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Your 1st technique fist: Choku Zuki


Choku Zuki, basic karate punchChoku zuki is the fundamental punch:

This is usually the first technique taught in the dojos, and certainly the technique that will continue to perfect throughout his life of karateka. This is really a fundamental technique from which many others like Nukité, Ura Zuki, Tate Zuki ...

In short, believe me, keep working on your Choku Zuki.

Your whole body will be forged, as well as your mind. You will become stronger, more stable, more precise thanks to the work of Choku Zuki.

We will now break down Choku Zuki

Decomposition of Choku Zuki:

To avoid making mistakes in my explanations between the left and the right and not to confuse the mind, I will choose for example to explain to you Choku Zuki with the right fist. The other side being equivalent, you will be able to draw the parallel and adapt the explanation to the left side.Ikite in Karate

The right fist therefore, starts from the Ikite position, against the hip, the palm turned upwards.

As for many techniques in karate, if that's not all, the technique is not going to leave the fist, but from the center of the body : we will print a fast hip rotation from right to left (The right hip advances, the left moves back). Attention, this rotation has only very little amplitude, it is more a vibration which will spread to the trunk and drag the right arm forwards and backwards. We let go then fist right towards the target with a trajectory straight, elbow tight to the body. At the same time, the left fist goes back to the hip (Ikité). Care should be taken to keep shoulders relaxed and relaxed. The movement stops at impact after a wrist rotation. We end with the right arm palm turned to the ground and the left arm facing up. During kime, the abdominals are strongly contracted, the back (Glued scapula) and the dorsal muscles (underarm muscles) in order to lock the arms in the shoulder joint.

The arm is never fully stretched. The elbow is still slightly bent to protect the joint that should never reach the stop.

Kentos strikes with knucklesWe strike with the Kentos (articulation between the metacarpus and the phalanges of the index and middle finger)

Choku Zuki can work on bag or Makiwara (Punching Pot). But if you start, I do not recommend this type of training, because you will focus on your fist, while your Zuki must literally "Get out" of your belly (Hara).

It is better to work in a vacuum and learn how to channel all his energy in the fist who hits. So you will improve your Kime and your stability.
Do not forget to lock your joints at the time of kime because when working in the vacuum you risk injury if you let your joints come to a stop.

That's it, I hope you'll understand that Choku Zuki is really essential for your karate training. Whatever your level, you must work your Zuki as often as possible.

All karate is summarized in this technique, it is la fundamental technique

Here now the video that I prepared you on Choku Zuki, I show you all the details and you explain the mistakes not to commit with practical exercises for your training.

See you soon

(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

Give me your opinion in a comment below !

See you soon

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  1. Hello Bruno, thank you for your last PDF and last videos especially because some points that I had worked at the club are very technical.

  2. please help me my child 11 years shy, ca personnaliter and too soft
    and I have no choice but to make him love self defense how to do ?????

  3. Hello sensei!
    I would like to say thank you for this wonderful video
    It's been some time now that I wanted to start karate without really having the time because of the lack of clubs in the area and my studies involved.
    These videos are very clear even for a beginner like me, and allow me to combine this nascent desire and my busy schedule.
    I start the program of 12 weeks, and with these short videos I'll be able to do it every day! Really, I love it!
    Thanks again, and see you next time!

  4. Hello
    registered since yesterday
    I am delighted to have crossed this step.
    all the information provided by Bruno seems to me a very valuable support to understand the techniques and work better at the dojo ... and at home
    I started a month at the dojo but it's a little demotivating at first.
    With Bruno we already feel less zero and we understand how to progress
    so thanks.

    • Good evening Jean Luc,
      In fact the expiration begins before. The energy is actually belly and as soon as this energy begins to take shape in the belly the expiration starts and allows to regulate the intra-abdominal pressure. Expiration reaches its maximum at the moment of kime (or impact if you prefer) with a maximum release of energy in the target.
      A +

  5. Hi Bruno!
    Thank you for this very explanatory video, we understand better "the work" of the hance on the Zuki and I completely agree with you, the Zuki is the fundamental point in karate and it is a work perfected during our whole life ! 😛
    Again thank you for your articles and video very didactic!
    Good luck for the future !

  6. Hi Bruno. Can you make a video with little, see no talk at all? Do you want to try to do a complete karate course (in video) (from warm-up to kata, bonkai, tendokata to softening). It's a proposal. Video of 1hour for example. I will try to make one to show you with a minimum of talking not at all ;-). Sincerely. Lawrence.

    • Hello Laurent,

      The problem is that to make things clear, I do it better by talking. But I understand what you mean.
      After, make a video without speaking, for me it's no longer a pedagogical course, it's a demonstration.
      Or we assume that those who are watching already know all the technique and we do a classical training.
      In principle, I'm not against making videos complete classes but the purpose of this blog is not to do full workouts, but to improve in addition to your training at the dojo.

      That said, Laurent, I'm waiting for your video.


