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GS718Trek
Yellow Belt
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Joined: 08 Oct 2014
Posts: 74


PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:38 am    Post subject: "Gyaku Zuki" (reverse punch) - different methods Reply with quote

There are different known methods of performing this technique depending on Karate styles and lineages, or different martial arts in general... (e.g chinese arts, boxing, MT) In boxing and MT, it is typically referred to as the "right cross"

What methods and philosophies in technique do you prefer and found to be effective for your own personal style? or do you have the discipline to practice it in various ways?

It may sound like a simple question, but for me for example, I have been taught 4 different ways in execution. Differences encompass foot, body, hip, shoulder, elbows positions.


Last edited by GS718Trek on Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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tatsujin
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Joined: 12 Oct 2021
Posts: 53

Styles: Ryusei-ha Ryukyu Kempo Karate-jutsu

PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: "Gyaku Zuki" - different methods Reply with quote

GS718Trek wrote:
There are different known methods of performing this technique depending on Karate styles and lineages, or different martial arts in general... (e.g chinese arts, boxing, MT) In boxing and MT, it is typically referred to as the "right cross"

What methods and philosophies in technique do you prefer and found to be effective for your own personal style? or do you have the discipline to practice it in various ways?

It may sound like a simple question, but for me for example, I have been taught 4 different ways in execution. Differences encompass foot, body, hip, shoulder, elbows positions.


Another potential can o' worms and something else that can be a book of a response.

So, first of all, let's make sure we are all on the same page...

Japanese is a fun, fun language to learn. Gyaku-zuki is most often translated as "reverse punch" (more on that in a second). What we are actually talking about here is a "tsuki". Please do note that when used in a compound word where tsuki does not come first, its pronunciation and writing changes
slightly and it is pronounced as "zuki" (and is usually transliterated that way).

FUN SIDE NOTE: If you are ever in a Japanese or some Okinawan dojo, you may thiink people are yelling "SKI!" at you. They are not. They are saying tsuki.

So, why is the above important other than me seeming to be nitpicking? (LOL?). Because tsuki (zuki) derives from the verb tsuku and means "to thrust". A punch can be implied. But, what we are talking about is a thrust. So, for the vast majority of karatekas out there they will think along the lines of being in a zenkutsu-dachi or hanzenkutsu-dachi, steping forward and then (generally) executing a chudan or jodan level gyaku-zuki. OK. Great. More or less, that's it. Jeez, that's awfully limiting, eh?

As a thrust, I can use it as an escape from a wrist grab. Depending on what the hikite is doing (just define it as the off side pullback hand to avoid another can of worms and another book), I can use the tsuki/zuki as a joint dislocation or break. As a "punch" I have pretty much one technique. As a "thrust", a virtual plethora of techniques and uses open up to me.

Looking at boxing for the moment, you are in the same situation as really having just the one punching technique. OK, fine...let's just deal with that for a moment. Problem #1 is the elbow (and this is found in a TON of martial arts as well...think Shotokan to start with and then run from there). When the cross is thrown, the elbow is at least 90 degrees to the body. Up and out. And, for boxing that is totally fine. For me, not so much. Boxing is a rules based sport than can be used for self-defense. I don't box. Therefore, I don't have any rules. In the ring (unless you are fighting a younger and ticked off Mike Tyson), you have about a zero percent chance that someone may angle off and/or check the punch, grab your arm or wrist and execute an elbow break or dislocation. Do that against me, I am going to be doing my best to make your elbow bend the OTHER way! LOL! And, you know what is really "funny"? I could use a tsuki/zuki to do it! Anyway...

How would "I" do it? Leaving the more esoteric stuff aside for now (happy to discuss it any time though), the key here would be using the kinetic chains of the body, ending in the transference of force through the first two knuckles of the hand. What do I mean? A quick example:

1. You step forward with your left (could be the right, just accommodate accordingly) leg, driving your body forward with your back (right) leg [posterior kinetic chain].

2. You stiffen your front leg (to create a pivot point) and, using your back leg and hips, twist your right hip forward [hip turn kinetic chain].

3. You use the stiffening muscles of your legs, hips, and torso as a base, twist your shoulders to drive
your right shoulder forward and your left shoulder back [shoulder turn kinetic chain]. Just as a side note, there is a whole other "book" that can be written on how the hips and shoulders should be connected, but a another topic for a
different day.

4. You use the now-stiff muscles as a base, straighten and twist your right arm to deliver the punch [arm extension kinetic chain]. Note that many styles teach the turning of the palm of your right fist down effectively twists
the two bones of the forearm (ulna and radius) together to make a stiffer arm. which is more efficient at transferring the strike’s energy to the target. At that, I disagree slightly. Use a 3/4 turn punch. If you have ever boxed much or been around or watch boxing, you hear about them breaking their hand. Typically known as a boxer's fracture, this means they did not land the punch correctly and broke some bones. Usually, it means a break in the neck of the 5th metacarpal bone in the hand (sometimes the 4th, sometimes both). When you do a 3/4 twist, that puts the first two knuckles of the fist as the primary striking surface and greatly reduces the risk of breaking anything in your hand. Also, remember that pesky elbow I mentioned earlier? With a 3/4 twist punch, the elbow itself is pointed almost straight down and largely negates any sort of counter attack happening there. Lastly, I don't want the entire arm out straight, rigid and "locked". I want a structural line running from the shoulder to the elbow. Another running from the elbow to the wrist. Another running from the wrist to the two striking knuckles. This is much more efficient for a smooth transfer of power from the ground to the knuckles.

I'll leave it there...at least for now. This is already another book. Feet, stepping (if involved), the use of the kua as a means of loading and releasing and a few other things come into play. All the way to the placement (tilt/angle) of the feet.

Hopefully that all made sense and someone finds it remotely helpful.
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Dboxobi
White Belt
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Joined: 21 Oct 2021
Posts: 5

Styles: Okinawan/Japanese Karate

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took boxing, and was trained from a orthodox position, to have my feet angled a little clockwise from the opponents middle line while keeping my torso directly to opponent. When executing a right cross, My right foot would pivot counter clock wise, hips and R shoulder would follow same direction.

Compared to Muay thai (which I also have trained in) I was taught to be on balls of foot with heel slightly up, both feet pointing directly towards the opponent, the upper body mechanics closely follow the boxing method.

Now for MY personal preference- I prefer a stance that is more rooted to the ground as much as possible, making the Thai method my least desired way of throwing the cross. Just a personal opinion for my technique criteria
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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29040
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I originally learned the reverse punch in TKD, and still do it a lot in forms and basics work. I've used what I've learned in doing it in TKD and transferred it into my style of doing it when I work the bag or spar.

Punching power comes from the ground, and that is what I base my technique around. Power for this cross or reverse punch starts with the drive of the rear foot (a pivot, essentially), and then drives up through the leg to the hip, which gets a good twist, and through the trunk and finally to the arm, extended as the hips twist to drive in the power. In TKD, it's often, but not always done from a front stance. When I work outside of the context of forms and one-steps, I don't anchor it to a front stance, but learning it from a front stance helps to ingrain those steps into my practice.
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