Types of Kicks: A List of Kicks From Different Martial Arts

Types of Kicks

Within the martial arts world, there are many fighting forms that throw different types of kicks. From all of these different self-defense styles, many often ask, how many types of kicking techniques exist within them?

To give you an idea, we’ve compiled a list of kicks from the most known striking martial arts. Check out the list below and see the various types of kicks that are used within different martial arts.

How Many Types of Kicks are There in Martial Arts?

Between the different fighting styles, there’s around a hundred types of kicks used within martial arts. Each striking art that uses different types of kicks that differ from the other styles.

Many styles also use the same types of kicks, but each have technical differences for how they’re executed. It’s nearly impossible to list all of the types and sub variants of kicking techniques that exist.

Karate Kicks 

The Japanese striking art of Karate has some of the most vast kicking techniques of all striking martial arts. Within the numerous variations of Karate, there are dozens of different kicking techniques. Here are some of the basic types of kicks performed within all forms of Karate.

  • Mae Geri (Front Kick) Yoko Geri (Sidekick)
  • Mawashi Geri (Roundhouse Kick)
  • Ushiro Geri (Back Kick) 
  • Hiza Geri (Knee Kick) 
  • Fumikomi Geri (Stomping Kick) 
  • Kaiten Geri (Rolling Kick)
  • Kakato Oshi Geri (Ax Kick)
  • Hiza Jodan Mae Geri (Front Knee Kick To The Head) 
  • Soto Mawashi Gari (Outside Roundhouse Kick) 
  • Uchi Mawashi Gari (Inside Roundhouse Kick) 
  • Yoko Mawashi Geri (Side Roundhouse Kick) 
  • Mae Ashi Geri (Front Foot Kick)
  • Tobi Geri (Jumping Kick) 
  • Ura Mawashi Gari (Spin Hook Kick) 
  • Ushiro Mawashi Geri (Back Roundhouse Knee Kick) 
  • Yoko Kekomi Geri (Side Thrust Kick) 
  • Yoko Geri Keage (Side Snap Kick) 
  • Yoko Kekomi Kaiten Geri (Side Thrust Turning Kick)
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Muay Thai Kicks

Muay Thai Push Kick Teep

Muay Thai is known as one of the best striking martial arts in the world. All of the types of kicks used within Thai boxing are simple, yet some of the most effective kicks ever created. Here is a sample of the different types of kicks used within the art of Muay Thai.

  • Chok (โจม): Straight Kick 
  • Chong (โจ้ง): Diagonal Kick 
  • Chud (ชูด): Front Kick
  • Dtaa (ต้า): Roundhouse Kick
  • Dtui (ตุ๋ย): Swing Kick 
  • Fak (ฟัก): Heel Kick
  • Fad Hang (ฟัดหาง): Rear Leg Push Kick
  • Khao (เข่า): Knee Strike
  • Te (เต๋า): Teep Kick or Foot Thrust
  • Ti Thok (ทีทก):Jumping kick
  • Te Tad: Sidekick
  • Tae Chiang: Question Mark Kick
  • Tae Khao: Axe Kick
  • Tae Klap Lang: Wheel Kick

Taekwondo Kicks

Taekwondo is known for being a martial art that consists of numerous types of kicks. Around 70-80% of the Korean martial art consists of different kicking techniques. 

Here is a list of the most basic types of kicks practiced within the art of Taekwondo. (Note: The names of these kicks are also used within the Korean martial arts of Hapkido and Kuk Sool Won.)

  • Ap Chagi (앞 차기): Front Kick
  • Bandal Chagi (발차기): Crescent Kick
  • Dollyeo Chagi (돌려 차기): Turning Kick
  • Dwit Chagi (뒷 차기): Back Kick
  • Huryeo Chagi (후려 차기): Hook Kick 
  • Meereo Chagi (메레 차기): Push Kick
  • Naeryeo Chagi (내려 차기): Downward Kick 
  • Twimyo Ap Chagi (투표 앞 차기): Jumping Front Kick
  • Twimyo Dollyeo Chagi (투표 돌려 차기): Jumping Turning Kick 
  • Twimyo Yop Chagi (투표 옆 차기): Jumping Side Kick 
  • Yop Chagi (옆 차기): Sidekick
  • An Chagi (안 차기): Inside Kick
  • Bakat Chagi (바깥 차기): Outside Kick
  • Bituro Chagi (비투로 차기): Flying Kick 
  • Dwichuk Chagi (뒤축 차기): Twist Kick
  • Koa Chagi (괴차기): Axe Kick 
  • Nulleo Chagi (눌러 차기): Stomp Kick 
  • Yop Taergi (옆 태리기): Side Piercing Kick 
  • An Taergi (안 태리기): Inside Piercing Kick 
  • Bakat Taergi (바깥 태리기): Outside Piercing Kick
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Kung Fu(Wushu) Kicks 

Kung Fu Wushu Kicks 

Kung Fu or Wushu are blanket terms used for various Chinese martial arts. There are numerous Chinese striking martial arts and sub-styles that use different types of kicks.

It is almost impossible to name all of the different kicking techniques that are used within these Kung Fu styles. To give you a hint of how many kicks exist, here are the most known kicks used within different Kung Fu styles.

