Taekwondo 태권도Taekwondo Preschool

Promotion from one geup to the next can proceed rapidly in some schools, since schools often allow geup promotions every two, three, or four months. Students of geup rank learn the most basic techniques first, and then move on to more advanced techniques as they approach first dan. Many of the older and more traditional schools often take longer to allow students to test for higher ranks than newer, more contemporary schools, as they may not have the required testing intervals. View Taekwondo belt levels »

Taekwondo Preschool

Kicking ( 차기 chagi )

Physically, taekwondo develops strength, speed, balance, flexibility, and stamina. An example of the union of mental and physical discipline is the breaking of wooden boards, bricks or tiles, which requires both physical mastery of the technique and the concentration to focus one's power.

kick (차기 chagi) is a physical strike using the foot, leg, or knee. As the human leg is longer and stronger than the arm, kicks are generally used to keep an opponent at a distance, surprise him or her with their range, and inflict substantial damage. On the other hand, stance is very important in any combat system, and any attempt to deliver a kick will necessarily compromise one's stability of stance.

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The application of kicks is thus a question of the tradeoff between the power that can be delivered vs. the cost incurred to balance. Since combat situations are fluid, understanding this tradeoff and making the appropriate decision to adjust to each moment is key.

All kicks can be executed as jump kicks, spin kicks, jump spin kicks or multi-rotational spin kicks. Also, all can be performed by the front or rear leg in a given stance.

There are a variety of kicks that can be used in combination or stem out from a simple kick to create more difficult ones. Some of these include 540 Kick (One spins 1½ times in mid-air and does a kick, usually a back spinning hook kick), a 720 Kick (One spins 2 times in mid-air and does a kick, usually a back spinning hook kick), and Triple Aero Kicks (One does round house kick, back spinning hook kick, and another round house kick in mid-air).

Also, many kicks can be employed using a fast kick style. The practitioner shuffles the back leg forward to the front leg, and the front leg comes up and kicks closer to the enemy than the practitioner had been before execution. This can be used with side kick, roundhouse kick, front kick, hook kick, and axe kick.

FRONT KICK ( 앞차기 ap chagi )


( 앞차기 ap chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Beginner

This is a very linear kick. The practitioner raises the knee to the waist, pulls the toes back and quickly extends the foot at the target. It is also known as the snap kick. The front kick is one of the first kicks learned in TKD; if mastered it can become one of the most powerful. This technique is more meant to be used to push the attacker away, but can injure... Read more »

SIDE KICK ( 옆차기 yeop chagi )


( 옆차기 yeop chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Beginner

A very powerful kick, first the practitioner simultaneously raises the knee and rotates the body 90 degrees, while doing that they extend their leg. In WTF style taekwondo, this technique should strike with the outside edge of the foot, though using the heel may provide more force if used in sparring... Read more »


ROUNDHOUSE KICK ( 돌려차기 dollyeo chagi )


( 돌려차기 dollyeo chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Beginner

The practitioner raises the knee, turns the hips, pivots on the non-kicking foot, and snaps the kick horizontally into the target at a 80 to 90-degree angle, either with the instep or with the ball of the foot (in the latter case, with the toes pulled back out of the way as in a front kick). The latter technique requires a great deal of flexibility in the heel... Read more »

BACK KICK ( 뒤차기 dwi chagi )


( 뒤차기 dwi chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate

Here the practitioner turns the body away from the target and pushes the back leg straight toward the target, hitting it with the heel while watching over the shoulder. The turning motion helps to give this kick a lot of power. Without proper care, you can spin out and lose your balance from using this attack... Read more »


SPINNING BACK KICK ( 반대 옆 차기 bandae yeop chagi )


( 반대 옆 차기 bandae yeop chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate

Similar to the back kick, here the body turns further, allowing the heel to hit the target with the foot pointing to the side as in a regular side kick, instead of more downward as in a true back kick... Read more »

HOOK KICK ( 후려차기 huryeo chagi )


( 후려차기 huryeo chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate

A less popular kick traditionally, it has found increasing favor in modern competitions. The practitioner raises the knee in a fashion similar to the roundhouse kick, then extends the foot outward then snaps it around in a dorsal arc, with the heel as the intended striking weapon... Read more »

AXE KICK ( 내려차기 naeryeo chagi )


