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Roundhouse Kick

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Chuck Norris once commented, "There are few problems in this world that cannot be solved by a swift roundhouse kick to the face. In fact, there are none."

In fiction, the roundhouse kick is one of the most badass martial arts moves one can make, spinning in a full circle, thus giving the kick the force of 360 degrees of awesomeness, though contrary to popular belief, only variations of the roundhouse kick feature the 360 degree spin while the standard variant does not.

In Real Life, such a move is Cool, but Inefficient. A proper roundhouse kick is spinning in just a partial circle, to give the kick some extra force, but without telegraphing the move too much. There is a risk of the opponent dodging the kick, countering with a foot-sweep, or even grabbing the leg if he is skillful enough, but a proper roundhouse kick is one of the faster kicks in martial arts and can be launched without a chambering motion without much loss of speed for force, which makes such a dodge or kick less likely.

Of course in fiction, Rule of Cool says that doesn't have to be a problem, although some fighting games give a nod to the slower speed by making the full circle kick the slowest, but most powerful, kick that several characters have.

In real life, the simple roundhouse was at one point considered to be the game-winning kick in many forms of competitive martial arts due to a combination of speed, power, ease of preparation, and speed of recovery (if the kick is blocked, the striker can use the force of recoil to power the next kick).

A Sub-Trope of Spin Attack.

A Super-Trope to Hurricane Kick (doing several spinning kicks in the same move).

Compare Kick Chick, Spinning Piledriver, Shoryuken.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Suzaku in Code Geass does this enough for for fans to make the Spinzaku meme.
  • Digimon Frontier: Arbormon's main attack is called Roundhouse Punt, which involves him jumping up into the air and swinging out either his left or right foot.
  • In Dragon Ball roundhouse kicks happen a lot, usually in a middle of a fight but sometimes used as a finishing move.
  • Naruto Rock Lee does it often, especially during his fight with Gaara though the latter blocks most of the Lee’s kicks with his sand.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: During the End of Evangelion, Asuka delivers a reverse roundhouse kick to an aerial vehicle.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid: Resident Kick Chick Miura employs this for several of her stronger moves, such as Bakken Hien (magically enhanced mid-air roundhouse kick), Bakken Hiryu (a roundhouse kick that sends waves of projectiles), and Bakken Tenshō Seiōha (a Finishing Move capable of dealing over 23,000 points of damage)
  • One Piece:
    • Kick-extraordinaire Sanji doesn't just settle for one roundhouse kick, against Wanze he uses a triple roundhouse strong enough to send Wanze flying into the next room and gain the attention of CP9.
    • Later in the Fishman island arc Jimbei the Whale Shark Fishman used a roundhouse kick against Wadatsumi's fist. In short, he manages to kick back and flip over a giant the size of a small mountain.
    • Non-martial artist example would be Nami who frequently roundhouses Brook for being a perv.
  • Rooster Fighter: Keiji knocks Tatsuo out with a 360 in the head.
  • In Rosario + Vampire, Inner Moka, a vampire feared even by other monsters, often uses a roundhouse kick. In addition to being badass, it makes for a significant portion of the show's fanservice, as her skirt guarantees a panty shot.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the Dai-Gurren (a giant robot about the size of a battleship) runs up a mountain to perform a kick to a flying battleship. When they miss, they turn it into a flying roundhouse kick.
  • ST☆R: Strike it Rich: During their first fight, Hina counters Nozomi low kick with a full 360 degree kick aimed at her head. Nozomi has barely enough time to put a guard and is shocked by Hina's reaction time and speed.
  • Yamada of Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches has such a distinctive roundhouse kick people can recognise him by it when he's in another body.

    Comic Books 
  • Red Robin: Tim displays the downsides of telegraphing your kick to the head when he catches Vitoria's attempted roundhouse kick. In her case she's not usually terribly concerned about this since for the most part anyone trying to catch her would end up having their skin contact hers, which would cause their death in less than a minute.
  • Super Mario Adventures: Peach lands one on the Koopalings when jumping them in the fourth chapter.

    Fan Works 
  • Strange Times Are Upon Us: Meromi kills a slave hunter with one to the top of the head (he was scrabbling for a lost revolver at the time). Helps she was wearing steel-toed boots.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Reign of the Seven Spellblades: The Lanoff Style close-combat technique "Hidden Tail", first demonstrated by Oliver in volume 2, involves the practitioner moving with the force of an incoming blow and using their robe to conceal their windup for a roundhouse kick as a riposte.

