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Man Doing Taekwondo Side Kick

Up until the early 1990s, Taekwondo was the world’s most popular martial art in terms of number of practitioners. It still retains an enduring popularity and has been an Olympic sport since 2000. It originated in Korea and although it teaches self-defense, meditation and philosophy, the main emphasis is on striking. Below, we look at some of the most difficult kicks (Chagi) to perform along with the most spectacular and effective.

4 Best Kicks in Taekwondo

1. 540 Kick

This has various names such as the inside turning kick or tornado kick and involves rotating 540 degrees, though most experts suggest that rotation should only be 360 degrees in the air with the rest of the rotation taking place in the build-up. The same leg is used for taking off, kicking and landing which increases the difficulty and risk. It is not really a practical kick to use for combat and is normally only featured in Taekwondo demonstrations because if you land incorrectly, you could badly damage your ankles and knees.

Video: How to Do a 540 Kick

2. Multiple Side Kicks

This is a far more effective kicking method for Taekwondo combat than the 540 Kick, as you remain on the ground at all times. When executing multiple side kicks, you keep the knee of your kicking leg lifted high and perform several fast side kicks in succession. You should aim at different heights so a triple side kick might involve a kick to the knee, a kick to the midsection and a kick to the head, all performed in rapid succession. This is an advanced kick but when performed correctly, it could lead you to scoring a great deal of points during sparring.

Video: Multiple Side Kick Demonstration

3. Jumping Three Directional Kick

Also known as Twimyo Sambang Chagi, this kick involves hitting two or more attackers simultaneously. It involves leaping in the air and using the lead leg to perform a twisting front kick while performing a side kick in the opposite direction with the other leg. Once this has been achieved, the first leg does a roundhouse kick and the practitioner lands on both feet.

Video: 4 Kick Strikes with Single Jump

4. Reflex Kick

This is also known as Balsa Chagi and involves running up a wall, leaping and landing one foot on the wall before using the wall to push away and generate more height and power. The practitioner then uses the other leg to kick while in mid air. Clearly, this kick can’t be performed in a traditional Taekwondo fight but it can be performed if you’re cornered. The skill and timing required to pull off this kick is incredible as you can imagine.

Video: Man Performing Reflex Kick Off Wall

Keep in Mind

The above are all complex and powerful kicks but can only be executed by the most advanced individuals. Bear in mind that such kicks are risky and are banned in some Taekwondo tournaments. They are mostly for ceremonial purposes and likely should not be used in a real-life self-defense situation.