Can Taekwondo Kill?

taekwondo player flying kick

You are probably wondering if taekwondo techniques are lethal enough to take the life out of an opponent’s body. So, can Taekwondo kill?

Taekwondo can kill as some of its techniques and kicks are deadly enough to break bones and cause permanent injury and damage to an opponent’s vital organ which could consequently lead to death.

Taekwondo is one of the world’s deadliest martial arts.

When you look at Olympic taekwondo it’s easy to think that Taekwondo is a useless or less effective martial art whose strikes are only designed to score competition points.

Well, while taekwondo as a sport might be limited in a lot of ways, you must first remember that before taekwondo became a sport, it was firstly a martial art.

And while you might only be familiar with the sporting aspect of the art, taekwondo can be very deadly when practiced as a martial art.

In fact, taekwondo is historically a serious deadly killing system, especially during wars.

“Taekwondo is a serious deadly killing system and probably the best of all martial arts.”

Mr. Simmons from the movie “Foot Fist Way’

While the latter part of this statement is debatable, the first part of this quote is true and has always been true. Taekwondo is seriously a deadly killing system.

Also, while taekwondo emphasizes the use of legs (which is also one of the deadliest), it also uses the hands and teaches hand strikes and some self-defense techniques capable of dropping an attacker or opponent dead.

This is probably why most traditional taekwondo techniques have been banned in sporting competitions.

This, therefore, means that outside the mat where the rules are relaxed, taekwondo techniques can be deadly.

This is quite interesting because taekwondo has now transitioned from a killing art to a soft vehicle of diplomacy for peace in the world today.

However, it can quickly become an instrument of destruction where necessary.

Below are 3 points to support my claim of Taekwondo being a deadly art.

Table of Contents

3 Reasons Why Taekwondo Is a Deadly Killing System

The Kicks Are Deadly

Taekwondo kicks are one of the deadliest in the world.

A Taekwondo kick has the devastating power of dropping an opponent in seconds.

This deadly impact of taekwondo kicks was proven in an experiment conducted by the National Geographic Channel.

They compared the kicking power, speed, and effectiveness of Muay Thai, Karate, Capoeira, and Taekwondo, all of which are well known to have some of the most lethal kicks.

The Taekwondo Roundhouse kick was shown to be the most powerful with about 2,300 pounds of force. That is a lot of force in one kick!

Imagine being accurately hit by this Taekwondo kick. One minute you’re standing, a second later you’re dead!

Here is a clip of the scientific experiment to help you better understand the deadly impact of taekwondo kicks.

So, while some taekwondo kicks may look flashy and less impactful, taekwondo has some of the deadliest and strongest kicks in the world.

For more on this, check out my article, How Strong Is a Taekwondo Kick?

Lethal Hand Strikes and Self-Defense Techniques

As mentioned earlier, while taekwondo emphasizes the use of legs, it also uses hands.

Taekwondo also has hand attacking techniques most of which are lethal and capable of killing an opponent in seconds if well executed.

Some of these hand strikes include,

  • Forefist
  • Backfist
  • Flying Punch
  • Palm heel
  • Elbow strike
  • Eagle strike 

Most of these traditional taekwondo strikes have been banned from sporting competitions, which goes to show just how deadly they are.

Taekwondo is also an effective tool for self-defense capable of taking out would-be attackers.

Some of these basic taekwondo self-defense techniques include;

  • Straight Punch
  • Front Kick/Push Kick
  • Defensive Side Kick
  • Roundhouse Kick
  • Target Elbow Strike
  • Palm Heel Strike
  • Knee Strike

This is not all as there are other basic taekwondo moves that if practiced correctly can transform Taekwondo into a robust self-defense system.

So, the more advanced the self-defense technique, the more deadly it will be.

It Is Historically a Deadly Killing System

Amazingly, most Taekwondo practitioners today do not even realize the critical role played by Taekwondo during warfare.

Taekwondo was given the ultimate proving ground for legitimacy that any martial art could ask for, “War”.

Taekwondo was used by fighters during the Vietnam War.

The U.S. Special Forces soldiers and the South Vietnam Soldiers were also taught this style by the Korean ROK Marines during that war.

Along with Karate, Taekwondo was adopted by the U.S. military for its Special Forces training.

Because of the effectiveness of these styles, the U.S Military added taekwondo techniques into their martial arts program.

After the formation of Taekwondo in 1955, about a decade later, the Vietnam War took place and Korea entered into it.

They, alongside the U.S soldiers, fought against the communist regime of Viet Cong guerrillas and the North Vietnamese Army.

This allowed Taekwondo to not only prove the effectiveness of its killing techniques during the war but to also develop more techniques for battlefield use.

The elite Tiger Division was the military division known for hardcore Taekwondo.

To a lesser extent, there was also the White Horse Division which was larger and had Taekwondo fighters but was not an elite troop.

When soldiers did not have guns or were in close-quarters situations, Taekwondo combat was used for hand-to-hand fighting.

One such situation was when Viet Cong would hide in bunkers and the Korean Marines did not have explosive weapons to blow them up.

They would move in there fighting with bayonets and Taekwondo techniques.

They were known to snap necks, cave in ribs, choke people to death, and use bone-crushing strikes with conditioned feet and fists, along with stabbing people to death.


Hopefully, you now understand the deadly nature of taekwondo.

While it is now used as a self-defense mechanism and the promotion of world peace, it can quickly become a deadly serious killing system.

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