Which Martial Art Uses the Most Kicks? 5 Best Kicking Arts

Kicking skills are an important skill set to have in a fighting context as well as being a skill that just looks interesting to learn, so it’s no wonder that many martial arts include kicks as their main weapon. So I wanted to know which martial art uses the most kicks?

The martial arts that use the most kicks include Muay Thai, Capoeira, Taekwondo, Kickboxing, and Karate. These martial arts place a great emphasis on kicks and use them extensively in both training and sparring. Therefore, they’re the best options for anyone looking to develop their kicking skills.

This article will describe the best kicking arts and examples of their kicks. Read on for more information on these and tips on when to choose each one.

5 Best Martial Arts for Developing Kicking Skills

When it comes to kicking skills, there are a variety of martial arts that you can choose from. Each one has its unique benefits, so it’s important to find the right one for you.

If you are looking for the most powerful kicks available check out Which Martial Arts Kicks Are the Strongest? 3 Power Kicking Arts

Here are five of the best martial arts for developing kicking skills:

1. Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a form of martial arts that originates from Thailand. It uses punches, elbows, kicks, and knees – all of which can be used to deliver a devastating blow to an opponent. In addition, it’s an incredibly effective fighting style, and many practitioners have gone on to find success in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) competitions. Muay Thai is seen by many as the gold standard for training overall striking abilities in MMA.

Muay Thai practitioners use a variety of kicks, each of which can be used to deliver a powerful strike. Due to their effectiveness, Muay Thai kicks are often used in other disciplines, such as MMA and Kickboxing.

Here are some examples of Muay Thai kicks:

Roundhouse Kick

One of the most common Muay Thai kicks, the roundhouse kick is thrown with the lead leg and can be directed at an opponent’s head, body, or legs. This kick is often used to catch an opponent off-guard, as you can throw it from several angles.

Here’s a video demo of how to do a roundhouse kick in Muay Thai:

Side Kick

The side kick is a Muay Thai kick delivered with the back leg. You can use it to target an opponent’s midsection or legs. This kick is often used to create distance between you and your opponent or to set up other attacks.

Here’s a video demo of how to throw a side kick in Muay Thai:

Head Kick

As the name suggests, the head kick is a Muay Thai kick targeted at an opponent’s head. This is an incredibly powerful strike, and you can use it to knock an opponent out. The head kick is often used as a finishing move in Muay Thai matches.

Here’s a video demo of how to throw a head kick in Muay Thai:

When To Choose Muay Thai

If you are looking for a martial art that is both physically and mentally demanding, Muay Thai is worth considering. This discipline will push you to your limits and force you to dig deep physically and mentally. In addition, Muay Thai is an incredibly effective fighting style, and many practitioners have found success in MMA competition.

2. Capoeira

Capoeira is a martial art that originated in Brazil. It is known for its acrobatic and athletic movements, as well as its music and dance elements. While it is not directly intended for use in combat sports, this martial art gives its students the ability to develop rhythm, balance, and evasiveness which are all incredibly important in a combat context. In fact, the roda, which is an unchoreographed playful sparring activity is incredibly beneficial for developing evasiveness and rhythm.

Capoeira is a relatively new discipline developed in the early 20th century. However, it has quickly gained popularity worldwide, and there are now Capoeira schools in many different countries.

Capoeira practitioners use a variety of kicks, each of which can be used for different purposes. These kicks are often combined with other Capoeira movements, such as sweeps and takedowns.

Here are some examples of different Capoeira kicks and their purpose:

Meia Lua De Compasso (Compact Half-Moon Kick)

The Meia Lua de Compasso is a spinning kick often used to surprise an opponent or create distance between you and your opponent. You can use it to target an opponent’s head, body, or legs.

Here’s a video demo of how to do a Meia Lua de Compasso:

Martelo (Hammer Kick)

The Martelo is a kick that is delivered with the back leg. It is often used to target an opponent’s legs, but you can also use it to strike an opponent’s head or body. This kick is often used in combination with other Capoeira movements.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to do the Martelo:

When To Choose Capoeira

Capoeira is a great martial art for anyone who wants to learn something new and challenging that is more on the acrobatic and performing arts side of things. It is also a good option for those looking for a discipline that incorporates music and dance. 

However, because Capoeira is a relatively new martial art, it may not be suitable for those who are looking for a more traditional discipline.

3. Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a Korean traditional martial art known for focusing on kicks and striking. Taekwondo is one of the most popular martial arts globally, with millions of practitioners across different countries. Taekwondo is known for its long-range kicking and many techniques have been tried and tested successfully in an MMA context.

