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The common punches in karate are the Upper Punch [Jodan Zuki] and Middle Punch [Chudan Zuki]. The key points for delivering these punches are:

  • Strike or contact area would be the first two knuckles

  • The pulling back hand and the punching hand should be coordinated. Emphasis must be on both hands and not the punching hand only

  • Both elbows must be kept down and slightly forward or back at the side of the body

  • Power is generated from the hip

  • KIAI [shouting] when delivering attacks helps to release the stored energy, delivering a greater impact on the attack


Besides the common punches, there are a variety of punches or strikes with an empty hand. They are applied in different situations and striking at different targets. They are also effective depending on the range and targets.


The varieties are:

  • Age Zuki – Rising punch

  • Gyaku Zuki [Chudan & Jodan] – Reverse punch

  • Haishu Uchi – Backhand strike

  • Haito Uchi – Ridge Han strike

  • Kage Zuki – Hook punch

  • Kizami Zuki – Jab punch

  • Mawashi Zuki – Roundhouse punch

  • Morote Zuki – Double Fist punch

  • Nukite – Spear Hand strike [Nihon or Yonhon]- Two or Four fingers spear

  • Oi Zuki – Lunge punch

  • Shuto Uchi – Knife hand strike

  • Tate Zuki – Vertical punch

  • Uraken Zuki – Back Fist strike

  • Ura Zuki – Upside Down punch/ inverted punch or uppercut

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