Martial Arts Kicks
This article highlights the range of martial arts kicks. We took the time to examine various striking martial arts, paying particular attention to kicking techniques.
We focus on kicks that fall under the unified rules and regulations of mixed martial arts and evaluate the efficacy of each discipline’s kicks. If you want to learn martial arts and improve your kicking technique, here is a short list of styles to try.
Types of Martial Arts Kicks
Information on the martial arts axe kick is in this section. You can utilize this kick for self-defense, breaking maneuvers, and sparring, among other things. Martial artists frequently employ an axe kick to attack an opponent’s head, collarbone, etc.
Numerous martial arts, such as Karate and Taekwondo, utilize this kicking technique. Visit Black Belt Wiki’s main Martial Arts Kicking Techniques section for details on other MMA kicks, such as the spinning hook kick.
Basic Martial Arts Kicks
Axe Kick – Martial Arts Technique
You can utilize this kick for self-defense, breaking maneuvers, and sparring, among other things. Martial artists frequently employ an axe kick to attack an opponent’s head, collarbone, etc.
Back Kick – Martial Arts Technique
Numerous martial arts disciplines utilize the rear kick, including Taekwondo, Kung Fu, Karate, Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts, and Kickboxing. You can use it for breaking techniques, sparring, and self-defense.
Crescent Kick – Martial Arts Technique
Numerous distinct martial arts styles employ the crescent kick. For instance, the crescent kick also called Mikazuki Geri in Karate and Bandal Chagi in Taekwondo. Although there are numerous crescent kicks (see below), the Inside Crescent Kick (in-to-out crescent kick) and the Outside Crescent Kick are the most fundamental (out-to-in crescent kick).
In a hybrid version known as a “crescent axe kick,” a crescent kick can strike an opponent with either the heel or the outside edge of the foot.
Front Kick – Martial Arts Technique
Although a front kick is simple, you can use it to defend yourself by kicking an aggressor in the groin. Most real front kicks use the top of the foot or the ball of the foot to strike the target.
So that you know, a front kick in karate is a Mae Geri. A front kick is an “Ap Chagi” in Taekwondo martial arts kicks.
Push Kick – Martial Arts Technique
In martial arts like hapkido, we refer to this as the front thrust kick. You can visit Black Belt Wiki’s main Martial Arts Kicks section for details on additional kicks (such as the spinning hook kick).
A push kick opens up space or, if the opponent is too close, knocks them off balance. Because a martial artist can use the push kick to stop an opponent’s forward momentum, it is also a defensive kick.
Roundhouse Kick – Martial Arts Technique
A round kick is another name for this motion. Numerous martial arts disciplines, including Taekwondo (where the kick has the name Dollyo Chagi), Karate (Mawashi Geri), Muay Thai (Tae Tud), Mixed Martial Arts, and Kickboxing, utilize the roundhouse kick.
Because of its quickness, respectable strength, range, and simplicity of application, the roundhouse kick is one of the most often used kicks in martial arts. Additionally, you can use it for a range of targets.
For instance, you can aim a roundhouse kick low (i.e., against the knee) during a sparring session or even head high (but the martial artist needs to be very flexible and runs the risk of the opponent grabbing their leg).
Side Kick – Martial Arts Technique
Side kicks are strong but usually move more slowly than other fundamental martial arts kicks (i.e., roundhouse kicks).
For instance, rather than merely releasing a roundhouse kick directly at the target, martial artists must chamber their kick and fire out the sidekick. However, considering its strength, a sidekick can be a potent self-defense tool. You can use the front or back leg for the sidekick.
Instructions for a Rear Leg Side Kick
- The martial artist will turn their body from the combat stance so that their side is facing the aggressor. Their front leg will rotate, and their front foot will turn 180 degrees.
- They will spin and move their back leg forward until the foot faces the attacker and the knee is close to their waist. The angle of their knee from its initial position will be close to 270 degrees. This is the sidekick’s “chamber” section (as the martial artist is bringing their leg into position to launch the sidekick).
- The martial artist will step forward and stomp their foot on the assailant, striking them with the sole or blade of their foot (outer edge of foot).
