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How the Tornado Kick Can Improve your Sparring

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written by: Evan Geis

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There is one sport in the world known for its high flying, aerobatic, and spinning kicks. This is known as the sport of Olympic Style Tae Kwon Do.  TaeKwonDo utilizes simple kicks plus the spinning of your hips to generate forces well over a ton. One of the more famous spinning kicks is the tornado kick.

TornadoKickThe Tornado kick or 360 roundhouse kick can put a dent in any buddy’s day or their skull. This kick turns a simple round house kick into a train of force. The roundhouse kick comes in two variations.  It consists of the usage of either the front or back leg. The front leg round house kick or snapping round house kick uses the snapping motion of your leg horizontally to the ground while shifting the weight to the back leg for a quick sharp collision.

The back leg roundhouse kick is the power house. Not only does it involve the snapping, but it includes the 180 degree turn of the hips. The turning of the hips helps propel this kick to over one ton of force. Now the back leg roundhouse kick only harnesses 180 degrees of hip torque, now imagine the usage of all 360 degrees?

The execution of the perfect 360 round house kick consists of expert leg coordination and flexibility, and the ability to wind your hips up like a spring. Before I get into the explanation of the “How To” I need to point out that the Tornado kick itself comes in two different variations. There is a stationary version, but also one that allows advancing which is a plus for sparring.

How To Do A Tornado Kick

To start off this tornado, place which ever leg you desire to kick with in front while in guarding stance. Then step about half a foot over with your front foot. Next move your hips 90 degrees and bring your front foot onto the ball of your foot. Now pick up your non-kicking leg, while rotating your hips 180 degree; so you are now facing the front again with your foot in a chambered position. To execute the kick, simply perform a jumping back leg round house kick. Using your front foot for momentum and swinging your hips through while bringing your kicking leg up so your shin is parallel to the ground. Then perform the roundhouse kick. You should now be back in your beginning guarding stance.

Now how will this kick improve your sparring game? Well it’s very simple, spinning kicks are hard to predict and when they land home they can put an end to the match with a K.O. As I said before there are two variations, a stationary one and the advancing one. The stationary one is a great kick to use while in close because it allows you to create a large amount of force, without using a lot of space or projecting your move. The advancing one is by far my favorite sparring kick, and allows for a smooth stance transition. Instead of placing your kicking leg in front place it behind. Take an entire step forward so your kicking leg is in front, and you know what to do from there. Also a quick tip, if you need to close a lot of distance or your opponent is skittish. Perform an entire spin, but fake the roundhouse by just lifting your knee and then continue into your actual kick. This allows you to close the gap, and provide a fake to help score the point.

Tell me what think about this kick and how this kick has helped you in the comments below.


About Evan Geis

Evan Geis has written 3 post in this blog.

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Category | TaeKwonDo

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2 Comments For This Post

  1. SBN Audrey Gray Says:

    Great article. An excellent explanation of the how and why of the Tornado kick.

  2. Craig L. Says:

    One of the toughest kicks to pull off when sparring but it is by far the coolest looking! Good post on it

2 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. Taekwondo, MMA, & Anthony Pettis Says:

    [...] we will start out with his kidney slaying roundhouse kick. Almost all fighters accommodate this kick into their arsenal but, none of them hit harder then [...]

  2. Using The Spinning Heel Kick To Perfection Says:

    [...] few weeks ago Evan Gei wrote a fantastic article on the Taekwondo Tornado Kick. Another great kick that MMA has adopted from the Taekwondo style that you don’t see often is [...]

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