Reverse punch

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Gyaku-tsuki, the reverse punch, is the most common karate technique. By definition, reverse punches are thrown with the trailing hand, like a boxer’s cross punch which does not cross your centerline.

To throw a reverse punch, run your arm along the trailing side of your body, until your elbow is one fist-width away from your chest (like the starting point for a front-foot punch.) Then turn the fist over with a snapping motion, just like a front-foot punch. Remember to incorporate reciprocal action by pulling the non-punching opposite-side hand to your hip, or perform a Kūsankū movement by pulling your leading-side hand across your centerline to the side of your face to swat an opponent’s counterattack aside.

[video of reverse punch from the front and from the side, blocking face with other hand]

Remember, punching power is generated by the wrist’s snapping turn-over, and by tensing all of the arm muscles at the moment of impact. Any technique without snap is just a push.

[video of a side view of a series of reverse punches, hitting a kicking shield. The first three are arm-only, with no turn over. The next three are 6” punches. The next three are full-power reverse punches. Make it dramatic.]