- Tip: While learning the basics of a sidekick, beginners can support themselves using a chair or a rail.
- For a quicker but weaker alternative to the standard rear leg sidekick, check the section on the front leg sidekick.
Master List of Martial Arts Kicks (Basic & Advanced)
Butterfly Kick – Martial Arts Technique
This is one of the best martial art for kicking. The butterfly kick is acrobatic in martial arts like Kung Fu. The butterfly twist kick is a more skilled variation of the butterfly kick. Many utilize this kick in martial arts exhibitions due to its amazing spinning action.
Due to the likelihood of an opponent landing awkwardly if the martial artist doesn’t hit them correctly, the butterfly kick has primarily become a demonstration kick (possibly injuring themselves or sprawled out on the ground).
The butterfly kick is extremely difficult to control and would be challenging to use effectively in self-defense because it is a high and twisting kick. Martial artists typically utilize a butterfly kick to strike a target during breaking displays.
Butterfly Twist Kick – Martial Arts Technique
The butterfly twist kick is acrobatic in martial arts like Kung Fu, Wushu, etc. Instead of being for self-defense or sparring, it is primarily for displays.
Calf Kick – Martial Arts Technique
In some martial arts sparring engagements, this low kick strikes an opponent’s calf and causes distraction or injury. An opponent’s calf may cramp, rip, etc., after receiving repeated blows to this muscle.
A calf kick resembles a low roundhouse or shin kick intended to strike an opponent’s calf. The martial artist typically uses the lower shin or the foot’s instep when trying a calf kick. Martial arts forms like mixed martial arts employ the calf kick.
Martial artists will either attempt to avoid the kick or block it with a shin block, cut kick, etc., to lessen the agony or harm of a calf kick. Some martial artists will also aim to develop their calf muscles through workouts like calf raises to better “absorb” the impact of a potential calf kick.
Double Front Kick – Martial Arts Technique
Let’s look at the martial arts double front kick, also known as the jumping double front kick. This is not the same as a jumping front kick; rather, it is a more sophisticated variation of the standard front kick.
The jumping double front kick is primarily utilized for breaking techniques, kick demonstrations and martial arts movies. Fighting, or self-defense, could be more effective.
Double Roundhouse Kick – Martial Arts Technique
While in the air, this kick alternates between a left and right roundhouse kick (or vice versa).
A double roundhouse kick is a powerful strike for scoring in a fight. However, many martial artists believe that a double roundhouse kick is typically less effective for self-defense scenarios due to its typically weaker striking strength and the requirement for greater flexibility.
Downward Roundhouse Kick – Martial Arts Technique
On this website, you may learn more about the downward roundhouse kick used in martial arts. The “Brazilian Kick” is another name for this move. Otoshi Mawashi Geri is the name of the downward roundhouse kick used in karate.
Like a typical roundhouse kick, the downward roundhouse kick involves angling your foot downwards toward your target (versus laterally in a traditional roundhouse). To throw a downhill roundhouse properly, martial artists must be exceedingly adaptable.
Karate – Ashi Barai (Foot Sweep Kick)
This section examines the Ashi Barai Karate maneuver (or Foot Sweep Kick). Employ a foot sweep to throw an opponent off balance or to the ground. For tutorials on other kicks used by other martial arts schools,
Flying Back Kick – Martial Arts Technique
Here is information on the martial arts flying back kick. The traditional back kick has some improvement thanks to this kick. The Jumping Back Kick is a stationary kick with a “running variation.” Twi-Myo Dwi Chagi is the name of the flying back kick in Taekwondo.
Flying Back Kick Instructions
The key to the flying back kick is to use the front kick to lift the martial artists as they rotate, giving them more height. A fantastic kick frequently utilized in demonstrations and breaking moves is the high back kick. However, many martial artists do not believe it to be a particularly efficient self-defense kick.
Flying Drop Kick – Martial Arts Technique
The WWE, breaking demonstrations, and martial arts films frequently employ this vibrant kick. For the majority of sparring or self-defense situations, it is not practical. The flying double sidekick is another name for the flying drop kick.
