Ura Mawashi Geri – Hook Kick

This is Ura Mawashi Geri – Back Roundhouse Kick

Here we will study variants, proper execution, application, of the hook kick also known as Ura Mawashi Geri in Karate. It has been said that this kick is not that powerful at all, but it is, it all depends on how is done. You can kick with your front leg, back leg, jumping and much more.

The Ura Mawashi Geri is a powerful kick you can use in sparring and in the street for self defense purposes. The first has to be controlled enough just to touch and not hurt your opponent, otherwise you can get disqualified in Kumite. The second one can reach many targets and cause a lot of damage.

Where to kick your Ura Mawashi Geri?

There are several targets available, for Kumite WKF style then would be the side of the head which will score you the winning points. In Self defense this kick can go to calf of the front leg, to the kidneys, ribs, stomach, back of the head, nose and eve the groin.

Ura Mawashi Geri variations

  • Front leg Ura Mawashi
  • Back leg Ura Mawashi
  • Spin Back Hook Kick
  • Jumping Hook Kick
  • Hand on the Floor Hook Kick
  • Drop Hook Kick
  • Jumping Spin Back Hook Kick

Doing Ura Mawashi Geri Step by step

  • Start on your sparring stance.
  • Lift your back leg and bring your knee up.
  • Align your body keeping your hands up.
  • Execute your kicking in a circular motion.
  • Go back to your sparring stance.

How to train your Ura Mawashi Geri? Here you go!

How to train the Hook Kick or Ura Mawashi Geri?

It is very important to transfer the force you generate with every kick, you can use pads, targets, heavy bags and many other available training equipment. Keep in mind you need to properly warm up and stretch your entire body, mostly from your lower back, hips, and legs. A very good training routine to increase your flexibility is here: How to Do the Splits in Two Weeks or Less

Adding Power to your Ura 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

How to counter / block the Ura Mawashi Geri

Please consider the follow to counter and block this kick:

  • Move around your opponent, always move because it will get harder for your opponent to hit you and kick you.
  • Shorten the distance when he moves a foot, because he might try to deliver a kick and when he tried you can take him down.


  • Use you hips to increase speed and power.
  • You must always need to raise your knee and align your body before kicking.
  • Keep your hands up all the time.

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