≡ Menu

How to Kick Properly

Best Method to Execute a Roundhouse Kick

If you've been watching MMA lately, you'll notice that many fighters utilize the very common "roundhouse". Whether it be low, middle, or a high roundhouse it is still one of the most commonly used attacks in MMA battles. But, lately I've noticed that many fighters execute this movement incorrectly. Well, i can't say incorrectly because a roundhouse is basically striking the opponent with the instep of your foot. What i should say is it is executed ineffectively…not to its full potential. There are many factors to a good, or even the perfect, roundhouse. 

Now, let's start with the two main factors…

{googleAds} {/googleAds}The two biggest factors in striking is shortening the distance to the point of impact and gaining more speed to make impact quicker. But like every other fighting styles you must remember other things such as endurance, stamina, accuracy, BALANCE! There are some fighters out there that don’t realize the importance of learning to keep their balance in fights. This guide that i have written is just that, a guide. Most of the work must come from you to perfect this movement. Personally, i have been formally trained in tae kwon do since i was 9 years old and over the years i have executed tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of kicks and have been able to execute a flawless roundhouse every time. your efforts determine how well you can kick, so don’t quit practicing just because it’s hard or you’re not used to it. You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.

1. Shortening the Distance From When You’re in Your Fighting Stance and Kicking Stance:
The trick comes from your waist to your knees. Many fighters like to do a wide looping roundhouse. Think of a jab…How is a jab executed? STRAIGHT! Why? IT’S THE SHORTEST DISTANCE from point A) Being your fighting stance and point B) Being the point of impact of your attack. So, to do this you must shorten the distance of your kick. How is this possible? The distance is created from your waist to your knee. What you want to do is bring your knee straight forward. From your fighting stance, throw your knee forward as if you were trying a knee strike. THAT’S IT! that is how you “cut the distance”. The next thing you need is speed.

2. Speed is the Key to a Stronger Attack:
Speed counts more than strength when it comes to fighting. You want to be the first to make contact before your opponent hits you. How do you kick faster? The speed of your kick comes from your knees down to your toes. It’s the snap you want to work on. The “snap” is when you have brought your knee up to your waist and you “snap” your toes out in front of you. And that’s all there is for speed.

There’s more to a kick than just cutting the distance and speed. You must always remember BALANCE!! You don’t want to be the one to throw a kick and have to take an extra second to recover to your stance. By then you would probably get knocked out. Here’s the secret. Your “post”, or the foot that you stand on to kick, should be directly below your head. Try standing on one foot with the raised knee up to your waist. Now shift your head to one side offline of your standing foot. You lost balance didn’t you? As long as you keep your head over your post, you should be able to recover to your stance a lot quicker.

Let me put all these elements together and go step by step on the exectuion of a roundhouse as a whole.

a. You are in your fighting stance, whether short or wide it all depends on your preference. I prefer to stand with my feet at least one and a half shoulder width apart.

b. Lift your kicking knee forward waist high ensuring your head is over the post. From here, if you snap your leg you should easily be able to do a front kick and not fall over and still have your knee up.

c. Rotate your hip to the opposite side of your kicking leg to execute a proper roundhouse. Remember, you are trying to make contact with your instep, which is the area on top of your foot between the top of your ankle and the bridge of the foot.

d. With your hips rotated, your shin should be almost parallel to the ground, or cocked sideways i should say. From here you snap your leg making contact.

e. After you have executed the snap, you can either return your foot back to where it was or drop it in front of you switching your stance.

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • adam June 28, 2008, 7:47 am

    very helpful thank you

  • james September 7, 2008, 9:08 am

    this was very helpful

  • ray July 7, 2009, 5:59 pm

    the balance info was great, thank you very much

  • Mark May 26, 2010, 1:37 am

    Thanks man. The whole guide taught me a lot of things!

  • Ernie June 23, 2010, 11:06 pm

    Round house?
    I’m no expert, and I know that this is correct kicking form ,but it doesn’t sound like you’re describing a roundhouse kick. It sounds like a basic head kick. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought a roundhouse kick came from rotating towards the back leg, not the front leg.

  • Unknown September 23, 2010, 1:35 pm

    RE:Round house?
    Yeah man a “Round house” is pretty much just what people call it these days, and the motion in which the kick is swung give it the name, Just like a “Chuck Norris round house kick”….see it was named after Chuck Norris, I will leave it at that….anyway thats a great tip. I always wondered why I felt off balanced, now maybe I can get a knock out win in my next fight!!

  • Hars January 10, 2011, 7:05 pm

    Round House
    I thought a round house was to kick around from a balanced weight into a kick from the back leg

  • kored January 27, 2011, 4:00 pm

    its wrong
    a roundhose is wen you hit with your shin, using your backleg, leading with your hip.

  • Tcat April 4, 2013, 8:52 am

    Thanks a lot man, I really wish we had MMA gyms in my area or Boxing/Kickboxing but there’s nothing, I live in eastern KY so there’s not much of anything… Thanks for the tips.

Leave a Comment