The martial artists will take off running after this kick and leap into the air. They will turn to the side and kick with both feet pressed firmly against the ground. You can also execute this kick without rotating the body, giving the impression of a push or double stomp in the air. However, if the martial artist gets disturbed or knocked off balance, they risk falling and hitting their head.
Heel Kick – Martial Arts Technique
You can do the heel kick most frequently in a spinning motion, but you can also do it with the lead leg, turning, sliding, stepping behind, etc. Although the hook and crescent kick is frequently confused with the heel kick, they differ significantly.
Instead of using the side of the foot like the crescent kick, the heel kick strikes with the back of the heel. The heel kick also hits with a straight leg that does not bend until it is close to the ground, unlike the hook kick.
Hook Kick – Martial Arts Technique
This kick has the potential to be misleading because it misses the target initially before snapping back and striking with the heel of the foot. Additionally, you can incorporate this move into the more potent spinning hook kick.
To avoid injuries, you should only practice martial arts kicks and all other techniques under the guidance of a certified martial arts instructor. You should use all martial arts training and techniques properly and safely.
Written Directions for Kicking
- Students should aim slightly to the left of the target when performing a right front leg hook kick before snapping the foot back and striking the target with the heel of the foot.
- There may be a problem with a rear-leg hook kick because martial artists may overrotate and produce a weak kick.
- This issue is not present in a front leg hook kick because the martial artist raises their leg into position for the snap or hook rather than rotating their leg into place.
- To perform these kicks, martial artists must practice being flexible in their hip flexors, groin, etc.
Oblique Kick – Martial Arts Technique
Martial arts like Savate, Hapkido, Muay Thai, Mixed Martial Arts, etc., use this low kick. A stomp kick and an oblique/scoop kick are similar. However, a stomp kick strikes downward vertically, whereas an oblique/scoop kick strikes targets like a knee diagonally.
Twisting Kick – Martial Arts Technique
An inverted roundhouse kick is another name for this move in martial arts. Martial arts, like Taekwondo, Karate, etc., use the twisting kick.
Flexibility is more important for a twisting kick than for a standard one. Instead of striking vertically (like an axe kick), laterally (like a roundhouse kick), or in an arc, this kick moves in-to-out (i.e., crescent kick) diagonally.
A twist kick bears the name Bituro Chagi in Taekwondo. A high twist kick is a Jodan Uchi Haisoku Geri in karate martial arts.
In the history of martial arts, the twisting kick is relatively uncommon. One of the few kicks that utilize a turned-out hip stance is the twisting kick. The complete rotation of the kick must originate from the hip for proper execution. The ankle and knee could experience harm if they participate in the rotation.
Jumping Axe Kick – Martial Arts Technique
This is a more sophisticated variation of the standard axe kick. Breaking and demonstrations benefit from the dramatic jumping axe kick. However, many martial artists believe it is less effective for self-defense and sparring.
Scissor Kick – Martial Arts Technique
The Scissor Kick, sometimes known as the Scissors Kick, is a spectacular martial arts kick that may simultaneously hit two opponents. However, most martial artists believe this kick is only somewhat useful in self-defense.
You can frequently see the scissor kick in martial arts films, exhibition kicks, and breaking techniques (i.e., for simultaneously taking down two bad guys).
Skipping Axe Kick (Sliding Axe Kick) – Martial Arts Technique
The Hopping Axe Kick is another name for this move. The skipping kick is a more complex variation of the axe kick and is best in breaking and sparring techniques. This kick entails doing a jumping axe kick while skipping, sliding, or hopping forward.
Kicks From the Ground
Front Kick From the Ground – Krav Maga Technique
You may learn more about the Krav Maga ground front kick here. A martial artist uses a front push or stomp kick to strike an opponent who has already hit the ground. When under attack, this kick is used to fend off the attacker and get to your feet. Round kicks from the ground and side kicks from the ground relate to Krav Maga’s moves.
Round Kick From the Ground – Krav Maga
After you knock the opponent to the ground, the martial artist strikes them with a round kick. You can use this kick to fend off the attacker and get to your feet when attacked. Front kicks from the ground and side kicks from the ground are related to Krav Maga moves.
