Master the Mawashi Geri in Karate


The Mawashi Geri

The Mawashi Geri, also known as Roundhouse kick and can also be called Round kick is both deadly and beautiful. Landing a round kick will have adverse effects on any opponent, and it is one of the four basic kicks you learn when you start. It may take a little time to practice the kick with good technique, but it’s worth it in the long run. The Mawashi Geri is particularly useful in combination with other strikes.

  • In this article, we will study and analyze useful details of this kick, we will learn some versions and their proper execution. We will also go through a step-by-step guide, recommendations, and how to use it in self-defense techniques.

Different Mawashi Geri

I have found several Mawashi Geri Kick versions in my years of training, the ones that I think are very useful are here:

  • The Full Roundhouse Kick
  • The Round Kick
  • The Downward Roundhouse Kick
  • The Drop Roundhouse Kick
  • The low Roundhouse Kick
  • The Jumping Roundhouse Kick
  • The Crossing Roundhouse Kick

These are the kicks, if you make small modifications on these kicks then you will have new ones, add a few foot maneuvers and they will be unstoppable.

The Mawashi geri or roundhouse kic

Mawashi Geri Step by Step

  1. Get started on your fighting stance with your hands up.
  2. Shift your weight to your left leg or supporting leg then lift your other leg.
  3. Your ankle should be next to your knee.
  4. Pivot on the ball of your other foot to deliver the kick.
  5. Extend your leg till you reach the desired target.
  6. Return your foot to the ground and get back to your fighting stance.

Adding Power to your Mawashi Geri

It is important to know that to give power to your kick you have to be aligned, you have to know how to transfer the force generated and transfer it effectively. It is also very important to work the elasticity of the lower back, hips, and legs. When you kick it uses the strength of the lower back and the inclination of your hip. This is the formula for a strong kick:

  • Alignment + muscle strength + lower back + hip + Kiai

Blocking and Stopping a Mawashi Geri

To block and stop this kick is not as difficult as it seems, there are ways to cancel the attack, decrease the power if you can not stop it, and also use them to your advantage. Consider these options:

  • Always move around your opponent, and remember that a moving target is harder to reach.
  • You can shorten the distance when your opponent wants to kick, remember that to kick you need space, if you do not have it you can not.
  • Always keep your guard up and your elbows protecting your ribs, if your opponent tries to kick you in the middle section, you might move and he might kick your elbow.
  • Counterattack immediately when he tries to kick you, so his attack can not continue because he will be forced to defend himself.
  • When your opponent kicks all his weight is on one leg, it is a very good opportunity to sweep the leg.

How to train your Mawashi Geri

There are many exercises to train Mawashi Geri, you can use pads, train with the bag, train with a partner holding targets. Here you can find some useful training exercises for this kick:

Now, just like the front kick, the round kick should never be delivered with the toes. The ball of your foot provides the most powerful shots, so when you kick your leg toward your goal, curl your toes up and deliver the blow with the ball of your foot. When you hit your target, pull back your leg as fast as you can. Keeping your leg outstretched too long allows it to be easily grabbed if your opponent recovers quickly. While kicking, most people like to keep their hands in a guarded position, allowing them to block if their opponent decides to attack the groin, and it creates stability.

To get more comfortable when kicking, work on your flexibility. Flexible legs allow for a wider range of round kicks. The Mawashi Geri should also not be used at the beginning of a fight, because many people do not have the quickness to land a kick before the opponent can make a move. Therefore, it is good to pair the Mawashi Geri with other strikes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Keep the leg elevated at all times. Dropping the leg hampers your technique and may make your round kick appear more like a front kick.

2. Do not swing your lower leg out to kick too soon, as this will make you lose power when it comes time to strike.

3. Keep your arms in a protected position. This will help protect you and maintain your balance.

  • The Mawashi Geri kick requires flexibility, speed, accuracy, and constant training. But flexibility is key because it can help you develop a unique ability to kick anywhere you want, I recommend you the following article I put together which can help you get impressive flexibility for all you kick, it’s called How to Do the Splits in Two Weeks or Less

Mawashi Geri Recommendations

  • Always keep your hands up
  • Always stretch your lower back, hips, and legs evenly
  • You need to transfer the power you generate when kicking otherwise your knee will absorb it
  • Aim with your knee to the target. It is essential to stretch and warm up before training your kicks.
  • Use the power of your hips to increase the kicking power. Lower yourself a little bit to be able to kick higher.

Karate Techniques

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