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Tae

A high kick side kick.

A kick is a strike with the foot, leg or knee. Kicks play an important role in many martial arts, especially those from Korea (such as Taekwondo and Hapkido).

ApplicationsEdit

Kicks have several advantages over hand strikes. The leg is longer and more powerful than the arm, and a low attack is much more difficult to see and react to. However, kicks must be used carefully as they can easily put the martial artist off balance and leave his standing leg vulnerable. Whether or not kicks above the stomach level are practical in a street fight is often debated.

Types of kickEdit

Basic kicksEdit

  • Front kick Performed by raising the knee and thrusting either the heel or ball of the foot forwards.
  • Side kick A kick delivered either with the heel or outer edge of the foot to the side.
  • Back kick Similar to the side kick, but delivered backwards.
  • Roundhouse kick A very powerful kick, commonly used by competitions. The attackers swings their leg in a circular motion and extends it close to impact, striking the side of the opponent with the shin or top of the foot.
  • Hook kick The setup is similar to a side kick, but deliberately off to the side of the target. The hips are then rotated as the foot is quickly snapped back, striking with the heel or bottom of the foot.
  • Reverse roundhouse Similar to the hook kick, but the leg is kept straight and power comes completely from the turning of the body and hips (rather than from a bend in the knee).
  • Axe kick The leg is swung high and then brought down on the opponent, striking with the heel or bottom of the foot.
  • Inside-outside crescent kick The knee of the kicking leg is swung upwards to the left (if it is the right leg kicking) and extended as it begins to swing right in a circular motion. Contact is made with the outside edge of the foot. Less powerful but faster than a hook kick or reverse roundhouse.
  • Outside-inside crescent kick The knee of the kicking leg is swung upwards to the right (assuming the right leg kicking) and extended as it begins to swing left in a circular motion. Contact is made with the heel or inside edge of the foot. Faster but less powerful than a roundhouse kick.
  • Straight knee A strike performed with the knee, striking either forwards or upwards. Often used in a clinch position.
  • Curved knee or roundhouse knee A strike performed with the knee coming in from the outside and striking the side of the target. Again, it is often used in a clinch position.

Advanced kicksEdit

  • Tornado kick A roundhouse or outside-inside crescent kick combined with a 360 degree spin. Commonly used in Taekwondo.
  • Spinning crescent kick An inside-outside crescent kick combined with a 360 degree spin.
  • Spinning hook kick A hook kick combined with a 360 degree spin.
  • Turning kick A reverse roundhouse kick combined with a 360 degree spin.
  • Flying side kick A sidekick performed with a run-up and a leap.
  • Flying back kick A back kick performed with a run-up, leap and 180 degree rotation.
  • Flying knee Similar to a straight knee, but with a run-up and jump. Commonly used in Muay Thai.

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