How to do Roundhouse Kick

Roundhouse is one of the most used kicks in the fights. Even the highly trained fighters use this kick a lot during sparring and fight for various reasons including dodging, combinations, or even directly attacking with this powerful and deadly kick if executed properly after vigorous practice.

Roundhouse kick is usually taught as the second kick after front kick by most trainers.

How to perform a roundhouse kick

  1. Get ready in the stance to do the roundhouse kick
  2. Raise the striking legs knee from “outside” in a twisting fashion until it points the opponent. Note that the leg remains folded as much as easily possible during the time of flight of the leg.
  3. When twisting, the hip goes inline with the knee, or if stretching allows, very slightly ahead of the knee, which an extension at the hip joint.
  4. The whole body twists on the balancing foots toes and knuckles in the roundhouse kick, not the heel. The position of the balancing foot at the time of strike is that it’s pointing 180 degree opposite of the opponent.
  5. When the knee almost points the opponent / target, the knee extends, opening the leg. The body keeps on twisting and rotating at the same speed when the leg is opening up with which it was approaching the target.
  6. The ankle joint is fully plantar flexed, with maximum stretch “easily” possible.
  7. The arm of the striking legs side is straight along with the kick, slightly away from the body, the other arm’s fist remains in front of the face to guard it. Note that it remains in front of the face / mouth, not the chest, slightly away so that the jerk from opponents strike don’t make your own fist hit your face and injure it, rather absorb the push and jerk of the strike.
  8. The kick hits the target, stay there for just a fraction of a second and then fold back and comes back in the same sequence with which it was executed.
  9. The kick finishes when both the feet are on the same place where they began and the practitioner is ready in the stance for the next kick.

roundhouse kick

Variations of roundhouse kick

There are many variations of roundhouse kick. The practitioners of various martial arts execute the roundhouse kick differently.

There is usually a debate as to which kick is superior and more effective during a fight. Well there is no such thing as a perfect kick, let alone a perfect variation of certain kick. All variations of the kick must be practiced by a ninja to be able to utilize the best technique at the time of need.

The variations vary depending upon:

  1. The bending of the knee of the striking leg when it’s approaching the target
  2. The way of coming back to the stance
  3. Stay or not to stay the kick at the target for a fraction of second
  4. How the leg proceeds to the target
  5. Main power from leg only, or trunk too

All these variations are useful under real fight situations and should be practiced to have an idea of how to do them during a fight and also to have an idea that how your opponent can execute the kick so that you can pick it when it’s coming towards you so that you can effectively block or counter it.

Exercises for Roundhouse kick

Following exercises are helpful in enhancing the power and effectiveness of your roundhouse kick:

–       Side stretching (at-least to reach the face of the opponent)

–       Dynamic stretching

–       Kick stay at-least till the intended opponents height

–       Twisters

Targets for roundhouse kick

Roundhouse is a very versatile kick, it includes so many dodges and ways to strike that it can be used to hit merely any part of the opponents’ body which he leaves exposed for your technique. The list of targets for roundhouse might include almost every part of the body depending upon your position relative to the opponent and almost all of them are highly effective in damaging and striking the opponent in a fight.

A powerful roundhouse kick can shun the blocking arms and hands of the opponent and thus reducing his blocking capabilities, rendering him in effective for an attack and forcing him to assume a defensive position and techniques to avoid your kicks without blocking them.

Some of the common targets for roundhouse kick are as follows:

–       Face

–       Back of head

–       Neck

–       Back (behind chest)

–       Back (behind torso)

–       Ribs

–       Front of chest

–       Torso

–       Thighs

Blocks for Roundhouse kick

A ninja shouldn’t only practice how to execute a roundhouse kick effectively, but he should also know how to block a roundhouse kick. Not just blocks but also an expert in how to counter roundhouse kick effectively.

Blocking and avoiding a roundhouse kick is a complete topic in itself which will be discussed separately on a topic of it’s own under the blocks and counters section.

To effectively block or avoid a blow from a roundhouse kicks, few tips are:

–       Step back

–       Step forward into the opponent so that he’s unable to reach his foot’s palm to hit you

–       Step forward and stop the up coming roundhouse kick from the opponent by stop the raising knee

–       Stop the knee with your leg / foot (by raising it straight for example)

–       Stop the kick with both hands palm opened

–       Stop the kick with one hands palm

–       Gripping the roundhouse technique

–       Blocking with forearm of target sides arm and the palm of the other sides arm.

–       Blocking with your knee if you’re close enough and the opponent isn’t picking the knee up initially when launching the strike with a roundhouse kick.

It’s also important to note that the opponent will also be blocking and countering your roundhouse with all these and any other techniques too, so be prepared to remain composed and how to counter his counter / block in that situation.

Combinations with roundhouse kick

Roundhouse, being the most common executed kick executed in the combat, has a wide range of combinations. It’s flow can be used to combine it with various kicks, such as:

–       Roundhouse kick, wheel kick

–       Roundhouse kick, roundhouse kick, wheel kick

–       Roundhouse kick, back kick

–       Roundhouse kick, side push kick

–       Roundhouse kick, sweep kick

–       Front kick, roundhouse kick

Many combinations can be made with this beautiful kick. However practice Is key to success and thus the practitioner must not just assume and make combinations in his mind but also execute them on ground and practice them over and over again to make them his reflex.

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