The Tornado Kick in Taekwondo

Master the Tornado Kick in Taekwondo

The Tornado Kick also known as Dolgae Chagi

The tornado kick is a powerful and devastating move highly used in sparring but requires flexibility, speed, and timing. You are required to stretch properly to achieve a full range of motion to accurately make contact and get your point in a competition.

You will not see this kick in a form or Poomsae but you will surely find it in sparring.

Here you will learn how to properly execute this Tornado Kick, kick targets, how to increase power on this kick, tips, and recommendations.

It is very important to have your toes together when kicking to avoid injuries because we are talking about small tendons, muscles, and ligaments that can get hurt very easily.

  • For this kick to be effective you need to have speed and precision. You have to mix and match the jump with the turn to be able to connect at the right moment.

Tornado Kick Targets

The most common target would be the stomach, but it can also be the head. Because this move creates a lot of power it can KO the opponent, which is why you must be careful with it. This kick is powerful even if you try to block it or absorb it, because it can break your arm or forearm.

  • The best way to train this kick is with a partner holding a pad. This will help you correct mistakes, improve your ability to jump and turn at the same time; also improve your timing when you kick.
  • Rotate training partners, because you need to adjust yourself to train with different training partners, so when you face someone new in sparring you don’t feel unsure about how to proceed.

Benefits of this kick

  • In sparring can be a very versatile kick and get you decisive points in your fight.
  • In open sparring, tournaments can provide you three points if you kick the head.
  • Is a great kick for counterattacking, but has to be executed as soon as your opponent finishes his kick.
  • Kicking the stomach with this kick can end the sparring match right away and you win for technical KO.
  • If you kick the head and add too much force to it you might be disqualified for excessive force.

Tornado Kick Step by Step

Before working on your Tornado kick you need to warm up and stretch from your lower back all the way down. A warm-up session of 10 minutes and 10 minutes of stretching would be perfect.

  • On your fighting stance turn backward by pivoting your front leg. This is the most important part of the kicking technique because if it is done properly the rest will follow. Keep your arms close to your body to ease the turn.

  • Keep turning and lifting your back knee at the same time. As you turn you must lean back a little bit allowing your hip to move forward, this will increase the power of the kick and allow you to reach your target.

  • Now switch to your other leg and kick stepping forward with your roundhouse kick and connect. When you land keep your hands up and be ready for a second kick if necessary. When you finish the kick be ready with your fighting stance and always keep your hands up.

How can I add power to my Tornado Kick?

To add power to this kick it is necessary to use the strength of the lower back plus the strength of the hips. Push your hips inwards, when you do this the lower back adds to the movement increasing the force of the movement. In addition, the hip always adds a few centimeters or extra inches that can help you reach your target.

Lastly, you can add your “kiai” or martial art scream to add more power to the kick.

Now watch the following video to help you master this kicking technique.


  • Put one foot behind your body to float into the air, and as you are in the air halfway, step forward, then turn backward and kick with the other foot.
  • The important point in this movement is the movement of your core.
  • While in the air, you must keep your balance until the kick is finished.
  • To attack effectively, you should sustain your kick as long as you can.
  • Consider having a second kicking technique right after the tornado kick, because most competitors deliver 1 kick and then retreat.
  • Do not practice this kick in the air, because the power of the kick has to be transferred otherwise your knee will absorb the pressure.
  • It is important to find your distance, not too far and not too close.
  • If you would like to use this kick in a competition you need to have good timing, practice your spin, and keep your hands up.
  • Keep your hands up all the time, if you drop your hands then when you land your opponent will have an opening.
  • You are required to have decent stretching abilities.

Common Questions about the Tornado Kick

Are tornado kicks really effective or not?
The tornado kick is very effective and distracting at the same time to an opponent. When facing a tornado kicking in motion, it is very difficult to assess where the kick is coming from, this makes the kick very hard to evade. As you turn your kick gets more speed and when you make contact you transfer all that speed and power onto your opponent.

Is the Tornado Kick available in other Martial Arts?

Yes, it can also be available in Tang Soo Do which is a Korean Martial Art, but not all schools might have it on the system. You can also find the tornado kick in other martial art styles like Karate, but it would depend on the instructor.

Keep in mind that many martial art practitioners like this kicking technique and might add it to their current training even if they do not have it in their current martial art training program.

How can I improve my Tornado Kick?

A good way to improve your Tornado Kick would be by doing the turn first, then step by step adding the next move. Then practice everything in long-distance and then short distance, set the desired target, and go from there. Remember to work on quality over quantity, and set your own goals.

Do I need to do the splits to do this Kick?

You do not need to do the split for this kick. It is highly recommended to stretch your hip, lower back, and legs for this kick because they all work together. Your hips will add power to this kick.

  • If you would like to increase your flexibility, then you would love a step-by-step article with proven exercises that I have been doing that really work, because yes I can do the splits and you can do it too, here they are: How to Do the Splits in Two Weeks or Less

How can I block the Tornado Kick?

If you are sparring and your opponent is a really good kicker the best option is not to give him room to kick. Remember to execute a kick you need to have enough room to lift your knee and then extend your leg.

Move around your opponent and get closer when you notice he will try to kick, this will stop him on the spot because he will need room to do it.

The Tornado Kick is one the most effective available in Taekwondo, it can provide lots of damage if used properly and it should be part of the arsenal of every Taekwondo student. Make sure you review each step to master it and share it with anyone who might need it.

Can you use the same motion and change the kick at the end?

You could but the kick will not be as powerful as the tornado kick, you could use an outside inside crescent kick, but if you miss the target you might lose your balance and your opponent will have an opening to attack.

Taekwondo Techniques

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