In addition to being a UFC commentator, comedian, and popular podcast host, Joe Rogan is a serious martial artist. Rogan holds black belts in taekwondo and BJJ, and he has experience in kickboxing, boxing, and Muay Thai.
In episode 1005 of the Joe Rogan Experience, Rogan watched and discussed an old clip of him knocking out an opponent with a spinning back kick in a taekwondo tournament. Rogan had this to say about his spectacular knockout:
“[Y]ou have to walk away and make it look like it’s no big deal. That is how my thought process was. Don’t get excited. Make it look like this is what I’m going to do to everybody. Just relax, just walk off, and have everybody so nervous that you don’t even care. Like this is just a normal thing for you; you kick people that go unconscious, they fall down, and they can’t get up.”
Joe Rogan Taekwondo Background
Rogan discussed his taekwondo background again in episode 1227 of the Joe Rogan Experience. Speaking with boxing legend Mike Tyson, Rogan said:
“I did kickboxing and taekwondo tournaments. I was pretty good at Taekwondo; I won a bunch of state championships and won a few national tournaments.”
Rogan also discussed how bullies and fear led him to take up taekwondo:
“[F]or these full-contact taekwondo fights, I was always scared. But I was scared before that. I was bullied. I moved around a lot I was a little kid. I was never very big, and we moved from New Jersey to San Francisco when I was seven, from San Francisco to Florida when I was 11, and from Florida to Boston when I was 14 or 13. So, it’s just always moving to new schools, always dealing with new kids, and I wasn’t big, and I didn’t know how to fight, and I got picked on, and I didn’t like it. So, I said, ‘I want to figure out how to fight.’ And so I started getting into martial arts, and I just became obsessed with it.”
Joe Rogan Taekwondo History
When he was 19 years old, Joe Rogan won the US Open Championship taekwondo tournament as a lightweight. Rogan was a Massachusetts full-contact state champion for four years in a row and taught taekwondo for several years. Rogan also practiced amatuer kickboxing amateur and compiled a 2–1 record. Rogan retired from competition at the age of 21 due to fear of long-term physical damage, particularly head injuries.
What is Tae Kwon Do?
Taekwondo is a Korean martial art of unarmed combat that is based on an earlier form of Korean self-defense called tae kyon. The art also has roots in karate. The name taekwondo was officially adopted in 1955 after the name was proposed by the South Korean general Choi Hong-Hi, the principal founder of taekwondo.
The Spinning Side Kick
Joe Rogan is well known for his use of the spinning side kick. The spinning side kick is performed by stepping forward and spinning backwards before throwing a kick from a sideways stance. This spin generates extra momentum and results in a more powerful kick. The spinning side kick is similar to the spinning back kick. However, with the spinning side kick, the foot is kicked laterally as opposed to backwards.
In the following video, Joe Rogan teaches the spinning side kick to legendary UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre.