High roundhouse kick (jodan mawashi geri)
The roundhouse kick (Mawashi Geri) is one of the most popular of the karate kicks. It can be used to attack at any level from the knee to the head. When performed correctly, the roundhouse kick can be devastatingly fast and effective in strikes to the ribs and head. In sparring tournaments, many knock-outs are the result of a good roundhouse kick to the head.
How to perform a high roundhouse kick (jodan mawashi geri)
- Begin by standing in a middle front stance (Han Zenkutsu Dachi). A strong stance is particularly important for a good kick as you must have a stable platform from which to launch your kick.
- Propel the knee forward by using your toes and heel like a spring. Once the knee points at the target, snap the leg forward from the knee. You can give the kick power by rotating your hip and your support leg. Strike the target with the ball of the foot. For strikes to the neck or thigh you can use the instep with toes pointed down.
- Practice your roundhouse kicks low until you perfect them before you attempt the higher kicks.
The video clip shows Sensei Terry Lyon (5th Dan) performing high roundhouse kick (jodan mawashi geri).
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High roundhouse kick (jodan mawashi geri): points to remember
- The rotation of the hips with the roundhouse kick turns the body toward the attacker. Do not turn your body and then kick, as this would telegraph your move to your opponent.
- Try to remain upright and avoid leaning back or to the side.
- Keep your guard up as you kick to protect your head against a counter-attack.