What is the Best Kicking Martial Arts? | All You Need to Know

There are many martial arts that use kicks to strike effectively.

In this page, we'll go over the best kicking martial arts, and explain how their unique curriculum provides students with the most advanced kicks.

best kicking martial arts

Table of Contents

Taekwondo is The Best Kicking Martial Art

Taekwondo is a Korean based martial arts that emphasizes a variety of kicks, including head kicks, fast kicking techniques, and even spinning kicks.

This martial art has one of the most diverse skills sets, as far as kicks go, as every class focuses on unique ways for students to work on their kicks.

kicking taekwondo

The focused areas can include kicks focused on speed, power, and equilibrium.

Students will learn every different kick as they progress through ranks, and the higher the rank, the tougher the curriculum.


Drills are isolated situations, where students can work on specific techniques.

There are different kicking drills that can include having students strike targets, and others where students strike air.

taekwondo drills

During these drills, you'll work on kicks while you're in one place over and over again.

You'll also work on kicking while moving forward, and kicking while moving backwards, as well as spinning.

When practicing with a target, depending on the drill, you can work on speed, or pure power.


A form is a prearranged set of martial arts techniques that is useful in developing coordination, interval training, as well as mental toughness.

taekwondo forms

It is essentially a coordinated set of techniques, invented by a master.

In these forms, there are a variety of moves that will be performed where students will move forwards and backwards, while using strikes from both their hands and feet, as well as different stances.

Forms do a great job of implementing the drilling techniques, and forcing students to use them at an exact time, in a certain situation.

For example, using a reverse/spin side kick while staying in the same place once you finish the technique.

This means that you will have to put just enough power for it to be effective, while maintaining balance.

Too much power and you'll lose balance, not enough power, and it'll be ineffective.

Board Breaks

Breaking boards, whether they are wooden boards, or reusable plastic boards is a common practice in Taekwondo.

board breaks

The only way either board can break are when they are hit precisely in the center.

This is a perfect way to test a student's accuracy while doing basic movements, as well as advanced movements.


Sparring is where all of the prior skills that were developed and worked on, are finally put to the test.

taekwondo sparring

Students are able to use their arsenal of strikes against another live opponent, who is trying to do the same to them.

In live sparring, students will use their front kicks, roundhouse kicks, spinning crescent kicks, spin/reverse side kicks, in both the body and the head area.

However, they will come to find out that they will need fantastic timing, great technique, and an understanding of distance in order to land these strikes.

In sparring, students will understand distance control, as well as the mental side of the game.

Students will understand what strikes an opponent can do from a certain stance, what they can do when they're backing up, moving forward.

Once they understand, they can begin to use this knowledge to predict what their opponent will do.

Taekwondo Tournament Scoring

Taekwondo tournaments are unique in their scoring system, as essentially whoever lands the first clean strike gets rewarded.

It is a point striking system, that doesn't necessarily reward power, but mainly just speed and precision.

It it only up to 5 points per match, and it's broken down below.

  • One point with a strike to the body
  • Two points with a jumping kick to the body
  • Two points with a kick to the head
  • Three points with a jumping kick to the head

Compared to tournaments in other martial arts where students are able to brawl, this type of tournament format creates the need for students to be extremely technical.

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