How to do Basic Karate Hand Strikes with Master David Younglove

By Greatmats Staff Created: June, 2018 - Modified: July, 2021

Let's talk about basic karate hand strikes. The four we're going to talk about are the reverse punch, chop, ridge hand and a hammer fist.

Reverse Punch (Cross punch)

Let's start out with the punch because that's the most important.
With hands up - always start with hands centered in the body - we're going to strike with the back hand.
Most want to strike with their palm up. But with a little turn at the end you get a little burst of energy.
Let your rear hip and rear foot pivot with you to take all of that kinetic energy in your body and transfer it to your opponent - giving the same striking power as someone about 100 pounds heavier than you.
As the hips and foot turn, it give you more distance to your strike as well as power. The rear hip should cross the plane of the other hip. You can't pivot too much.

The Chop (Sudo Strike)

The same applies to the chop. Open your hand and tuck the thumb for a sudo strike. Starting higher - ear height - pivot the hips, cock the arm, brink the hand across and strike to the side of the neck or to the temple.

Ridgehand Strike

This strike uses the front part of the hand, making contact with the bone at the base of the pointer finger. Again, tuck the thumb to avoid injuring yourself. Using the same hip turn and foot pivot as the previous strikes. The striking hand comes out to the outside of the target and comes across with a target of the side of the neck or temple.

Hammer Fist

The hammer fist can be done to the side. The base of your fist is very soft until you clinch the fist. Then it becomes very resilient to impact. Follow the same technique as the chop - only keeping a tight fist. The same can be done in a downward motion. Starting behind the hand and come straight down on the the back of the head of your opponent is bent over.
David Younglove
USA Karate & Platinum Yoga
Rosemount MN 55068
For more on this topic please review our Martial Arts Mats product page.