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How to do a Choku-Zuki? Use your Hip and Pelvis!

Our friends from Karate Dojo WaKu in Tokyo allowed us to share the following video. This time, they explain how to do a choku-zuki.

How does it work?

A choku-zuki is a punch in an upright stance called heiko dachi. Although, it belongs to the most basic punches, it poses many difficulties for beginners to execute it with a maximum of power and speed. No forward body-movement supports the punch. Therefore, the secret to the choku-zuki lies in the utilization of the hip and pelvis rotation. Both have to move slightly back and forth in order to initiate the movement and to create a whiplash-effect. Without the hip and pelvis rotation only the shoulders and arms generate power. That limits the efficiency and effectiveness of the punch.

Basic Posture of Choku-Zuki

The starting position comprises the front hand in a zuki position while the back hand rest in hikite position between the hip and the rips. Do not forget to pull the hikite hand as much back as position. As a result the arm muscles create some tension. That makes it possible to release the arm like the arrow from a bow. When the fist reaches it target, the arm will have accelerated to maximum speed and thus power.

The picture shows Hirokazu Kanazawa. His Seiken and Ki were tremendous. In this picture he does a Choku-zuki.
Hirokazu Kanazawa doing a choku-zuki.

Basic Movement of Choku-Zuki

When you move your fist an arm forward focus on a straight motion. Your arm should not rotate towards the target. Keep it straight without tensing up. Therefore, the elbows must stay inside. If the move outside you lose a lot of energy and disrupt your joints. During the whole motion stay relaxed. Only a few millimeters before your arm has fully extended use kime for a split of a second.

What to Consider

Do not forget to use a slight hip-rotation in order to initiate the punch. However, do not leave your hip at the front. Create a tiny counter motion by pulling it back before your fist reaches the target. Once you have mastered this you will experience the so called “whip-lash-effect“. You then create power and tension without using to much of your muscle power. Thus, your punch will become way more efficient.

You must also focus on you knuckles (seiken). Only the inner two (index and middle finger) should hit the target. The physical idea behind that is to maximize energy on a very small spot. The effect of the impact will then much stronger.

How do you do your choku-zuki? Critical comments are welcome!