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Mawashi Geri: Round House Kick


Mawashi Geri by Bruno Bandelier

Mawashi Geri, the circular kick:

By starting this article, I realized that it was almost 3 months since we had not approached foot technique, since Mae Geri, Front kick.

However, it is normal in Karate to start by learning, to position oneself and to give punches, before wanting use his legsbecause when kicking ground connection is even more fragile because there is only one leg left on the ground.

Nevertheless, I think it was high time to make up for this lack and to study a new foot technique: Mawhasi Geri.

Mawashi Geri and the circular kick, well known competitors because it is a machine to make points if I can say, and because it is quite spectacular when given at the Jodan level. However, you must know that Mawashi Geri as it is given in competition and often quite different from Mawashi Geri traditional simply because the purpose is not the same; in the first case, it is a question of touching, taking care not to hurt, in the second case it is a question of being effective in terms of speed and power. We will see the differences further.

As you have noticed, I put in the title, the name given in English Mawashi Geri " Round House Kick Because I think this name is very representative of the circular kick Mawashi Geri.

Indeed, "Round House" means " around the house And I find that this concept characterizes well Mawashi Geri which is very often used to make the turn of the guard of the opponent to come knock on the sides.

Your opponent is on guard (he keeps his house) and you go around his guard (or his house!) To attack on the flanks where: The Round House Kick

Mawashi Geri can be given either:

  • from back leg,
  • either of front leg

and we can hit with:

  • the underside of the foot (Koshi),
  • the top of the foot (Haisoku).

It's an extremely powerful kick in which we add up the strength of rotation hips to theextension of the leg.

Mawashi Geri: Detailed and biomechanical analysis:

We will at first detail Mawashi Geri from back leg which is the basic form that allows you to break down the movement.

Even if Mawashi Geri front leg is more often used in competition, it will be wise to acquire the technique with the back leg to master the front leg technique.

We will position ourselves in ZenKutsu Dashi. To fully understand the movement of Mawashi Geri, we are going to break it down into 3 phases go and 3 phases back:

Go :

  1. armament :
    Basin rocker with a knee lift to the side, leg bent (the heel almost touches the buttocks). It is very important not to try to lift only the knee but rather the hip (think to raise the buttocks very high) and to keep the leg bent so as not to remove the center of gravity. The more you stay grouped, the faster you can rotate in the next phase.
  2. Rotation :
    Pivot on the foot support bowl with forward hip and knee forward. The hip and knee must pass the axis of the opponent. Be careful to keep a connection between the striking leg and the support leg, you must not open the legs completely by turning the support foot too far back. In fact your feet must have remained as parallel as possible. The foot on the ground turns a little backwards but not too much. Opening completely would certainly make you a few inches but at the expense of efficiency. You must maintain the strength between the thighs.
    Conversely you must actually turn and not stay on the back. Your hip and knee should be in the axis, or even beyond, of your opponent. You are completely in profile with your opponent.
  3. Extension :
    Extension of the leg. The foot hits the target laterally. This phase is done in continuity, the leg takes advantage of the kinetic energy of the rotation to send the foot on the target. However, be careful not to fully tighten the knee and lock it on impact.

The body must remain whole in the art. Which means the bust should be as straight as possible and do not bend over.

Your arms remain in front of you in the direction of your opponent to protect you when needed.

The support leg must remain folded and very strong because it is she who supports all the weight of the body, it is she who must maintain your balance and it is she who will have to cash the energy back by a work of action / reaction in the ground.


  1. Fold :
    Fold of the leg. This phase is very important and is done very quickly after the impact. You are in a rather dangerous situation, balancing on one foot, you must bring your leg very quickly to be able to follow and not let yourself be trained by your technique. Always the same principle, it is necessary to regroup at the maximum before the rotation in order to decrease as much as possible the torque (a couple is the rotational force applied to an axis) due to rotation.
  2. Rotation :
    Rotate backwards keeping the knee and hip up to the maximum. The return trip is the same as the outward journey. You rotate by "pulling" your hip backwards, but keeping it up as long as possible.
  3. Basin rocker:
    Flip the pelvis down and rest the leg back.

Mawashi Geri's front leg:

Once you have mastered the different phases of the technique, you can approach Mawashi Geri of the front leg.

At first, you will go for a hunted step (Tsugi Ashi) to put your back leg under your center of gravity and release your front leg.