    Live Action TV 
  • Firefly:
    • The Saffron character does a lot of roundhouse kicks to the head.
    • In "Objects In Space", Jubal Early gets punched in the face, and recovers by spinning around to do this kick.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger liked to finish his fights with this move, often knocking the bad guy into some cardboard boxes. Conan O'Brien showing such clips a lot also led to jokes about roundhouse kicks being quite popular in Chuck Norris Facts.
  • Kamen Rider: A handful of Riders use this for their traditional Rider Kick finisher.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto's Finishing Move, while named "Rider Kick" after the traditional Diving Kick typical of the franchise, is actually a tachyon-powered standing roundhouse. Notably, it's normally delivered to an opponent charging at him from behind. Late in the series, Kamen Rider Gatack uses a jumping roundhouse as his own version, while Climax Boss Kamen Rider Caucasus from The Movie uses a standing roundhouse with less motion applied to it.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva: While Kiva's usual Rider Kick is a Flying Front Kick or Drop Kick, he has been known to use a roundhouse in Emperor Form as a variant.
    • Kamen Rider Double: Double's FangJoker form uses this as a variant, as does Accel's default form. It's also the finisher for Accel's Trial form.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze has Miss Haruka Uesugi, the new homeroom teacher who kickboxes in her off-time and has her own distinctive roundhouse (begun with a quick hop on each foot). When the Monster of the Week does it as well, suspicion falls on her. It turns out not to be the case; the actual MOTW is a student who hates Uesugi and is deliberately aping her fighting style to implicate her.
  • The Awesome, but Impractical nature of this move is discussed in Burn Notice when Michael, playing a Russian mobster, has to fake a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown against his brother Nate, playing a government agent holding Michael and a human trafficker prisoner. While delivering the roundhouse kick to Nate's shoulder, Michael explains in his customary voiceover that the move is showy but probably survivable (Nate is knocked out of sight of the trafficker and ends up with a couple cracked ribs).
  • Sam Beckett's signature move in Quantum Leap. In the episode, where he and Al switch places, Al delivers one to a romantic rival. When Sam asks how he knows how to do it, Al says he doesn't. Extra/missing knowledge is a known side effect of leaping, though. Even better, when Sam leapt into the place of an African-American female singer, he used that move to drive off some toughs and impressed her persona's companions at what a Kick Chick she suddenly was.
  • Grady in Street Justice employs quite a lot of spinning jump-kicks in his fighting style. The opening credits even shows a brief clip of a fight scene from the pilot two-parter where he performs a double spinning jump-kick.
  • The Price Is Right: Longtime host Bob Barker was a martial arts practitioner, and he would sometimes put his skills to use whenever a pricing game malfunctioned, such as in this 1984 game of Master Key.

  • Lindsey Stirling's dancing often involves a few of these, though they're done more as delicate pirouettes than vicious attacks. When a video includes her in several places, she sometimes cuts to each place while continuing the spin.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A signature move of Aleister Black.
  • The high roundhouse kick was popularized as a pro wrestling move by Nobuhiko Takada
  • Masaaki Mochizuki of Dragon Gate is an Extremity Extremist with a karate-based style focused on kicking. As such, he employs both left (Saikyo High Kick) and right (Shin Saikyo High Kick) roundhouses as finishing moves. There's also the Illusion - if his opponent ducks under a high roundhouse, Mochizuki immediately throws a reverse roundhouse with the other leg.
  • Kofi Kingston uses a spinning roundhouse kick as his finisher.

