What is the correct Korean term for Side-piercing Kick?

Iv'e seen:

a) Yop Cha Jirugi

b) Yop Chagi

If I look at the above links souldn't it be: Yop Cha Jirugi Chagi?

  • Sorry to start this up again, but now I'm confused about flying side kick (twimyo yopcha busigi). I was led to believe busigi means snapping motion (as in apcha busigi). So if side kick is chagi, and side piercing kick is jirugi, then how can flying side kick end up as busigi?
    – Levy88
    Oct 11, 2017 at 7:45
  • This should be asked as a separate question. simple breakdown 'twimyo' flying - 'yop' side - 'cha' kick - 'busi' smash/snap - 'gi' motion so twimyo yopcha busigi - flying side smash/snap kick
    – Collett89
    Oct 11, 2017 at 8:34
  • @Levy88 - As stated, this should be a new question rather than an answer on this one. I have converted it to a comment for now, when you ask a new question I will delete these.
    – JohnP
    Oct 11, 2017 at 14:09

3 Answers 3


Not sure how much it makes sense in native Korean - but splitting the words into small blocks and "building" the technique a bit at a time seems to be the way to learn it effectively

Yop - Side

Cha - kick

Jiru - pierce

Gi - Motion

so Yop Chagi is side kick (could be a non piercing side kick)

Yop Cha Jirugi is a side piercing kick.

This has come from questioning FGM Rhee and GM Hwang (among other pioneers).

  • Could you explain what lead you to come up with this? I've never seen 'chagi' or 'jirugi' split like that (though your breakdown does fit with 'ap cha busigi' for a front snap kick).
    – Mike P
    Mar 6, 2017 at 12:57
  • 1
    This comes from questioning FGM Rhee and GM Hwang (among other pioneers). Not sure how much it makes sense in native Korean - but splitting the words into small blocks and "building" the technique a bit at a time seems to be the way to learn it effectively
    – Collett89
    Mar 7, 2017 at 9:00
  • @Collet89, I think it would be worth adding that extra detail to your answer.
    – Mike P
    Mar 7, 2017 at 9:03
  • @MikeP done now.
    – Collett89
    Mar 7, 2017 at 10:02
  • So in saju jirugi 4 directionals punch the punch is actually (piercing-motion) (jiru-gi)
    – reggie
    Mar 8, 2017 at 17:18

Both terms refer to the same kick; yop chagi is the short hand for yop cha jirugi.

That's what I've been taught (and what I teach)!

More Detail

In the 15 volume TKD encyclopedia (written by General Choi), volume 4 has a very large section on "Foot Techniques", including several piercing kicks (Cha Jirugi); one of the piercing kicks is Side-Piercing Kick - Yopcha Jirugi. This particular volume doesn't appear to mention yop chagi; my copy of the encyclopedia is a dodgy scanned version that isn't searchable, so I can't confirm the presence or otherwise of that term in another volume.


Yop cha jirugi (or yopcha jirugi) is the term found in the encyclopedia, so this must be the correct Taekwondo term for side-piercing kick. Yop chagi is a commonly-understood, but inaccurate, short-hand for side-piercing kick.

  • I appriaciate the breakdown. Could you point me to a website with a list of the breakdowns , thanks.
    – reggie
    Mar 6, 2017 at 14:34
  • I'm afraid not; that's from my handbooks and instructors!
    – Mike P
    Mar 6, 2017 at 14:52

The above answer doesn't actually make sense in Korean (and I can't comment so...), so I'll break it down here:

옆/yop = side

차/cha = kick (verb stem/verb - depending on context)

지르/jiru = "To nudge, kick, poke, etc., a person or object forcefully with one's arms, legs, a stick, etc" (verb stem, dictionary definition)

기/gi = the korean equivalent of a gerund/"ing" (ie. it turns a verb into a noun)

so, 옆 차 지르기, yop cha jirugi = side + kick (verb) + kick forcefully + noun modification, it literally means "kicking sharply to the side"

옆 차기, yop chagi = side + kick (verb stem) + noun modification, it simply means "kicking to the side"

I guess it's up to you which of the two you want to use, I don't quite understand why there's two. Korean's would typically use just yop chagi though so there's that.

(on that note, dwitcha jirugi, if you come across that, is incorrect, it's dwi cha jirugi - dwit modifies nouns, and cha is a verb)

Source: I've been learning Korean for a good 6-7 years now, have spent a year living there, and would consider myself semi-fluent I hope that made sense :)

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