( 내려차기 naeryeo chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Beginner

Another kick that has increased in popularity due to sparring competitions. The leg is raised usually from the outside of the body like an outside crescent kick. then the leg is pulled down with the heel pointed downward. It is typically targeted toward the head, shoulder, or chest and requires significant flexibility to employ effectively... Read more »

CRESCENT KICK ( 바깥차기 an chagi / bakkat chagi )


( 바깥차기 an chagi / bakkat chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate

There are two variations of this kick: the outer crescent and the inner crescent. In the outer, the practitioner raises the extended leg as high as possible, and slightly up across the body, (a bit across the centerline of the body), then sweeping outward to the side, in a circular movement. In the inner, the motions are the same but the direction of the kick changes, this time originating from the outside of the body, heading towards the inside... Read more »


SPIN HOOK KICK ( 뒤후려차기 dwi huryeo chagi )


( 뒤후려차기 dwi huryeo chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Advanced

There are several spinning kicks that involve the rotation of the entire body and head before the kick is released. Spinning kicks include the back pivot kick (dweel chagi), spinning hook kick (dweel huryeo chagi), spinning axe kick, butterfly kick, returning kick, 360 turning kick, and a number of other kicks of varying popularity... Read more »

TORNADO KICK ( on mondollyeo chagi )


( on mondollyeo chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate

The exponent steps forward then spins in the direction of their back leg while raising their knee and jumping to perform a spinning inside crescent kick in midair. the alternate version involve an initial round or crescent kick, while the back foot pivots. rotating the body in a 360 motion, the back foot comes up as a knee and swings across giving the momentum for your attacking leg to do a roundhouse kick or an inside crescent kick...


JUMP KICKS ( 뛰어차기 ttwieo chagi )


( 뛰어차기 ttwieo chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Intermediate

There are also many kicks that involve jumping before their execution. Normally, jumping kicks involve pulling up the back leg to help gain height during the jump and then performing the kick itself with the front leg. Flying kicks, obvious for the name, fly in a forward motion, rather than jumping straight up and down like a jump kick. Usually, the side kick is preferred as a flying move... Read more »

World Taekwondo Federation


( 540도 돌개차기 / 540º dolgae-chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Advanced

In martial arts and tricking, the 540 kick, also known as inside turning kick, jump inside kick, tornado kick and Xuanfengjiao (旋風腳), is a jump kick move. It involves a rotation of approximately 540 degrees (although usually, when performed correctly, the performer has really only done a spin of 360 degrees not including whatever takeoff they used)... Read more »


World Taekwondo Federation


( 720도 돌개차기 / 720º dolgae-chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Advanced

A derivative of the 360 kick is the 720 kick. The mechanics to 720s are all but identical to 360s. The only real difference is that the amount of torque and height needed to execute a 720 is greater than that necessary for a 360. Although the name implies 720 degrees of rotation, the move is usually done with approximately 540 degrees of rotation... Read more »


( 1080도 돌개차기 / 1080º dolgae-chagi )

Difficulty Level:  Advanced

Yet another derivative of the 360 kick is the 1080 kick. It is the same principle as a 720 except that there are two and a half spins plus the step in, instead of one and a half, hence the name "1080". While theoretically all the variations of the original 360 kick are applicable to a 1080 kick, there are actually few variations of a 1080 that have actually be successfully executed. Some of them include the 1080 Double and the Cheat 1080. Some tricking practitioners as Gary Ip already broke the mark of the 1260 kick, which involves approximately three spins in the air executing a round/crescent kick before the non-kicking feet hits the ground. Because of the difficulty of this move, it is often performed only by those who already have years of kicking/Martial Arts training...







