The hardest part of the Kick is sensing the sound around you, and I have learnt to know about where something is based on my ear through various games. Although that situation is very unlikely, it is very possible.
And you're right, the MK II Jetpack bot does usually do an overhead swing. But there is ways to exploit its AI, and you can do that quite easily.
To me, the Kick is not just a useful tool. It's a great method of dodging all kinds of stuff that would have otherwise hit you.
(For some reason, I just kick when I feel like it, too. This usually works for me, and is one of the reasons that I usually play quick and agile characters with good dodging abilities.)