This technique is used to break your attackers guard ready to land strikes.
You are squared off with your attacker and they have their guard up to defend strikes.
A crescent kick is used to deflect their guard. Using the back foot, swing your leg out to the left and up, then across to break your attackers guard. You should imagine drawing a circle with your foot.
You have broken your attackers guard and are now ready to land some strikes without too much trouble. You can of course swing your back leg out to the right then up and across, the approach will depend on the stance of your attacker.