Now you are going to do the phases go N ° 1 and 2 at the same time:
You rock the pelvis to raise the hip and knee as high as possible while pivoting the body to find yourself in profile with your opponent, hip and knee slightly beyond the axis of the target.

You find yourself in the same position as before at the end of the first leg 2 you continue in the continuity with the extension of the leg to hit with Koshi or Haisoku.

Whether the front leg or the back leg, you can of course vary the return phase by posing either backwards or forwards, or on one side ... the important thing is to fold the leg right away to keep your balance, then you put the leg according to the situation.

Mawashi Geri in competition:

Mawashi Geri as we have seen is certainly very powerful, but it is slow enough to realize. In competition, you have to be as fast as possible and the goal is above all to touch. Competitors tend to change the basic Mawashi Geri to make it faster, but at the expense of efficiency.

In general, in competition, they will start by lifting the knee in front as if to make Mae Geri, in order to lower the guard of the opponent. Then by a very fast rotation, they will enchain the rocking of the pelvis and the extension of the leg to touch in Mawashi Geri.

Competitors will also turn the foot of support backwards and open their hip to the maximum to gain a few centimeters.

This way of proceeding is not completely ineffective and can probably hurt a lot, but we are far from the quest for maximum efficiency. So if you want to compete, first learn how to work your Mawashi Geri in a traditional way to strengthen your support and improve your skills. Then only you can modify, knowingly, your technique to adapt to the competition. The important thing is to never forget the original technique and train regularly to control it well.

That's it, I think it's time now to go to training. All your kimono, I find you on the video course of Mawashi Geri. See you soon

Of course, I advise you to warm up thanks to the advice that I give you in my book, the ABC of warm-ups, which you can download for free.

>>> Download the video

Before the shower, do not forget to leave me a comment below, thank you

In the video, I promise you a video on the stretching of the hips, so here is the
specific video to free your hips!

See you soon
Bruno Bandelier

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  1. Thank you very much master bruno we are learning on your site is my guide and you are my reference, I just discovered your site and thanks to you I am trainer to improve my karate has very early master

  2. hello Bruno, since now 2ans I follow you on your site and I often return to your explanations, I prepare for my black belt for the month of March and I also hope to spend in the wake of the DAF

    we often do mawachi geri face in kyon but I hurt the pelvis is that normal?

    I noticed that in the traditional karate are the kicks in the face especially in the kata, can you explain to me

    I get to face up in combat but I'm not fast enough,

    thank you for your answers soon

  3. lampin jean lucien at

    in what I said above I meant rotation 180 ° foot support, but I think you'll understand, after you will be comfortable to rotate only half .. I said that because if we does not rotate enough and slight rise of the support foot, in addition to ishio legs not warm up well we risk the breakdown ..a + good luck.

  4. Hi Bruno I just made the warming of the hips proposed in another video.
    Because I have a problem with my mawashi geri.
    I explain when I give a mawashi geri I have a pain in the hip of the leg remained on the ground as a point in the groin a little as if "I was going too far".
    This pain has recently appeared in my training at the dojo and the more I'm insistent the pain is strong ... Maybe it comes from the placement of my hip. When do you think ?
    Ps: Your videos are very interesting I use it regularly to "try" to improve.

    • lampin jean lucien at

      Hello Coralie
      We imagine that you want to do Mawachi-geri .. not strong ... right leg, you strongly support your left leg, ... start from the classic position ... your foot and right thigh rise parallel to the ground, right leg well armed ; bust in the leg support leg, at the time of pivoting you very slightly raise your left heel to help the full amplitude of the hip ... in principle for a complete hip job you must have your left foot or your koshi in the same direction from your back shoulder, a full pivot, once whipped, you bring the calf on the right thigh and you come back to your starting position, put your right leg behind, once well mastered, you will have no trouble turning less, to get your breath, if you do not lift your heel very slightly, you can not open your hip completely, and in your Mawachi think to return to the target even made gently, it will have effect of straightening and controlling the trunk ... exercise / the support foot will have to make 90 ° and 90 ° to bring back just like at the start .. still warm up the ishiostring before ... We can also train with a long stick and go step by step a + ... .et Hi Bru neau ... good luck

  5. Thank you for the video it served me well especially compared to the arming phase of the leg. I think I was too inclined to want to look for strength right away while breaking down the movement makes things easier to assimilate.

