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Gyaku Zuki: Reverse Punch


gyakuzuki-profileGyaku Zuki is the punch of the rear arm:

We studied previously Choku Zuki, the fundamental punch and Zenkutsu Dachi, the position with front leg bent.

So naturally we will study Gyaku Zukibecause this punch is mainly used in Zenkutsu Dachi position (or also Fudo Dachi for advanced karate). Gyaku Zuki is extremely known competitors because he is formidable against attack. It is more rarely applied as a direct attack because unlike Oi Zuki, where the stroke arrives at the same time as the displacement, for Gyaku Zuki, we have to first position yourself to then launch the technique. This 1er phase of positioning will be difficult to place in combat without arousing the attention of your opponent, you will have to feign wisely with good timing.

On the other hand, Gyaku Zuki is ideal in counter attackbecause you can position yourself during the blocking or dodging phase and then launching Gyaku Zuki against by a live hip rotation.

Decomposition of Gyaku Zuki:

As I told you, Gyaku Zuki, breaks down into 2 phases :

  • Phase N ° 1: Positioning : You will take a basic position (Zenkutsu Dachi, Kokutsu DachiEtc.). For ease of understanding, we will not discuss in this article the Gyaku Zuki that in position Zenkutsu Dachi. So you position yourself in Zenkutsu Dachi's ¾ face to your opponent. This is called Hanmi. The front arm is more or less taut in front. The back fist is at the hip (Ikite) palm facing upward. The elbow is pulled backwards by contracting the muscles of the back, the shoulder blades are close together, the back is straight.
  • Phase No. 2: Execution of Gyaku Zuki : You are simply doing some kind of Choku Zuki of the back arm. You turn the pelvis sharply, taking support on the back leg and on the back. This rotation of the hips spreads to the trunk up to the shoulders. The rear arm is then let go towards the target while pulling the front arm in Ikity towards the opposite hip. We lock at the moment of Kime by a contraction of the abdominals and the back to "cash" the energy back.

As for Choku Zuki, all the energy starts from the belly (Hara). It is this internal energy that we will leave " explode In the hip rotation. You must keep the back heel "planted" in the ground, the foot turned as far forward as possible. You must not lift the heel by pressing on the front of the foot, then you lose the connection with the ground that will allow you to collect the energy back to the impact.

Arm and leg synchronization:

The back leg is stretched at the same time as the striking arm:

  • The impulse starts from the center:
    • contraction of the abdominals,
    • rotation of the hip, trunk and shoulders
  • and spreads in the members:
    • contraction of the thigh and brachial triceps
    • contraction of the calf and forearm with wrist rotation
  • To finish in the ends:
    • thrust in the heel and contraction of the fist.

The body then forms a homogeneous block.

It is said to be monolithic (like a stone)

Here, I hope I could enlighten you in the understanding of this technique of fist of the back arm that Gyaku Zuki.

You will be able now practice with the video that I have prepared for you.

I incorporated at the beginning exercises on hip rotations and at the end of specific stretching for the Gyaku Zuki.

I find you right now! ... to your kimonos!

(Do not forget to warm up before, thanks to the advice I give you in the ABCs of warming up , my book to download for free ;-))

>>> Download the video

So? How was the training? the video you to more? I hope it will allow you to progress in your Gyaku Zuki

Give me your feedback or comments in a comment below. Thank you

See you soon,

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  5. Good evening Bruno,

    I practice karate shotokan twice a week since mid-November in a club.

    In order to progress more quickly I practice at home with your excellent videos, very explicit.
    You are a great pedagogue.

    Thank you very much for making us all enjoy your experience. You show great generosity.


  6. Hello Bruno,

    Thank you very much for this video, which was of great help to me because I could not rotate my hips for the Gyaku zuki. I will not be my abductors either.
    Your explanations are precise and clear.
    More than now ...

  7. Hello Bruno,
    In another post you talk about the concept of "nige" and it seems to me that in your explanation of gyaku tsuki you are in it! it's a notion where I'm not 100% ok but on this technique it makes sense (in my opinion 😉 in the passage between the 9ème and 10min (if I'm not mistaken) you say that the Hip rotation force divides into two, one part that goes to the punching of the other's fist towards the arriving leg! While at the beginning of the video you say that it's the leg that pushes! The power of the techniques, and this does not matter which, take their strength from the ground.Thus for me it is not the hip that gives the power but the feet! The retation of the hip will fill the power in spiral to guide it until 'to the upper limb.
    Here, I thought this little detail was important. But it only binds me and my amble experiance.

    • Hello Pascal,
      No it has nothing to do with " Nige". This notion has nothing to do with the direction of the force but is a notion of escape behind a part of the body. In Gyaku Zuki, the leg does not go back, but the force it generates is directed backwards:
      In my explanation of GyakuZuki, I say that it is the leg that pushes, and therefore the force goes back to lean on the ground. It is the ground by the principle of the action / reaction which returns this force in the leg then the arm.
      For me everything starts from the center in the Hara and the muscles of the leg and arm contracts like a wave from the center to the ends as I explain in the chapter "Synchronization arm and leg" of the article.
      It is at the end of the race, at the moment of impact when the muscles are in contraction that the force of thrust of the leg in the ground comes by reaction back in the leg and the arm to add to the strength of the arms.
      I hope I have been clear (and net) but if you still have a doubt, do not hesitate.


  8. Hello bruno

    My name is milane and I have 8 years and a half. This is my first year of karate. I would like to know the difference between choku zuki and gyaku zuki.
    thank you for your site it helps me a lot


    • Hello Milane,
      The Choku Zuki is the fundamental shot of point whatever the position. Putting a shot is called Choku Zuki while the Gyaku Zuki is the point shot made with the back arm.
      See the video of Choku Zukimaybe you'll understand better.
      In fact, one could say that Gyaku Zuki is a Choku Zuki from the back arm or that Oizuki is a Choku Zuki advancing.
      Good training, Milane,

  9. Good evening Bruno,

    Well tonight I reviewed Gyaku-Zuki, it's very interesting to redecompose the definition of this Tsuki-Waza, this attack is very powerful, and you're right to insist on the work of the hip.

    It is important to have a strong pelvic girdle, and work its flexibility by gentle stretching in rotation, the back flat on the ground,
    Hannoun will soon solve his little problem.

    Congratulations for your didactic sense.

    Have a nice evening and see you soon.


  10. Bonjour,
    thank you very much for this clear and clear explanation ^ _ ^
    I would just like to ask you if there were other exercises for hip rotation.
    I am debutatn Karate (I started about a month ago), and I must admit that I have trouble turning my hip properly, for now I only know 2 exercises on my subject have good help but I would like to learn more.
    Thank you Mr.Bruno and good luck

    • Hello Hannoun,
      You can talk to me, it will be more fun.
      If you start, do not worry, it's normal that you still have difficulties with the rotation of hips because it is an exercise that is not done in everyday life. In general we can not move his hip because the muscles around, and they are the most powerful of the body, are under tension. It is therefore necessary gradually to relax by a stretching work and an internal work of relaxation. You must try to visualize your pelvis, well know the muscles attached to it and relax them to the maximum.
      The exercises in this video are a first approach, I will do others.
      But advice, in karate, it takes patience. You look motivated, you will not get there.
      Good luck.

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