wiki – Twisting Kick

Martial Arts Twist Kick

This page will help you learn how to do a Twist Kick (or Twisting Kick). This kick is also known as an Inverted Roundhouse Kick.

The twist kick is used in martial arts such as TaekwondoKarate, etc. A twisting kick requires greater flexibility than a traditional kick. This kick moves diagonally in-to-out in order to strike versus vertically (i.e. axe kick), laterally (i.e. roundhouse kick) or in an arc (i.e. crescent kick). In Taekwondo, a twist kick is known as Bituro Chagi. In Karate, a high twist kick is known as Jodan Uchi Haisoku Geri (or Jodan Uchi Heisoku Geri).

The twist kick is a very unusual kick in the martial arts pantheon. The twist kick is one of the only kicks that uses a turned out hip position. To perform a technically correct twist kick the entire rotation of the kick must come from the hip. If the ankle or knee become involved in the rotation, those joints could sustain damage.

For instructions on different martial arts kicks, please visit the main Kicking Techniques section.

Instructions for Twisting Kick

1. Lift kicking leg as if doing a fully chambered front kick
2. Rotate leg outward from the hip as much as possible
3. Maintain rotation and straighten the leg striking with the foot on extension
4. Retract foot still turned out
5. Return foot to the ground.

When performing a twist kick you can strike with either the ball of the foot or the instep of the foot. Which you use depends on your target and purpose. An instep strike is often called a pad kicking strike where as a ball of the foot strike is often called a board breaking strike. If you have a broad open vulnerable target then the instep might be a good choice. If you have a smaller, harder target that might have some obstacle near it that you want to avoid might necessitate a ball of the foot strike.

A twist kick can be thrown at any level or angle that a practitioner can reach with his/her flexibility. A low section twist kick can be thrown to the ankle, knee, or upper leg nerve. A mid section twist kick can be thrown to the groin, bladder, floating ribs, solar plexus, or kidney. A high section twist kick can target the shoulder, neck, face, or head. Depending on flexibility a twist kick can strike in front of you, behind you, or next to you at any level.

There are many variations on the twist kick including checking, hooking, thrusting, and striking. A checking twist kick can be used to push a budding kick aside before it has a chance to gain momentum. A hooking twist kick can wrap around an extended leg or fist to alter its course or act as a platform for another kick. ITF pattern Ju Che utilizes a hooking twist kick on move #8 and #22. A thrusting twist kick can push an opponent off balance by coming in from a toe to toe fighting stance while exerting pressure on the full facing side of the body. This thrusting kick is not a fast strike but a fast hit followed by continued pressure before the rechamber. A striking twist kick is a fast strike designed to damage or cause pain to ones target or cause pain

A common mistake people make when throwing a twist kick (or many kicks) is rising up on their standing foot to a tip toe/ball of the foot/demi point position. If one reduces one’s surface support area one reduces one’s stability. If you are already on one leg to strike a target you have already reduced your support base by half. Why would you reduce it further when it is not necessary. When throwing a twist kick keep your standing foot flat on the floor.

Instructional Video on the Taekwondo Twisting Kick (second half of video)

Karate’s Jodan Uchi Haisoku Geri

Instructional Video on the Taekwondo Twisting Kick

Instructional Video on the Taekwondo Twisting Kick

References Sources

  1. Written instructions from Simon, Northampton Martial Arts, http://www.northamptonmartialarts.com/, Added – 03/02/15

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