Various surfaces of the hand may be engaged as the striking surface depending on which area of the opponents body which is being targeted. This leads to a large array of hand positions.
Punching techniques in Karate are called tsuki or zuki. Contact is made with the first two knuckles (seiken). If any other part of the hand is used to strike with, such as the back of the fist (uraken) or the bottom of the fist (tetsui), then the blow is classified as a strike (uchi).
Karate punches include the thrust punch oi-tsuki made using the lead-hand, straight punch choku-tsuki, reverse punch gyaku-tsuki, made from the opposite hand, and many other variations.
The wrist must also be kept in proper alignment during a fist strike. If the wrist bends on impact, it can easily be sprained, dislocated or broken. Boxers tape their wrists to reduce wrist flex.
Stepping Punch (Oi tsuki)
Reverse punch (Gyaku tsuki)
Rising Punch (Age tsuki)
Close Short Punch / Uppercut (Ura tsuki)
Hook Punch (Kagi tsuki)
Hand and Arm Strikes
Arm strikes is the act of striking with some part of the palm, knuckle, arm, elbow, or shoulder. This is usually the elbow, the hand, the forearm, or the back of the wrist.
Palm Heel strike ( Teisho uchi )
A strike using the palm of the hand. Whether the hand is open or the fingertips are folded against the bottom knuckles, palm strikes hit with the bottom part of the palm, where the hand meets the wrist. The hand is held perpendicular to the wrist to avoid hitting the softer inner wrist tissue against the target.
The bottom ridge of the palm is a surprisingly solid striking surface, and can do just as much damage as a closed fist when utilized properly (some studies have shown that a palm strike actually can produce more energy than a punch in most cases), with far less risk of injury to the striker's own hand. Also, it creates a few inches of additional distance between the striker and the target than a regular punch, thus picking up more momentum.
The palm strike is useful as it is thrown in a more relaxed manner than a clenched fist. This is because clenching the fist shortens the extensor muscles of the wrist which counter the action of flexor muscles of the wrist used in punching. Many martial arts teach to keep the fist clench relaxed until impact in order to maximize the speed of the punch.
Targets are numerous and some examples include the nose, jaw, ears, back of the head, the groin, the kidneys and abdominal cavity. Some combat sports, such as Pancrase, have forbidden strikes using the clenched fist but permitted strikes using the palm.
Knife hand Strike ( Shuto uchi )
A strike using the part of the hand opposite the thumb (from the little finger to the wrist), familiar to many people as a karate chop,Shuto or Tegatana. This refers to strikes performed with the side of the knuckle of the small finger.
Suitable targets for the knife hand strike include the mastoid muscles of the neck, the jugular, the throat, the collar bones, the 3rd vertebra (key stone of the spinal column), the upper arm, the wrist (knife hand block), the elbow (outside knife hand block), and the knee cap (leg throw). In many Japanese and Chinese martial arts systems, the knife hand is used to block as well as to strike.
Ridge hand Strike (Haito uchi)
By tucking the thumb into the palm, a striking surface called the ridge-hand, or reverse knife-hand is formed, extending a few inches along the inside of the hand below the first knuckle of the first finger. Ridge-hand strikes commonly are delivered with a hooking motion, or with a straight arm swing.
Suitable targets include the mastoid muscles of the neck, the jugular, throat, nose, jaw, the eyes, and the groin. However, it should be noted that the ridge hand is generally considered obsolete in the martial arts and highly circumstantial. The conditioning required to effectively use it is usually better suited towards basic conditioning of other more natural parts of the body such as punching or kicking. For example, the buckeling that can occur on an unconditioned and sometimes even highly conditioned fighter when using the technique and slightly missing the main targets(eyes, neck, or nose) can do more damage to the striker, even when he hits decent targets instead like the jaw or forehead. As such, it is considered a high level and highly circumstantial technique in the martial arts that still teach the technique, such as most forms of karate, tae kwon do, jujitsu, and kung fu.
Spear hand Strike
Delivered just as with a punch except that the hand is held open like with a knife hand. The intended striking area are the tips of the fingers. The ideal targets are the eyes and throat. This technique is generally unsuitable against most other targets due to the high probability that one might break their fingers. It does have the added advantage of increasing the range of normal hand striking by 3-4 inches or so as opposed to say punching, backfisting, or hammer fisting. It is considered a high level technique requiring enormous conditioning, but even accidental spear fingering can be quite devastating on the eyes such as punching mistakes seen in modern MMA circuits.
Rising Elbow Strike ( age empi )
Side Elbow Strike ( yoko empi )
Backwards Elbow Strike ( ushiro empi ate )
List of Hand and Arm Strikes
- Age empi: Rising elbow strike
- Age tsuki: Rising Punch
- Choku tsuki: Straight punch
- chudan juki(originally,"tsuki"): mid-level punch
- Empi uchi: Elbow strike
- Gyaku tsuki: Reverse punch
- Haishu uchi: Back hand strike
- Haito uchi: Ridge hand strike
- Hisami tsuki: Scissor strike
- Jun tsuki: front hand 'jab' punch, differing from Kizami tsuki in that shoulders are square
- Kagi tsuki: Hook punch
- Kizami tsuki: jabbing punch (like a 'jab')
- Mae mawashi empi uchi: Augmented side elbow strike (e.g. in the kata, Heian yondan)
- Mawashi empi: Hook elbow strike
- Morote tsuki: Double punch (e.g. in the kata, Tekki shodan)
- Nakadaka Ippon Ken : one knuckle fist
- Nukite: Spear-hand strike
- Oi tsuki: Stepping punch
- Sanbon tsuki: Triple punch (age tsuki, gyaku tsuki, choku tsuki)
- Shuto uchi: Knifehand strike
- Shuto yoko ganmen uchi (knife-hand strike to head)
- Shuto sakotsu uchikomi (driving knife-hand to sternum)
- Shuto sakotsu uchi (knife-hand strike to clavicle)
- Shuto hizo uchi (knife-hand strike to spleen)
- Shuto jodan uchi uchi (inside knife-hand to neck)
- Sokumen empi uchi: Augmented elbow strike (e.g. in the kata, Tekki shodan)
- Tate tsuki: Half reverse punch, with a vertical fist
- Teisho furi uchi: Sideways palm-heel strike
- Teisho uchi: Palm-heel strike
- Tettsui: Hammer-fist strike
- Tettsui hasami uchi: Hammer-fist scissor strike
- Tettsui yoko uchi (bottom fist strike to side)
- Uraken uchi: Backfist strike
- Uraken mawashi uchi (backfist circular strike to the head)
- Uraken sayu ganmen uchi (backfist strike to side)
- Uraken hizo uchi (backfist strike to spleen)
- Ushiro empi ate (backwards elbow strike)
- Ura tsuki: Close short punch, with inverted fist, similar in nature to an 'uppercut'
- Ushiro empi: Back elbow strike
- Yama tsuki ("mountain punch"): Wide double fisted strike (e.g. in the kata, Bassai dai and Wankan)
- Awase zuke: Narrow double fisted strike
- Yoko empi: Side elbow strike
- Yoko tettsui: Sideways hammer-fist strike (e.g. in the kata, Heian nidan)
- Gyaku age tsuki: Rising reverse punch (e.g. in the kata, Enpi)
This article uses material from the Wikipedia articles "Karate", "List of shotokan techniques", and "Japanese Martial Arts", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.