Taekwondo practitioners use a variety of kicks, each with a unique name and purpose. These kicks are often combined with other Taekwondo techniques, such as punches and blocks.

Here are some examples of different Taekwondo kicks and their purpose:

Front Kick (Ap Chagi)

The front kick is one of the most basic Taekwondo techniques. It is often used to target an opponent’s stomach or chest, but you can also use it to strike an opponent’s head.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to do a front kick:

Side Kick (Yeop Chagi)

The side kick is another basic Taekwondo technique. It is often used to target an opponent’s ribs or kidneys, but it can also be used to strike an opponent’s head.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to do a side kick in Taekwondo:

Roundhouse Kick (Dollyo Chagi)

The roundhouse kick is a more advanced Taekwondo technique. It is often used to target an opponent’s head, but you can also use it to strike an opponent’s body.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to do a roundhouse kick in Taekwondo:

When To Choose Taekwondo

Taekwondo is a great martial art for anyone who wants to learn self-defense or improve their fitness. It is also a good option for those looking to meet new people and make friends. However, because Taekwondo relies heavily on kicks, it may not be suitable for those who have joint problems or injuries.

4. Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a martial art that combines elements of boxing and kicking. It is a popular discipline among men and women, and is practiced worldwide. American kickboxing is a very effective overall combat discipline for building kicking competency in a striking context.

Kickboxing practitioners use a variety of kicks, each with a unique name and purpose. These kicks are often combined with other kickboxing techniques such as punches.

Here are some examples of different kickboxing kicks and their purpose:

Front Kick

The front kick is one of the most basic kickboxing techniques. It is often used to target an opponent’s stomach or chest, but it can also be used to strike an opponent’s head.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to throw a front kick in kickboxing:

Side Kick (Hook)

The side kick is another common kickboxing technique. It is often used to target an opponent’s ribs or kidneys, but it can also be used to strike an opponent’s head.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to throw a side kick in kickboxing:

Roundhouse Kick (Spinning Back Kick)

The roundhouse kick is a more advanced kickboxing technique. It is often used to target an opponent’s head, but you can also use it to strike an opponent’s body.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to throw a roundhouse kick in kickboxing:

When To Choose Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a great martial art for anyone who wants to learn self-defense or improve their fitness. It is also a good option for those looking to relieve stress and anxiety. However, because kickboxing can be quite physical, it may not suit those with joint problems or injuries.

5. Karate

Karate is a martial art that originated in Japan. It is a popular discipline among both men and women, and it is practiced worldwide. A high-quality Karate dojo can create a pretty formidable fighter with strong kicking capabilities.

Like other martial arts on this list, Karate offers practitioners a wide range of kicking techniques. These techniques are often combined with other Karate techniques, such as punches and blocks.

Here are some examples of different Karate kicks and their purpose:

Front Kick (Mae Geri)

The front kick is one of the most basic Karate techniques. It is often used to target an opponent’s stomach or chest, but it can also be used to strike an opponent’s head.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to throw a front kick in Karate:

Side Kick (Yoko Geri)

The side kick is another common Karate technique. It is often used to target an opponent’s ribs or kidneys, but you can also use it to strike an opponent’s head.

Here’s a video tutorial on how to throw a side kick in Karate:

Roundhouse Kick (Mawashi Geri)

The roundhouse kick is a more advanced Karate technique. It is often used to target an opponent’s head, but you can also use it to strike an opponent’s body.

Here’s a demo of how to throw a roundhouse kick in Karate:

When To Choose Karate

Karate is a great choice for anyone looking to improve their fitness and self-defense skills. It is also a good option for those looking to relieve stress and anxiety and join a typically more physically accessible laid back type of martial art.

Caveat: Karate can be quite easy or quite difficult in terms of physical demands. Finding the right school will be important to maximize your experience.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right discipline really depends on your overall goals. Muay Thai is probably the most combat effective discipline if you are looking to map a kicking-oriented martial art into your skillset. For somebody who needs something more accessible, Karate or Taekwondo will be a better choice. For people who have concerns with cost, it is fairly affordable to do cardio kickboxing at a local gym that might just be included in the cost of membership.

There are many types of martial arts that include a kicking component, and for somebody who is just looking to get some solid experience throwing kicks or just casually developing some kicking skills, any of these martial arts are great choices.

For more check out What Is Stronger a Punch or a Kick?

Andre

Hi, I'm Andre and I am the author of this website. I have always been fascinated with martial arts and train them as often as I can. I currently train primarily in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and train judo and wrestling as secondary martial arts. I help to coach a kid's grappling program that blends all three martial arts. I hope that you find the value that you are looking for in the articles on this website.

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