An Axe Kick (also called a Hammer Kick, Downward Kick, or naeryeo chagi) is a kick in which one kicks downward with a straight leg.
Most taekwondo kicks involve bending the knee as part of the chambering for the kick, but the Axe Kick is an exception. The kicking leg is held straight and kicked straight upward, slightly to the side of the intended target, then brought downward forcefully on the target.
As you bring the leg up, your leg is normally brought upward slightly to one side or the other of the target. The terminology used to describe the two alternatives is similar to the terminology used to describe Crescent Kicks.
- If you chamber your kicking leg more to the center of your body, and bring it down slightly outside before your downward strike, that is sometimes called an inside-to-outside Axe Kick.
- Conversely, if you chamber your kicking leg more to the outside of your body, and bring it slightly inside before your downward strike, that is sometimes called an outside-to-inside Axe Kick.