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USA Karate Sparring Tips

Get more reach from your punches and kicks during point sparring


By David Younglove

Let's go over some basic sparring drills. When punching, there are different reasons to change the position of your punching hand from palm down, to palm vertical or palm up. This will affect the positioning of your elbow as well.

When punching with your palm up, tip your hip underneath to extend the reach to about twice the distance of when you just extend your arm. This is typically aimed for your opponents midsection - under the elbow.

With a palm down punch you are more committed and more exposed as you will turn your body more. If you pick up your elbow first, it allows you to go over your opponents shoulder or arm to the chin or chest. Remember to protect your face.

Some of the same concepts can be applied to kick. When using a side kick you can shift your hip a and pivot your foot a little farther to get more distance. This works best after you've trained your opponent to expect shorter side kicks.
David Younglove
USA Karate & Platinum Yoga
Rosemount MN
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