- Last Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2016
Ahhh, those wonderfully awesome and flashy Taekwondo kicks that we all love so much. Who doesn’t feel impressed by a smooth 720 spin that ends with a single pine board splitting in two pieces just as that oh so recognizable snapping sound echoes out loud? Come on… that’s pretty cool.
Well, I did a little youtubing, if that’s now a word we can use, to find some video on those tricking students who can pull this off. Last I checked I haven’t done a 720 yet and I don’t want you to wait until I can do one to see it's glory, ahhhhhhwwwww. One of the better quality and entertaining videos I ran across was this one here showing some students from Team-M practicing various spinning kicks.
Very impressive! I would love to train with them for a few months and get my tricking up to speed. Right now though, I will have to stick with the basics.
Okay, are you all pumped up to do some really cool spinning kicks? Maybe in front a huge crowd applauding and chanting your name? Stop! Unless you’re a seasoned student with tons of practice under your belt, and yes, I did intend the pun, you will need to start with the basics. Basics, basics and more basics. Over and over and over again…
I’m guessing that you are here reading this because you are seeking out some tips on those basic kicks. A crowd may not be applauding you right now, but I am. You must start somewhere and all those cool kids on the block didn’t pop into the world throwing fancy spinning kicks. Every single person you see pulling off some flashy neet-o kick had to practice it. Probably hundreds of times… or like 50 or at least 30 times anyway.
All the flashy, fancy, cool kicks are built on the simple no thrills basic kicks we all need to learn first. Below are some guides I have written based on my experience to help students learn the basic kicks of WTF Taekwondo.
If I were to suggest an order in which to begin, I would say:
1st, Groin Kick in order to learn the mechanics of driving off the floor and the chamber.
2nd, Front Snap Kick for three reasons. 1) You learn how to strike with the ball of your foot. 2) You begin holding your kicking leg out in an extended position longer. 3) You start retracting your kicking leg more.
3rd, Heel Push Kick because this is when you begin to add hip thrust into the equation. You must begin extending your foot forward and driving forward with your hip. Very important!
4th, Roundhouse Kick in order to start pivoting and learning how to apply force at an angle. Many students struggle with this kick and rightfully so due to the many nuances to its proper execution. It’s also one of the most important kicks on the planet so practice this one a lot!
5th, Switch Kick or Switch Roundhouse Kick. This technique requires you to slightly leave the ground while executing a rear leg roundhouse kick. The skills learned to do this kick are applied later on with more advanced kicks like the 360 roundhouse. Yeah, I said 360!
6th, Side Kick so you can start learning how to emphasize hitting with the heel of your foot. Side kick employs the hip thrust as well as a pivot action so you will draw upon the previous kicking techniques. This kick can be very strong if done right.
7th, Rear Leg Hook Kick and Front Leg Hook Kick because they are an expansion on the variations of side kick. The techniques begin the same except now you must learn how to basically side kick in front of the target before pulling your heel horizontally through it. Neat huh?
8th, Axe Kick sixth in order to learn striking at a downward angle with the heel. This kick uses a very high chamber and become devastating when done properly.
9th, Spinning Back Kick. Why? Because the kicking technique requires you to “spin” away from the target and emphasizes once again striking with the heel. A well-executed back kick could quite possibly be one of the most powerful kicks in the taekwondo arsenal. Cool right? I know!
10th, Double Kick so you can start rotating your hip from one side to the other and really learn how to push off the floor with your feet. The kick requires balance, proper hip rotation and muscle strength to pull it off.
11th, Spinning Roundhouse Kick which is also known as a Natobon or 360 Roundhouse because quite literally you spin 360 degrees on the leg you are going to kick with before kicking with it.
12th, Spinning Hook Kick. This kick uses elements of the back kick, the side kick and of course the hook kick in order to produce a powerful heel kick that will knock you out if it lands right. Ouch!
There are tons of variations for all the kicks above and the order is not written in stone. I have simply found that students learn the body mechanics more quickly when taught in this order. Now start practicing!