How To Do A Roundhouse Kick (Step-by-Step Guide)

The roundhouse kick is one of the most popular moves in martial arts, and it’s used in several sports, including kickboxing and taekwondo. Want to deliver a powerful attack to your opponent? Keep reading to learn how to master the infamous roundhouse kick.

How To Do A Roundhouse Kick

What Is A Roundhouse Kick? 

A roundhouse kick is also called a round kick or a turning kick. In Korean, the term for roundhouse kick is ‘dollyo chagi’, which literally means a turning kick.

Roundhouse kicks are performed in a variety of sports, including muay thai, kick-boxing, lethwei, karate, and taekwondo. 

The roundhouse kick is a powerful attack in almost any sport, and it’s usually performed to score high in the competition. The roundhouse kick may look like a complex move, but with a little practice, it’s easy to achieve.

Different martial arts will use different techniques to execute the same kind of kicks. For example, some martial arts will use their shins to kick, while others will use the upper part of the foot. 

Some roundhouse kicks are easy to avoid, while others aren’t. It can depend largely on the kick’s distance and the stance used to execute the kick. 

How To Do A Roundhouse Kick

The roundhouse kick is one of the most effective kicking movements in the martial arts. To master the roundhouse kick and bring your A-Game to the table, keep reading to learn how to perform the perfect roundhouse kick. 

Remember, though, there are several variations of the roundhouse kick, and it can be used in more than one way. 

Different Purposes Of The Roundhouse Kick 

Before we discuss technique, remember: the roundhouse kick can serve a variety of different purposes. 

In Muay Thai, sometimes referred to as Thai boxing, the roundhouse kick is performed with a full 180-degree motion; the intention here is to knock out the opponent completely. 

However, in Taekwondo, the roundhouse kick is slightly different. A roundhouse kick in Taekwondo is usually executed much softer, at a 45 or 60-degree angle. The intention here is to score as many points as possible, so the impact required is much less. 

In Taekwondo, the roundhouse kick is also supposed to come back after the hit, however, in Muay Thai, it follows through the target, creating extra force and power to attack your opponent with.

In any sport, the roundhouse kick is an excellent way to target both the legs and body of your opponent, weakening their stance and giving you a fighting chance of landing a KO. 

Now, let’s get into the mechanics of the roundhouse kick. 

1: Monitor Your Breathing

To perform the perfect roundhouse kick, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your breathing. Getting your movements in synch with your breaths is vital if you want to cause the most damage with your kick. 

When you prepare to perform your kick and your opponent is far away from you, start taking deep breaths.

Deep breathing has been shown to improve stamina and balance, and it’ll prevent you from getting exhausted too quickly. Vocalizing and exhaling can also put more pressure behind your punch or kick. 

If you feel yourself running out of energy during a fight, taking a step back, focusing on your breath, and vocalizing when you do your next attack can also help you focus and regain your stamina.

So, this isn’t just a helpful technique before you start a fight, it’s something that you can use throughout your fight, too. 

2: Relax Your Legs And Get In Guard 

Before you deliver your roundhouse kick, avoid putting excess pressure on your legs. Ideally, you should aim for dead weight guided by your hips, especially in Muay Thai. 

If you’re doing Taekwondo, your legs should be tighter. Depending on what martial art you’re doing, the execution may vary. 

Once you’ve established your legs in the correct position, it’s time to get in guard.

Getting ‘in guard’ is essentially the fundamental fighting stance for most martial arts, and it establishes the way you’ll hold your body between making your own blows and blocking your opponents. 

If you’re right-handed, start getting in guard by taking a large step forward with your left leg. Once you’re here, let your right foot pivot naturally, so it starts to point to the side.

Then, make two firm fists and lift your hands up, so that both of your arms are bent at your elbows. Your forearms should be slightly raised, and your left fist should be raised slightly higher and further forward than your right. 

If you’re left-handed, reverse the steps above to get the right in guard stance. 

3: Lift Your Leg Up And To The Side 

Now, start lifting your leg up and to the side. When you lift your leg to do your roundhouse kick, bend it slightly backward on itself, Your calf should be almost touching your thigh.

Now, raise your bent leg up, so your knee is pointing out to the side. This motion gets your leg ‘chambered’ and ready to deliver the roundhouse kick. 

4: Snap Forward And Pivot 

Now, pivot on your lower foot and turn your body. Your kicking leg should now be facing and moving towards your target.

As you get in this position, extend your leg with a swift and smooth motion, which will recreate the ‘snapping’. With this motion, you should start to make contact with your opponent before your leg is fully extended. 

5: Retract And Return To Guard 

Once you’ve made contact, start to roll through your target. Then, allow your leg to hit the target with full power and attack a few inches into the body. Now, begin to retract your leg quickly into the folded position.

Once you’re here, you can either get your leg ready to deliver another kick or return it to the floor. 

The Bottom Line 

The roundhouse kick is one of the most effective moves in martial arts. With time and practice, you can master the art, and deliver a successful attack on your opponent.

Christopher Anderson
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