Learn Taekwondo Moves & Techniques

Learn how to do Taekwondo with free video lessons from Howcast. In this guide, we’ll help you learn essential Taekwondo moves and techniques. Let’s go!

Closed & Open Stance in Taekwondo

When learning taekwondo, it’s important to have a good understanding of a closed stance vs. an open stance. This is because your stance impacts every other aspect of your taekwondo techniques. Stance is also what helps you prepare for any opponent you could possibly face.

  • In a closed stance, your stomach is facing the opposite way of your opponent’s stomach.
  • In an open stance, your stomach is facing the same way.

Now, stance tends to matter most when it comes to a person’s preferred side (i.e. whether they’re a righty or a leftie). For example, if you’re a left-legged fighter, you may find it advantageous to fight using an open stance.

The stance you take during a fight depends on a number of factors. For more information on what to think about and what to look for, watch Howcast’s video at the beginning of this section. Expert Jason Ok explains the basics in more detail.

How to Do a Front Kick

Now that you understand what a good taekwondo stance looks like, it’s time to learn one of the most popular taekwondo moves: the front kick.

Here are the basics:

  • Start in your fighting stance.
  • Now get your preferred kicking leg off the ground, knee bent and pointed up. Make sure your knee is at a ninety-degree angle.
  • From that position, kick your leg out.
  • As soon as you’ve kicked, bring your foot back and place it back on the ground in your fighting stance (either in front or behind you).

Once you feel comfortable with the basic movements, you can try practicing with a target. To see how the front kick should look, watch Jason Ok in Howcast’s tutorial video.

How to Do a Roundhouse Kick

The roundhouse kick is a powerful move in taekwondo, and once you’ve mastered the front kick, it’s really simple.

Here’s a breakdown:

  • Start in your fighting stance.
  • Pick up your leg and bend your knee like you did for the front kick.
  • Now you’re going to pivot. This means that you spin all the way to the other side using the foot still on the ground.
  • Once your opponent is in range, snap kick.
  • Bring your foot back in and place it on the ground.

Like with the front kick, it’s a good idea to practice this taekwondo move with a target or partner. To see how a pro does it, watch Jason Ok in Howcast’s video at the top of this section.

How to Do a Side Kick

The side kick is almost like a continuation of the roundhouse kick. There are two main taekwondo techniques for the side kick: the regular side kick and the skipping (or hop-step) side kick.

Here’s how to do the regular side kick:

  • Start in your fighting stance.
  • Pick up your leg and bend your knee like in the other two kicks.
  • Now you’re going to pivot like you did for the roundhouse kick.
  • Now you’re going to do a snap kick, but this time, you need to twist your hips so that the kick goes to the side.
  • Bring your foot back and place it on the ground.

And the skipping side kick:

  • Start in your fighting stance.
  • Using your back leg for momentum, push or skip forward.
  • While you’re doing this, pick your front leg up and prepare it for the side kick as explained above.
  • Do the snap kick, bring your foot back, and place it on the ground.

If this sounds like a lot of steps, don’t worry. You’ll get the hang of it with enough practice! To get a nice visual of how these two side kicks should look, watch Howcast’s video at the beginning of this section.

Taekwondo Combination Drills

Combination drills are where you can put everything together. While, at first, it’s a good idea to focus on each individual move until you’ve mastered it, you’ll eventually need to start practicing combinations. In a sparring match, it’s likely that your first kick won’t work out in your favor. Throwing in a couple extra taekwondo moves increases your efficacy.

Here are some examples of combination drills you could use:

  • Roundhouse kick + roundhouse kick
  • Hop-step roundhouse kick + hop-step roundhouse kick
  • Hop-step + roundhouse kick + tornado roundhouse kick

There are endless possibilities in terms of how you can combine the moves you’ve learned—and will learn—in a sparring match. For more insight and inspiration on this topic, watch Howcast’s tutorial video at the beginning of this section. And keep expanding your taekwondo knowledge to create stronger combinations!

Learn Even More Taekwondo Techniques

As you continue to learn taekwondo and practice the techniques we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll constantly be improving your skills. As long as you keep with it, you’ll be sparring like a pro before you know it.

To learn even more taekwondo moves, explore the rest of the videos in this series below! Jason Ok provides tons of insight and useful tips—all in bite-size chunks for beginner and advanced fighters alike.

ABOUT THE EXPERT

Jason Ok

Jisung "Jason" Ok is the head instructor at Black Belt TaeKwonDo and MMA Center in Flushing, New York,