Leg Grab – Defense While on Ground (With Hook or Heel Kick)
Sometimes, the attacker grabs your ankle or leg when you get knocked to the ground. As the attacker might try to flip the victim over and jump on their back, this is a risky position. Because of this, many martial arts styles train in self-defense skills to avoid attacks on the ground.
Students learn to use a hook or heel kick as one potential escape maneuver in Krav Maga. The student will roll over on their back and kick the assailant’s hands out of their face. A hook or heel kick can be helpful when the student turns almost onto their stomach. Krav Maga teaches using a roundhouse kick if the pupil is still on their back.
The moment a student kicks the hands away, they must immediately get to their feet so they can flee or better defend themselves. As a result, Krav Maga practitioners also train to stand back against an assailant.
Side Kick From the Ground – Krav Maga Technique
If the adversary is on the ground, the martial artist strikes them with a sidekick at this point. This kick usually fends off the attacker and gets to your feet during an attack. Round kicks from the ground and front kicks from the ground relate to Krav Maga’s moves.
Martial Arts Kicks by Martial Arts Style
Arnis, Eskrima, and Kali are Filipino martial arts that are a complete system, despite frequently only linking with stick fighting. You can therefore utilize kicks in conjunction with unarmed combat or weapon training. Methods of kicking in martial arts are pananjakman in the Philippines.
Numerous kicks in Arnis, Eskrima, and Kali are low kicks meant to surprise an opponent concentrating on your stick weapon (Yantok), etc. These kicks intend to knock an opponent off balance, damage them, or render them helpless. The targets of these low kicks are the opponent’s foot, knee, calf, shin, groin, and quadriceps/thigh muscles.
Because it is simple to hurt your leg and impair your ability to move if your opponent’s weapon strikes your leg, high kicks are not ideal in Arnis/Eskrima/Kali. Low kicks target to reduce the likelihood of hitting by an opponent’s weapon.
Roundhouse kicks (i.e., to the knee), stomp kicks (i.e., to the foot), side kicks (i.e., to the shin), front kicks (i.e., to the crotch), foot sweeps (i.e., to throw an opponent off balance), and knee strikes (i.e., to the quadriceps/thigh muscle) are familiar kicks used in Arnis, Eskrima, and Kal.
Self-Defense Martial Arts Kicking Targets – Vital Areas
Most martial arts trainees learn this fundamental method of self-defense. Many male opponents can be momentarily rendered helpless by a crotch kick.
However, many men reflexively defend their groin because of the discomfort this tactic causes. The majority of groin kicks typically involve a front kick. A groin kick, however, can also make use of a toe kick, push kick, etc.
The majority of martial arts sparring matches do not allow groin kicks. Nevertheless, they are helpful in self-defense (i.e., rape prevention). For further information, visit the Important Points, Kicking Techniques, and Self-Defense pages.
Low Kicks – Martial Arts Technique
Typically, locations below the waist are the focus of low kicks. Low-kick targets include the knee, ankle, calf, and foot. Because they are more difficult to block or catch, low kicks are best in full-contact sparring contests (i.e., mixed martial arts) and self-defense scenarios.
An opponent is likelier to catch or block a high kick because it is closer to their hands and arms. An opponent may try to block a low kick with a shin block, cut kick, etc., if they cannot avoid it. If a kick is below the waist, it is a low kick in many different martial arts.
The Final Say
How amazing it is to learn martial arts. Although grappling and striking play a part in mixed martial arts battles, each begins on the ground. You must have a full repertoire of offensive moves to be a successful mixed martial artist. This necessitates ongoing improvement of both your standup and ground game.
Kicks are a significant part of striking in mixed martial arts. And if you join an MMA gym, it won’t take long for you to learn the fundamental ones. It’s great to have several techniques at your disposal because You can employ kicks in various ways.
Since mixed martial arts (MMA) is a seamless fusion of many martial arts disciplines, you must present and apply the best techniques in numerous ways. As professionals say, fighting is unpredictable, so you must be ready with various approaches.
You’ll also need to practice consistently and with discipline to master these tactics and employ them without thinking about them.