Haymaker

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Mawashi tsuki (literally: “go-around punch”) is known as a haymaker punch in English speaking-countries, since it mimes mowing grasses with an invisible scythe. Haymakers are derisively called "cowboy punches," since they were the staple of Western movie fight scenes.

To perform a haymaker, whip your arm from the shoulder in a large horizontal loop. Unlike a conventional karate punch, haymakers do not “snap,” they use weight transfer to generate momentum, rather than using muscle contraction to deliver power. This requires a significant wind-up, which telegraphs the punch. To optimize your momentum, take a same-side step forward as your swing, like a pursuit punch. Unlike a hook punch, haymakers have little-to-no bend in the elbow, to increase their range. As a consequence your wrist must be turned slightly inward, to ensure that your knuckles contact the opponent -- however, your seiken will not be in-line with your forearm, increasing your risk of suffering a sprained wrist or a boxer’s fracture. Because of their large, looping path, haymakers must travel a distance which is (by definition) π-times longer than a straight punch would. Haymakers thus take over three times as long to connect than a straight punch would, so even a moderately-skilled opponent would receive the necessary time to evade, block, and counterattack.

For the reasons given above, haymakers are basically never used in karate, except when assuming the opponent's role during haymaker-defense waza. However, haymaker punches are extremely popular among untrained fighters (e.g., edgy middle schoolers, drunks outside of bars), because they look spectacular, feel powerful, and require literally no skill. Karateka must study haymakers to know how to defend against them, because if you are ever attacked, it will likely be with a haymaker.

{Video of Haymakers from the front and side}