Other kicks of Taekwondo
  • Gawi-chagi (가위차기) Scissors Kick
  • Geodeup-chagi (거듭차기) Repeating Kick
  • Geodeup-dollyeo-chagi / 거듭 돌려차기 / Repeating Turn Kick
  • Geodeup-yeop-chagi / 거듭 옆차기 / Repeating Side kick
  • Gongjungjebi-chagi (공중제비차기) Jumping Flip Kick
  • Dabangyang-chagi (다방향차기) Multi direction Kick
  • Dolgae-chagi (돌개차기): Whirl Kick Dolgaechagi
  • 360º dolgae-chagi / (360도) 돌개차기 / 360º Whirl Kick
  • 540º dolgae-chagi / 540도 돌개차기 / 540º Whirl Kick
  • 720º dolgae-chagi / 720도 돌개차기 / 720º Whirl Kick
  • Dubaldangseong-chagi (두발당성차기) Flying Kick
  • Mireo-chagi (밀어차기) Pushing Kick
  • Bada-chagi (받아차기) Counter Kick
  • Dwitbal-bada-chagi / 뒷발 받아차기 / Rear Foot Counter Kick
  • Apbal-bada-chagi / 앞발 받아차기 / Front Foot Counter Kick
  • Balbucheo-chagi (발붙여차기) Skipping Kick
  • Biteureo-chagi (비틀어차기) Twisting Kick
  • An-chagi (안차기) Inward Kick
  • Ieo-chagi (이어차기) Alternating Kick
  • Japgo-chagi (잡고차기) Holding Kick
  • Pyojeok-chagi (표적차기) Target Kick
  • 360º Dwi-huryeo-chagi / 360도 뒤후려차기 / 360º Back Whip Kick
  • 540º Dwi-huryeo-chagi / 540도 뒤후려차기 / 540º Back Whip Kick
  • Ttwieo-dwi-huryeo-chagi / 뛰어 뒤후려차기 / Jumping Back Whip Kick
  • Japgo-balbutyeo-huryeo-chagi / 발붙여 후려차기 / Skipping Whip Kick
  • Apbal-huryeo-chagi / 앞발 후려차기 / Front Foot Whip Kick
  • Mureup ollyeo chigi / 무릎 올려치기 / Knee Upward Strike
Practicality of High Kicks

The utility of high kicks (above chest level) has been debated.

Proponents have viewed that some high front snap kicks are effective for striking the face or throat, particularly against charging opponents, and flying kicks can be effective to scare off attackers. Martial arts systems that utilize high kicks also emphasize training of very efficient and technically perfected forms of kicks, include recovery techniques in the event of a miss or block, and will employ a wide repertoire of kicks adapted to specific situations.

Detractors have asserted that the flying/jumping kicks performed in synthesis styles are primarily performed for conditioning or aesthetic reasons while the high kicks as practiced in sport martial arts are privileged due to specialized tournament rules, such as limiting the contest to stand-up fighting, or reducing the penalty resulting from a failed attempt at delivering a kick.

Korean Terminology
  • Chagi (차기): Kicking
  • Dwikkumchi (뒤꿈치): Back of the Heel
  • Dwichuk (뒤축): Bottom of the Heel
  • Mureup (무릎): Knee
  • Balkkeut (발끝): Tips of the Toes
  • Balnal (발날): technically known as ‘Foot Blade’
  • Balnaldeung (발날등): technically ‘Reverse Foot Blade’
  • Baldeung (발등): Instep of the Foot
  • Balbadak (발바닥): Sole of the Foot
  • Apchuk (앞축): Ball of the Foot
  • Jeonggangi (정강이): Shin
Kicking Surfaces

Various surfaces of the foot may be engaged as the striking surface depending on which area of the opponents body which is being targeted. This leads to a large array of kicks.

Apchuk (앞축) Ball of the Foot Baldeung (발등) Instep of the Foot Dwichuk (뒤축) Bottom of the Heel Balbadak (발바닥) Sole of the Foot Balnal (발날) technically known as Foot Blade Jeonggangi (정강이) Shin Ankle Balnaldeung (발날등) technically Reverse Foot Blade Balkkeut (발끝) Tips of the Toes Mureup (무릎) Knee Dwikkumchi (뒤꿈치) Back of the Heel Back of the knee area


Risk of injury can be reduced by completing an effective warm up consisting of a heart raiser to get your pulse up, followed by sport specific dynamic stretches (stretches whilst moving). Please follow the guidance of a certified Master Instructor or trainer when doing sports related activities. Depending on the intensity of the exercise, cooling down can involve a slow jog or walk, or with lower intensities, stretching can be used. Cooling down allows the heart rate to return to its resting rate. View more information on Warming Up and Cooling Down ».

This article uses material from the Wikipedia articles "Warming Up" and "Cooling Down", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia articles "List of Taekwondo Techniques", "Kick", and "540 Kick" which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.






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