How to Perform a Traditional Japanese Karate Punch.

Heres the basics for learning the Thrust Punch (Chuko Tsuki)

Traditional Japanese Karate is renowned for its unique way of developing powerful striking techniques and the Karate Punch is no exception.

Development of this technique is said to last a lifetime and it all begins with understanding the basic concepts of coordination, balance. and contraction

Beginners to the art start by learning how to coordinate arm movements which travel in opposite directions but with equal power.

Practice is carried out by performing the techniques in air, without contacting any objects, this is so that the student learns the basic concept of muscle engagement and focus, not to mention how to form a correct fist and the use of the appropriate striking knuckles.

The hips play a very big part in the development of the Karate Punch in that all power should originate from this region, travel up via the spine through the engagement of various muscle structures and eventually culminate in an explosion of power at the fist.

The pulling back of the fist is called (HIKITE) the purpose of this is to encourage a pulling motion at the instant the punch extends towards its target.

Focus or (KIME) as it is known is generated by the release of potential energy within the body as it transforms into kinetic energy at its release into the target.

As the arm extends from the HIKITE it only begins to rotate as the fist encounters its target, this rotation or corkscrew effect helps engage the forearm muscles, Biceps, Triceps, Deltoids, Pectorals, Latissimus & abdominal muscles and so on, all of which help to stabilise the skeletal structures.

The shoulders should not be raised and the elbows should be kept as close to the torso as possible.

It is at this stage that caution should be observed regarding the overlocking of the elbow joint,

a common fault of beginners.

Left unchecked, this overlocking can cause a repetitive strain injury called epicondylitis, which may lead to the shortening of the practitioners longevity in the art.

A final word on the repetitive nature of developing this technique.

As with all repetitive practice, it takes many hours of disciplined practice to develop your Karate Skills, therefore always start slowly with limited power and follow the guidance of a skilled instructor, for anyone can practice a lot and yet still get it wrong.

Chief Instructor YKA/UK

Chris Clarry 8th Dan.

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