The Punches of Tae Kwon Do

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Tae Kwon Do is unique among the martial arts. It is very fluid, focused on kicks over punches, and involves a lot more full body motions than karate, judo, krav maga, and the other popular martial arts techniques.

But even though Tae Kwon Do is very kick focused, punches are still used to enhance the martial arts techniques. Although Tae Kwon Do is all about defense, punches offer students additional protection so that they are not solely reliant on their legs.

What Types of Punches Are Available?

Students are taught to punch in specific locations on the body, with open and closed hands, and at different angles They are typically taught as part of other motions, and are a great way for children to gain strength and confidence. Examples of these punches include:

  • Straight Punch/Jireugi (지르기) – The straight punch is a basic punch delivered in a straight line with the lead hand.
  • Front Fist Punch/Ap Joomuk Jireugi (앞주먹 지르기) – The front fist punch involves a clenched fist using the front hand.
  • Back First Punch/Dwijibo Jireugi (뒤지보 지르기) – The back fist punch is delivered with the back of the fist, usually with a circular or whipping motion.
  • Body Punch/Momtong Jireugi (몸통 지르기) – The body punch targets the midsection or torso area of the opponent.
  • Side Punch/Yop Jireugi (옆 지르기) – The side punch is a lateral punch directed towards the opponent’s ribs or flank.
  • Knee Strike Punch/Mureup Jireugi (무릅 지르기) – The knee strike punch combines a punch with a knee strike, delivering forceful blows using the knee and the fist simultaneously.
  • Swallow Fist Punch/Jebipoom Jireugi (제비품 지르기) – The swallow fist punch imitates the quick and precise movements of a swallow’s wings, emphasizing speed and agility.
  • Hook Punch/Pyonhi Jireugi (편히 지르기) – The hook punch is a hooking punch that comes from the side, targeting the opponent’s head or face.
  • Hammer Fist Punch/Dung Joomuk Jireugi (등주먹 지르기) – The hammer fist punch is executed with a clenched fist using the bottom or back part of the hand.
  • Knife Hand Thrusting Punch/Sonnal Mokchigi Jireugi (손날 목치기 지르기) – The knife-hand thrusting punch is a punch delivered with the edge of the hand, resembling a knife-hand strike.

These are some of the punches and techniques that students learn in Tae Kwon Do to help enhance their skills and gain more movements to help them with self defense, discipline, and more.

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Punches are one of many components of Tae Kwon Do, and not a core component. But all martial arts fighting styles involve punching, and Tae Kwon Do is no different. As you progress, you’ll learn not only all different types of techniques, but how to put them all together.