  • The Godmodder in Destroy the Godmodder was finally killed in the first game when Crusher did this in his final attack.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Series: Roundhouse kicks are one of the Finishing Move(s) Batman will use on the last goon standing.
  • In Batman: The Telltale Series (Season 2), a roundhouse kick is one of the two optional attacks to finish off the Riddler in the opening scene. The other option is a body slam, but most people pick the roundhouse.
  • In Castlevania games, Ninja Maid Persephone does a curtsy before doing a jumping vertical roundhouse kick at the player.
  • A standard melee attack in Crackdown.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • Final Fight has Cody and Guy who both perform this. Though Guy's is more like a Tornado kick. Mighty Glacier Haggar has a Spinning Clothesline instead.
  • In Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu, Jackie can do 180-degree and 360-degree spin kicks.
  • Martial artists in Jagged Alliance 2 can do this to knock down enemies in melee unarmed combat.
  • Kâbus 22: This is one of the moves you can use against the Maduns.
  • In The King of Fighters, characters such as Robert (Kyokugen Karate), King (Muay Thai), and Kim Kaphwan (Tae Kwon Do) have this as either their standing strong kick, or performed during their special attacks. Robert's Genei Kyaku and King's Trap Shot, in particular, both end with roundhouse kicks.
  • The 2D Mortal Kombat games have one of these for every character, executed by holding back when doing a high kick, that does decent damage and great knockback. Rain from Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 gets special mention for using one so powerful that the opponent flies off the screen and ends up behind him.
  • Signature move of Ty, one of the three playable characters in Pit-Fighter.
  • Rolling Kick from Pokémon, whose Japanese name is Roundhouse Kick.
  • In one cutscene in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) Silver telegraphs a punch and runs at Shadow. Shadow responds by stopping time with Chaos Control, calmly walking behind Silver and roundhouse kicking him in the back of the head. Widely considered one of the better moments of that game.
  • The Street Fighter series has characters that do this as their strong kick, including Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Sagat.
    • Many of Capcom's early fighting games actually used "Roundhouse" as a universal term for what is now known as the "hard kick", regardless if they were actual roundhouses or not.
    • Ken in particular had a roundhouse kick as a special move in II and IV. His Shippujinrai Kyaku super had a roundhouse kick barrage finished by a Tatsumaki Senpukyaku. The Guren Senpukyaku in IV and the Guren Enjinkyaku in V follow the same principle.
  • Resident Evil:
  • This is one of the many moves Sketch Turner can perform in Comix Zone - he can do it as he moves forward.
  • In World of Warcraft, this is the standard animation for human rogues (other races kick differently) using the Kick ability (which doesn't do any damage but interrupts the target's spellcasting.) With the advent of the Monk class, the Blackout Kick uses a similar animation for all races and is a bread-and-butter damage-dealing ability the monks use when fancier moves are on cooldown. Male Blood Elves also use a head-height roundhouse kick for some specific action animations, such as commanding a strong but stupid henchman to retrieve things in some quests.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, Melia's Starlight Kick is a clumsy leaping roundhouse kick that causes her to land on her rear. It hurts about as much as you'd expect it to, coming from a Squishy Wizard, but it can knock almost anything off its feet as well, two-story-tall dragons and robots included. The move returns in 3 as both a standard attack and a Chain Art finisher when she joins the party as a Hero in the post-game. She even manages to stay on her feet in the Chain Art!
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo has a roundhouse kick, like all The Matrix examples above.
  • In Golden Axe III, this is Sarah Barn's Forward+Attack+Jump attack. It can be blocked, but it is fast and the single most damaging move in her movelist.
  • Shantae and the Pirate's Curse has the Heavy Kick move. It deals more damage than a single, fully-upgraded hair-whip, but its slightly shorter range and long wind-up time from the spinning animation means Shantae will deal more damage with her faster hair-whips in the long run.
  • Fighting Force has this as a basic move for all characters.
  • Spider-Man: Mysterio's Menace has the spin kick as a possible move.
  • Similar to the Arkham example in Spider-Man (PS4) Spidey will unleash a roundhouse kick as a Finishing Move.
  • God Hand features several versions of this move.
  • Not only does Like a Dragon feature it in a lot of heat actions, it even makes the front cover art!

    Visual Novels 
  • In The Heist: Monaco, you can choose this attack as your signature move by training with your Muscle and Rye will be impressed to see Lee using this move in Chapter 15.
  • Ryuji from Machi uses it all the time. He even acknowledges it's not a very efficient move, but that doesn't stop him from solving most of his problems this way.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: In the episode "Cops And Roger", after being allowed into a room holding the guy who mugged Roger, he tells the mugger he lived in a "Roundhouse!" while performing a roundhouse kick on him.
  • Raphael in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) uses roundhouse kicks as often if not moreso than his sais.

    Real Life 
  • Truth In Memetic Mutation: Chuck Norris, after retiring from his acting career, went to create his own martial art style: Chun Kuk Do, inspired on Tang Soo Do, which is indeed heavy on kicking, including roundhouse kicks.
  • In traditional karate—that is, actual traditional karate, not what people think is traditional today—the roundhouse kick was not typically used as an entry move for the obvious "telegraphing" reason. A practitioner would dodge his or her opponent's attack, and then use a roundhouse kick as appropriate to strike at an open target. This applied especially to kicks to the head, which are much less fast than kicks to the body or knees.
  • Legendary MMA fighter Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic is infamous for his left roundhouse kick, which has given him highlight-reel amounts of knock-outs, especially when hitting the head. He was for a time the most feared striker in MMA, and you'd see other fighters visibly nervous at the prospect of fighting him. In fact, any fighter who noticeably was NOT knocked out by the kick (like Mark Hunt, Hidehiko Yoshida and Fedor Emelianenko) instantly shot up to Memetic Badass status as a result. Famously, in an interview, Cro Cop was asked what the difference between his right and left roundhouse kick were. His response?
    • Ironically, it was that very same kick that Gabriel Gonzaga used to knock out Cro Cop in 2007 in one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. As Joe Rogan said on commentary, "Gonzaga essentially Cro Copped Cro Cop."
    • In fact, the roundhouse kick is quite common in MMA, particularly to attack the ribs/liver of an opponent.


Naomi and Jaron

Naomi faces off against Jaron Fate by using her kicks. It doesn't work though and she moves back.

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