7 Martial Arts for Strong Kicking Skills

Focused young woman practicing boxing punches in pair with coach during group self defence course in gym

Martial arts have a rich history dating back centuries, encompassing diverse styles and techniques that emphasize self-defense, physical fitness, mental discipline, and spiritual growth.

We’ll explore seven martial arts known for their exceptional kicking techniques, ranging from explosive Muay Thai to dynamic Capoeira, and discuss their unique contributions to martial arts kicks.

Whether you’re a martial arts enthusiast or simply interested in refining your kicking abilities, read on to discover the best martial arts for unleashing formidable kicks.

Muay Thai

Muay thai fighter training in the gym with the punch bag

Muay Thai is a popular martial art that originated in Thailand. It is known for its emphasis on powerful kicks, including high round kicks, crushing leg kicks, and flying knees.

Muay Thai fighters also incorporate spinning back elbows into their techniques, making them formidable opponents in the ring.

In fact, Muay Thai is widely regarded as one of the most effective styles for kicking in all of martial arts.


"Toronto, Canada - July 29 2007: group of young adults practicing the Brazilian martial art Capoeira, which combines elements of dance and music, in a Toronto park"

Capoeira is a unique martial art that combines elements of dance, acrobatics, and music. It originated in Brazil and is known for its fluid movements and spinning kicks.

One of the most popular mixed martial arts fighters to incorporate Capoeira into his game is former two-division UFC champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor.

McGregor famously used a plethora of spinning kicks in his first welterweight fight against Nate Diaz.


Strong advanced adult students at the martial arts school kicking and practicing taekwondo

Taekwondo is a martial art that originated in Korea and features a host of high kicks, jumping, and spinning kicks, as well as rapid multiple-kick combinations.

Taekwondo’s kicking techniques are exceptional, efficient, and highly effective.

Because the kicks focus on speed and power, they can be well-utilized in real fight situations and competition.

Many prominent mixed martial arts athletes and world champions either have a taekwondo background or extensively incorporate taekwondo into their styles, including fighters like Anderson “The Spider” Silva, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis, Benson Henderson, and others.


Judo sport training in the sports hall

Judo is a martial art that originated in Japan and is known for its throws, takedowns, and submission techniques.

While it may not be as well-known for its kicking techniques, judo practitioners still have a solid foundation in kicking.

One of the most famous examples of this is the uchi-mata kick, which is a type of inner thigh throw that can be used to take an opponent down to the ground.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu

Two brazilian jiu jitsu BJJ athletes training at the academy martial arts ground fighting sparring wear kimono gi sport uniform on the tatami mats sports jiujitsu and self-defense concept copy space

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and ground fighting.

While it may not be as well-known for its kicking techniques, Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners still utilize kicks in their training.

In particular, the front kick is often used to create separation between the fighter and their opponent, allowing them to reset and prepare for their next move.


Handsome young black belt male karate doing kick on the gray background

Karate is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan. It is known for its powerful strikes, including its various kicking techniques.

Some of the most effective karate kicks include the front kick, roundhouse kick, and sidekick. Karate practitioners also incorporate spinning kicks into their techniques, making them formidable opponents in the ring.


Kiev, Ukraine - August 24, 2016: Two adult male sambo fighters dressed in red kimono having a workout on tatami.  The photo was taken during an open outdoor social event organized by Ukranian Federation of Sambo in Kiev on Independence Day, 24.08.2016. No accreditation was required. The event was free to attend, the event info page is following: http://www.sambo.net.ua/?code=13_2&id=440

Sambo is a martial art that originated in the former Soviet Union.

While known for grappling and throwing techniques, it also includes kicks in its training.

Some of the most effective Sambo kicks include the front kick, sidekick, and low roundhouse kick.

Sambo practitioners add spinning kicks to their techniques, making them versatile fighters in both ground and standing positions.

Comparison of the Best Punches and Kicks in Each Martial Art

Each martial art has its own unique style and techniques when it comes to punches and kicks.

Muay Thai, for example, is known for its high round kicks and crushing leg kicks, while Capoeira is known for its spinning kicks and fluid movements.

Taekwondo, on the other hand, is known for its jumping and multiple kicking combinations.

The effectiveness of punches and kicks in each martial art depends mainly on the situation and the fighter’s skill.

However, some martial arts are generally considered more effective than others when it comes to punching and kicking.

For example, Muay Thai is widely regarded as one of the most effective styles for kicking in all martial arts, while karate is known for its powerful strikes, including its various kicking techniques.

FAQs about Martial Art Kicks

Which fighting style has mainly kicks?

The fighting style that mainly uses kicks is Taekwondo. This Korean martial art emphasizes high, fast kicks and spinning and jumping kicks.

Is there a martial art that only uses kicks?

No martial art uses only kicks, but Savate, a French martial art, predominantly focuses on kicking techniques. However, it also incorporates some hand techniques.

Which fighting style has the strongest kick?

The Muay Thai fighting style is known to have the strongest kicks. Muay Thai practitioners use their shins, which can deliver devastatingly powerful kicks when trained properly.

What sport has the best kicks?

The sport with the best kicks is often considered to be soccer or football. The athletes in this sport have mastered the art of kicking for accuracy, power, and control.

By Anita Brown

Anita Brown is our go-to contributor to our emergency preparedness website. Anita brings a wealth of personal experience and professional expertise to the table, having weathered several awful natural disasters. Anita is currently working towards obtaining her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) certification.