Taekwondo is well-known for its high fancy kicks. Yet, when it all comes down to it, the most effective kick for self-defense is the most basic of all kicks–the front kick (AKA front snap kick). Why? I will explain.
First and foremost, the front kick is the simplest and easiest kick to learn. It doesn’t take years to perfect it. For some, one lesson will do. For others, a little longer. Nevertheless, people can quickly learn it.
Second, it is one of the hardest to see, if you are on the receiving end. Yes, you can see it if you are expecting it, but if you are some bad guy who is accosting someone who looks like a victim, you aren’t expecting and will have difficulty seeing something coming from below. The kick can be delivered quickly before anyone can react to it.
Last and most important, the kick doesn’t have to be exact in terms of distance and target to be effective. Remember, if you are applying the front kick in a self-defense situation, it is because you are creating the necessary distraction for escape, and not initiating a toe-to-toe fight. If the kick is applied closer than expected, the shin or the knee could end up hitting your opponents groin; this is good enough for the purpose intended. If the kick fails to line up with the opponent’s center line, it could hit the shin or the knee; both of these are good enough targets for distraction purposes.
Because it is easy to learn, hard to see, and doesn’t need much accuracy, it is one of the most effective self-defense kicks in Taekwondo’s arsenal of kicks.