Kick off your shoes and have a good time.

There’s that old saying that everyone in the world is the best at something and it’s just a matter of finding what that thing is. This is also true of kicking a single kung-fu shoe of a foot in terms of distance and straightness. Right now, somewhere out there sits the world’s greatest kung-fu shoe flipper and they probably don’t even know it.

That’s why we should all head down to Yokohama Chinatown on 3 November and take part in the 2023 Kung-fu Shoe Flying World Championships. This is quite likely the only organized tournament devoted to the art of flicking off shoes like the ones Bruce Lee used to wear and anyone can compete.

The way it works is simple. Each contestant is given a pair of kung-fu shoes and must kick off one of the shoes along a narrow lane. If the shoe flies outside of the boundaries of the lane then the kick is disqualified and the shoe that travels the farthest is declared the winner.

▼ A video taken from last year’s contest

Before you go racing for that pair of kung-fu shoes in your closet, it should be noted that all contestants must use the tournament’s shoes to ensure fairness. The tournament is also divided into men’s and women’s divisions and there’s even a separate competition for junior high students and younger.

▼ That little tyke’s got the spirit! Unfortunately, his toe is over the line and he his thusly disqualified. Better luck next year!

And in addition to all that, three prizes will also be awarded to the most entertaining contestants, regardless of their respective kung-fu-shoe kicking distances. However, for those only interested in sheer kicking, the world record to beat currently stands at 29.81 meters (97.8 feet) and was set in 2017 by a kicker in the men’s division.

And for those few folks who aren’t even interested in kicking kung-fu shoes off their feet, the Kung-fu Shoe Flying World Championships is just one part of the Kitamon Festival taking place in the same place on the same day. Food and drinks will be served all day long and there will be musical performances from start to finish.

But for those serious about kung-fu-shoe kicking, entry costs 100 yen (US$0.67) per kick and the first 390 contestants who sign up will receive a special edition Yokohama bottle of Coca-Cola. To do so, just follow the Kitamon Festival account on the messaging app Line, text “I hope to participate” (参加希望), and start practicing your kicks.

▼ Here’s a QR code that’ll link you right up with the Kitamon Festival Line account

Maybe you’ll be crowned the next world champion? And if not, you can always vent your frustrations at the World Table Flipping Tournament held in Iwate Prefecture.

Event information
Kung-fu Shoe Flying World Championships / カンフーシューズ飛ばし世界大会
Address: Kanagawa-ken, Yokohama-shi, Naka-ku, Yamashitacho, Yokohama Chinatown, Kitamon-dori
神奈川県横浜市中区山下町横浜中華街 北門通り
3 November, 2023
Reception begins at 9:30 a.m.
Competition runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Winners are awarded at 5:30 p.m.

Source: Kitamon Festival, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso