Jumping kicks were traditionally used in battle to dismount attacking horsemen. In modern day Taekwondo, a jumping kick can be used to evade an incoming strike and retaliate simultaneously. Alternatively, it can be used to quickly gains distance and strike an opponent who was previously out of range. The drawback is that leaping in the air makes the kicker unstable and easy to topple. This is why you are unlikely to see jumping kicks used in full contact ring bouts. They are fairly common under standard ITF matches, however, where contact counts and KOs are less likely.
- Jumping Front Kick - Ddiuh Apchagi is the same as a standard front kick except the kick is performed in mid-air.
- Jumping Roundhouse Kick - Ddiuh Dollyo Chagi requires the practitioner to initiate his turn as he leaves the ground, a roundhouse kick is then performed mid air. It is useful to counter an opponent who moves forwards to attack as he can be evaded and kicked in the side of the head as he rushes in.
- Jumping Side Kick - Ddiuh Yup Chagi is the most famous Taekwondo jumping kick. To be used as a horse dismounting kick the practitioner would need to step or run forwards before leaping in the air, turning sideways and thrusting his leading leg forward with the entire weight of his body travelling behind it. Stationary Jumping Side Kicks are often used to bring a rapid halt to an opponents rush attack.
- Jumping Double Back Kick - Ddiuh Dui Chagi is a near suicidal flying side kick which engages both legs to strike the opponent. This is a very advanced Taekwondo kick as you have to reach a considerable height in order to be able to extend both legs completely sideways, strike and land back on your feet in a single jump.
- Jumping Two Directional Kick - Twimyo Sangbang Chagi is an extremely advanced Taekwondo kick designed to simultaneously incapacitate two attackers located either side of the practitioner. Leaping into the air, the lead leg executes a front twisting kick while the slightly trailing leg performs a side kick in the opposite direction. The resulting side splits position requires great flexibility and optimum timing.
- Jumping Three Directional Kick - Twimyo Sambang Chagi is a progression from the two directional version. Upon completion of the two simultaneous kicks, the first leg returns to kick forwards in a roundhouse kick before both feet land on the floor again.
- Reflex Kick - Balsa Chagi is a stunning acrobatic kick unique to Korean Martial Arts. Reminiscent of a scene from the Matrix, the practitioner runs up to a wall and leaping, plants one high foot on the wall, extending this he boosts away from the wall towards his opponent now with accelerated height and power and lashes out with the other leg. This kick can be performed on any stationary object such as trees or even the chest of a particularly large opponent. As it involves a rapid change of direction, it can be used as a trap where the kicker may seem to be running away.
Taekwondo spinning jump kicks are very advanced and complex movements. They involve a high level of risk for the kicker and the kicked and are banned from many Taekwondo tournaments. Nevertheless they are fun to practice and can deliver a decisive blow to an unwary opponent. Check out this Taekwondo Tornado Kick to see what we mean!