Master the Roundhouse Kick in Taekwondo

Master the Roundhouse Kick in Taekwondo

Roundhouse Kick

The Dollyo Chagi or roundhouse kick is one of the most famous kicks in Taekwondo is also one of the requirements in White Belt 8th Gup rank. This kick has several names, also called round kick, swinging kick, and turning kick.

Very important and highly used in sparring known for its extreme speed, force, and power. Keep in mind you need to control it because this kick generates a lot of power, you can get disqualified by excessive force so watch out.

Targets in the Roundhouse Kick

The Dollyo Chagi most common targets are:

  • The head.
  • The stomach.

But you can also aim to the knee, the floating ribs, kidneys, and groin if the attacker is sideways.

Roundhouse Kick Combinations

There are many possible combinations you can do, here we can mention:

  • Jumping Roundhouse Kick
  • Crossing Roundhouse Kick
  • Skipping Roundhouse Kick
  • Roundhouse with your front leg
  • Roundhouse with your back leg

Blocking a Roundhouse kick in Taekwondo

The taekwondo roundhouse kick, known as the Dollyŏ Chagi, is performed first by stretching the knee upward in a “chamber” position. This chamber, identical to the chamber of many taekwondo kicks (front kick, sidekick, etc.) is used so that the opponent cannot guess which kick he will throw. The knee is then rotated so that it is almost parallel to the ground and the kicking hip is simultaneously rotated towards the opponent. The rotation of the hip, combined with the snapping of the leg forward, adds power to the kick. The impact surface is the instep or the ball of the foot.

Roundhouse Kick or Dollyo Chagi Step by Step

  • Start on your fighting stance with your hands up.
  • Lift your rear leg and aim your target with your knee.
  • Pivot your supporting foot to get a better foundation when kicking.
  • Now stretch your leg to kick your target.
  • Now land your feet keeping the fighting stance.

Throwing the Roundhouse Kick

The roundhouse kick can also be thrown from the rear leg towards the target and hit with the lower shin or instep. This method consists of giving a quick blow to the opponent before he sees it coming. The kick swings and then breaks in front of the practitioner to give it more power and speed.

First, again, you want to stay in the right leg back position. Again, you don’t have to always be in a right leg back. You can switch your stances, whichever you want. I’m going to demonstrate with the right leg first.


  • Make sure you know your limits when kicking, don’t kick higher than you can get because you can fall
  • Always aim your target with the knee and keep your chamber to not reveal your final kick
  • Keep your hands up at all times to protect yourself

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a roundhouse kick effective?
A properly executed roundhouse kick can be devastating if executed properly besides it is not recommended to block it because you will absorb the traveling power. But if you add the hip and align to your target in time then you might KO your opponent.
What muscles are used in a roundhouse kick?
You use everything from your lower back, hips, and leg muscles. Hamstrings for the extension, gluteus medius, and gluteus minimus for the abduction. When pivoting you use your femoris, iliopsoas, tensor fascia latae.

How to block a Dollyo Chagi ?

There are several ways to block a Roundhouse Kick, these are just a few to mention:

  • Using a Side block
  • Lifting your knee
  • Counter attacking with a middle punch as soon as he lifts his leg
  • Stepping to the side out of the line of attack
  • Shorting the distance as soon as the attacker tries to lift his leg

***Important, if you are sparring make sure you move around your opponent change your fighting stance, this will make you unpredictable. Remember a target that moves is harder to hit.***

How can I improve my stretching? I want to kick higher.

Kicking higher is possible but you will not only need to stretch your legs but your entire body. Because when you kick your entire body has to adjust to a new posture to allow one leg to reach the target while the other holds your entire weight.

To kick higher you must stretch your lower back, hips, torso, and legs. Here is a great full-body stretching session that can help you kick higher.

Taekwondo Techniques

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