  • Front Kick (Ti)
  • Sidekick (Tui)
  • Roundhouse Kick (Deng Jiao)
  • Hook Kick (Gou)
  • Sweeping Kick (Saai Tui)
  • Stomp Kick (Deng Tui)
  • Axe Kick (Fu Jiao)
  • Crescent Kick (Yue Jiao)
  • Spinning Back Kick (Zhuan Ti Deng Jiao)
  • Flying Kick (Fei Tui)
  • Knee Strike (Xi Jiao)
  • Heel Kick (Zhui Jiao)
  • Crane Kick (He Jiao)
  • Snake Kick (She Jiao)
  • Leopard Kick (Bao Jiao)
  • Eagle Claw Kick (Ying Zhao Jiao)
  • Tiger Tail KickT (Hu Wei Jiao)
  • Dragon Tail Kick (Long Wei Jiao)
  • Lotus Kick (Lian Hua Jiao)
  • Monkey Kick (Hou Jiao)

Savate Kicks 

Savate or French kickboxing is an effective striking martial art with over 300 years of history. French sailors learned different striking styles, while sailing around Asia and created  their own fighting style.

The martial art includes a variety of kicking techniques within its teachings. Here are the basic types of kicks used within Savate.

  • Fouette (Whip/Roundhouse Kick): The “Fouette ” or “whip” is the savate style roundhouse kick. 
  • Chasse Lateral: Sidekick
  • Chasse Frontal: Front Kick 
  • Chasse Figure: High Kick 
  • Chasse Median: Medium Kick
  • Chasse Bas: Low Kick 
  • Revers: Reverse or Hooking Kick
  • Coup de Pied Bas: Low Sweeping Kick 
  • Coup de Pied Sauté (Jumping Kick) – Any kick executed while jumping, adding momentum and power to the strike.

Capoeira Kicks

Capoeira Kicks

The Brazilian dancing/fighting art of Capoeira is known for its powerful kicking techniques. All of the kicks are hidden behind dancing moves that not only hides them, but makes them more powerful. Here are the different types of kicks used within the art of Capoeira.

  • Meia Lua de Frente: Front Half Moon Kick
  • Meia Lua de Compasso: Compass Half Moon Kick
  • Armada: Spinning Kick
  • Martelo: Hammer Kick
  • Queixada: Swinging Head Kick 
  • Chapa: Sidekick
  • Benção: Blessing Kick
  • Rasteira: Sweeping Kick
  • Au: Cartwheel Kick
  • Negativa: Low Kick/ Sweep Kick from a Low Position
  • Armada Dupla: Double Spinning Kick
  • Ponteira: Straight Forward Kick 
  • Bebel: Scissor Kick
  • Au Sem Mão: One-Handed Cartwheel Kick
  • Pisão: Stomp Kick 
  • Martelo de Negativa : Hammer Kick from a Low Position
  • Cabeçada: Headbutt Kick 
  • Queixada de Costas: Back Head Kick
  • Macacao: Monkey Kick 
  • Ponteira Dupla: Double Straight Forward Kick
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Pencak Silat

The Southern Asian art of Pencak Silat is one of the most complete martial arts practiced in the world. Along with various weapon and grappling training, Pencak Silat also includes different kicking techniques. Here are the different types of kicks used within Pencak Silat.

  • Tendangan Depan: Front Kick
  • Tendangan Samping: Sidekick
  • Tendangan Belakang: Back Kick
  • Tendangan Lurus: Straight Kick 
  • Tendangan Punggung: Heel Kick 
  • Tendangan Lompat: Jumping Kick
  • Tendangan Melengkung: Curved Kick 
  • Tendangan Pusing: Spinning Kick
  • Tendangan Siksak: Zigzag Kick
  • Tendangan Goyang: Swinging Kick 
  • Tendangan Pisau: Knife Kick
  • Tendangan Jepit: Pinching Kick 
  • Tendangan Sikut: Elbow Kick 
  • Tendangan Pukul Mata: Eye Strike Kick 
  • Tendangan Goyang Angin: Wind Swinging Kick 

Kalaripayattu

The Indian art of Kalaripayattu is one of the world’s oldest martial arts that is still practiced today. It is also one of the most complete martial arts that includes various strikes, grappling, and weapons techniques. Here are the different types of kicks used within Kalaripayattu.

  • Uzhichil (ഉഴിച്ചിൽ) : Straight Kick
  • Chuvadu (ചുവാടു) : Circular Kick
  • Pidi (പിടി) : Low Kick
  • Chathara (ചതര): High Kick
  • Thalukku (തലുക്ക്): Backward Kick
  • Pidiyari (പിടിയാറി): Jumping Kick
  • Thalangu (തലങ്ങു): Rolling Kick
  • Kapitta (കപിട്ട): Slanting Kick
  • Thalattu (തലാട്ട്): Spin Kick
  • Mozhi (മൊഴി): Whip Kick
  • Pidi Thiri (പിടി തിരി): Sidekick
  • Nokku Thiri (നോക്ക് തിരി): Turning Kick
  • Tirra (തിറ്റ): Angular Kick
  • Padakku (പടക്ക്): Thrusting Kick
  • Otta Thiri (ഒട്ട തിരി): Knee Kick