  6. Posted by Bruno BandelierHi Kamikase,

    Thank you for your very detailed explanation.
    You're a lot more pedagogue than you finally pretend

    Sorry for the championships this weekend, I could not come. I hope that's gone well for R1 and you.

    You will tell me that!

    Ho the other, hey!
    Go and you insult me ​​not !!!
    Spice of pedagogue, yourself!
    You have not lost anything for this WE, I planted 2x in my katas because forced to change my program at the last minute because of my knee that was not in the jumps!
    As for R1 he missed, not in !! No problem !! He did a great preparation, and the work always pays at a time when another !!

  7. If I had one I will not reveal it! lol And yes she is mastered, I spent last week at the Chpts de Bourgogne, and even if the referees did not count it, my opponent, him, physically counted it, and that 2x on the ground! ! Finally good short !!! This is not the subject !!!

    With all these questions I recognize there in you, the pedagogue, that I am not !!!

    So I will try to answer your questions in order (It may be long lol):

    -Why wait for the opponent to put on the other hand?
    The fight is a strategy, a bit like chess, the one who wins a fight is the one who defeats the strategy of his opponent, to impose his own. But not only!!!!! There is the notion of adaptability that comes into play, too !! Who adapts to the other very quickly will dominate !!! If an opponent stands guard against you, it is to try to embarrass you, to try something, if you change your guard, you show him that it bothers you, so try to find tactics, blows that you can put in this situation there, without that it bothers you, and that in fact without it realizes it, to fall on your strong points.

    -Why do not change custody yourself ??? Eventuality possible, but being awake his attention (take over above in the opposite case) because there you try a strategy to annoy him, so his attention will redouble, at worst he changes his guard, to counter your strategy and then we return to starting point. Let's say he does not: 2 cases:
    -Here you change your guard quickly and move quickly, you have every chance to take it in his change of guard and so take his arms in the middle and do not place your mawashi, or simply be blocked because he became vigilant ( risk of seizure of the leg at this level, in addition)
    -You let him settle quietly before attacking but you take 2 risks that he is not comfortable in this guard and it changes, so it's dead (to remember you no more do not have to be because you are not in your "good" guard and as already said in provoking the thing you aroused his interest and therefore his vigilance, so he expects something, and a mawashi geri too phoned that this one, is not likely to pass.

    -Why do not do it in normal custody ??
    Bha if you read your article, it's obvious, because you go around the house lol and it's a little phone call. Moreover if you shift your foot in this version you will lose the angle and therefore much less bypass the guard so risk landing right in it. if you do not do it (shift your support foot) you find a normal mawashi chudan, to do in Haisoku in light combat, or competition, not to hurt in the 1er case, and in the 2th story to win the length and possibly noise for referees, but no damage. To do Koshi when we want to break odds. but the most convincing risk on this type of blow is the famous elbow, which all those who have given it several times, must have met. Personally my cruciate ligaments located on the top of the foot have been damaged by taking this elbow of guard, and now I can not take a layer on the top of the foot, it does not double volume instantly (thank you slippers in now complete lol). In conclusion dangerous for his own health !!!!!

    -Last question (phew, finally lol) when you speak of the two ways to hit, in fact you mean Keague and Kekomi, right?
    NO lol I speak of force of typing, more there is not these versions of typing on mawashi geri, seems to me it !!! When I speak of rapid typing I speak of a hit that has the effect of a whip, when it slams, the shot is already gone, for me it's the most effective shot (well it's my point of view), because it is the one that has the greatest shock wave, due to the speed.
    And the penetrating strike is the striking that is found in the case, that which crosses, the point of mental impact being much farther than the obstacle.
    Of course there are others like the bouncing hit, etc .. but here we must see with Hervé (Delage) he explains it much better than me! Besides, he is internship in Dijon next week lol
    So nothing to do with the technical forms that you quoted in your question.

    Voila, I see that you managed to make me talk (it's the longest tirade I wrote here lol) and that, without you even give me a drink, it's a feat! lol
    Will we catch that lol

    Thank you for R1 (my son), I especially hope he will be really happy and he will have fun (it is essential for children), because he came out really frustrated last week! And you know you can also wish me good luck, I do the kata in senior and veteran.
    Me too I like to have fun !!! lol

    • Small addition:
      -Fast clutch = dry shot in boxing

      Penetrating claw = heavy hitting in boxing

      I think it will be more visual for everyone like that

    • Hi Kamikase,

      Thank you for your very detailed explanation.
      You're a lot more pedagogue than you finally pretend

      Sorry for the championships this weekend, I could not come. I hope that went well for R1 and you.

