be executed either from standing or from a step up run.
The name "butterfly kick" is due to the legs reaching the apex of their arc the arms are stretched out, leaving all limbs extended in a position similar to that of a butterfly's wings in-flight.