      You will tell me that!

  8. A little trick from an old rogue mawashi geri, to those who would like to work a little differently or for those who are not flexible enough to do Jodan.

    You wait for your partner / opponent to warn you in reverse (The term truncated but most often used is false guard) so you for example keep left and the other guard right. You pretend with your arms up (Kizami, or just raise your arms) simultaneously you shift on the outside your front leg (in order to open the hip), you arm your mawashi back to the hip (traditional way) and so well visible. This will move the other
    And when you develop your shot you hit at the abs, in Koshi (important)

    So you're going to tell me that a shot in the abs is not effective, and I'm going to answer you that if you have well pretended, and so that the other has his arms up, and well the abs can not be contracted, more if as in the example you are left guard, so mawashi of the right leg, you can go for the liver (on the other side it also works with the stomach), so formidable effectiveness. Moreover no one expects a mawashi geri in the belly.

    2 ways to hit it, so fast, that's right after the impact, you bring back your leg right away; or in penetration, you extend your point of impact a few inches deeper, you have great chances to make you grab the leg, but not long, the other having gasped.
    Personally I prefer the 1ère way, less "nag", and more effective.

    On the other hand attention in flexible combat in your club, as you feel the friction of the kimono under your foot, or the sensation that it returns, remove your leg, otherwise you will leave a pack of your partners doing the carp, and the training is not done to knock out your club friends.

    Tested and approved for many years, believe me.

    • Hi Kami,

      Thank you for revealing your secret boot! In addition I know that you control it and that what you write is lived.

      I have some small questions, why wait for the opponent to put himself in false guard? Can not we change custody ourselves? Or is it not possible to do this sequence in normal custody?

      Another thing when you talk about both ways of hitting, you mean Keague and Kekomi, right?

      A + (and good luck to R1 for this weekend.)

  9. Hello Bruno, all your videos are detailed and effective, and many of them can learn. Always display trinkets and they form the foundation. Even if someone can not make a move is always an alternative. Thank you!

  10. Hello, I enjoyed the video on mawashi geri where I could improve but there is a technique of foot that I master quite badly, it is ura mawashi geri and I can not find of article, and given the effectiveness of your videos it would have been very useful.

    Thanks again for this great site and waiting for an answer regarding ura mawashi geri

  11. Hello, always very pedagogue, when a video on the mikasuki geri, on his application, not only in blocking but especially against attack. This kick in my opinion is not sufficiently taught, and has the merit of allowing people with disabilities of the hip, or old and / or soft, to be an alternative to mawashi geri (even if it remains an important kick in the modern practice of karate)

  12. Hello,
    I ask myself the question of the origin of certain kicks like the Mawashi-geri or the Shotokan version of Yoko-geri etc ... Indeed, they seem to have been introduced only late in karate by the Shotokan version . I read that this introduction is the fact of Yoshitaka Funakoshi. Where did he get them from? Do they come from other martial arts?

  13. Hello everyone and especially a marie lia
    it is a great time to be with you
    it's time to grab the sword together
    sword of honor and dignity
    There is no karate no aikido no kyodo no taekwondo no jujitsu no martial arts but there is honor and dignity.
    who has fearless without martial arts.
    Lechi morowska hamadowski kamirov.

  14. Hello bruno and to all for black belt; self.
    To increase your hip thrust and also the impact to the hitting, at the moment of relaxation, place your corresponding hand behind your thigh (ishio tummy) (it's more you feel) but more towards the hollow knee, and you push at the same time in the relaxation, attention is better for a kind of kekomi, because create more engagement in the target, please return fast, best chudan, but if you are flexible jodan, it is you who feel the trick ,

  15. Excellent advice on mawashi geri especially regarding the rotation of the support leg! This confirms what I thought was good, while elsewhere I was told to do a full rotation which in my opinion lost stability on the return.MERCI FROM THIS PRECISION

  16. Hello Bruno,

    I finally found a little time to come to your blog.
    "Mawashi Geri" is a very used leg movement because spectacular, one would tendency as you underline it to erase the phase of armament, because it is a moment of precarious balance.
    To work on this technique by breaking it down is a good thing.
    Friendships, @ +.

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