  7. Very happy to resume the basics forgotten since youth. Especially since it is very well explained, very educational. I was very keen to get back to karate but my schedules do not correspond with those clubs in my area ... 2 paid videos on vodéo do not explain enough bases, go too fast ... and there, miracle of the net, I fall on your, hem, your site. Great!

  8. Hello Bruno, your videos are very explicit, it allows me to train at home, in addition to my classes, continues it is very interesting for the whole family



  9. great Bruno video I did not think that such a simple gesture could contain as many application criteria, in any case all is extremely clear and well explained thank you to you

  10. Good evening Bruno,
    thank you for your enlightened answer, I just went to see programs 1 and 2, excellent !!!!! That's exactly what I was looking for, strongly programs 3,4,5 ...... ..21 ... etc !!! (I'm just kidding !!)
    thank you very much and very quickly,

  11. Hello Bruno,
    I just discovered this very good blog, your pedagogy is simple and natural, we have to understand!
    Just an idea to submit to you, why not classify techniques to learn by belt in the form of a program to follow a progression?
    Otherwise, do not change your way of explaining!
    A big thank-you,

    • Hello Jeff,
      Your idea of ​​classifying techniques into belt functions is not too possible, I think.
      Why? Because a Zuki, for example, is working all the time, whatever his level.
      Each person must come back to each technique throughout his life to refine and discover different facets.
      My videos are decrypted differently depending on whether you are beginners, black belt, 5ème dan ... How could I classify Oizuki in the white belts while Master Funakoshi worked it every day of his life and felt that he still had to learn ?

      But yes, I can do programs, and there are the beginner program, and you can also download the file of the passages of rank, there is a list of techniques to know by belt.
      I hope I have been helpful.

  12. Hello bruno

    thank you for this very clear video, I learn quickly I'm doing pretty well it's fat to you I enjoy because it's a good opportunity
    to have a teacher like you, "gedan barai" very good video well explained thank you I am contant hi.

  13. Thank you Bruno,

    Yes, I understand better now. I did not see it like that. But it's true that it's obvious explained this way.
    Now I would like to know how to properly practice breathing and Kiai in Choku Zuki? I think it's really crucial.
    You have already provided some answers above. But it's not easy to implement. Could you provide us with documentation on that? Or even better to write a complete article on the subject, to see with a small video to illustrate it?
    Thank you again Bruno, you have really enlightened me.

    • Yes, I thought about making an article and a video, but it's quite complex and I would not want to crash. I am still in the study phase. But it will come.
      To resume your choice of the "Haaa", I analyzed a little my own Kiai because like you, I have more intonation in the A than in the I and it is a little contradictory with what I wrote you before.
      In fact I realize that I do: "HIHAAA! The sound I is present until the impact, then it turns into its A when I let out the air at the moment of release.

      • From what I read, the sound "H" would express forced expiration and brief. The sound "I" closing the glottis. And the sound "A" its opening.
        Everything is explained in the article I put the link above.
        Since then I have checked on the net what is Ujjayi. And I found with astonishment the "Haaa" on a site dedicated to him.
        Here's the link:
        Then I checked what breathing is for karate. And on one site, I found a text inspired by Kenei Mabuni, the son of the founder of Shito-ryu (Kenwa Mabuni). This text deals with the subject in a complete way. And there is still mention of this sound "Haaa".
        Here is the link in question:
        Breathing methods have always been part of karate and come from ancient China.
        On the other hand, the notions of Kiai and Kime come from Shurite. It was Sokon Matsumora who transposed them to Karate according to the teachings of the Ken-jutsu Jigen-ryu school.
        And to better understand these concepts we could take these ideas directly to their sources. Here's a last video to know what Kiai is for the Jigen-ryu Saber School:
        Moreover, we see practitioners hitting branches with pieces of wood. It seems that this is what Matsumora inspired for the practice of Makiwara.
        If you want to know more about it, I recommend Kenji Tokitsu's book "The Story of Karate-do". He's a Shotokan master who knows how to explain how karate is.

      • Hi Bruno,

        I allow myself to return to this question of Kiai. Because I just read a biography of Master Harada which is very interesting.
        In this book there is a passage reported by Harada where it is about G. Funakoshi and his Kiai.
        I quote the passage in question: "It is said that the old master struck makiwara a thousand times a day, fist left and right lightly while throwing a light" Hoi ". "
        I found this anecdote interesting me who always wondered how to correctly perform the Kiai.
        I consider G. Funakoshi as a leading reference on Karate.
        And therefore this sound "Hoi" is really not very far from the sound "Haa" which I had already spoken to you. But finally to each his Kiai. The important thing for me was to tell you about this anecdote, so few references to this famous Kiai sound.


  14. I really think it's the fundamental fist technique. And I wonder if this is not the most basic technique of karate.
    It is by implementing this video that I realized it.
    I think it is by its shape that is simplified to the maximum. This facilitates the study of the fundamental bases of Karate.
    I think it's the right support for practicing karate breathing techniques. And blow himself to work the Kiai.
    For example, I inhale slowly through the nose while inflating my belly. And I expire in strength by the mouth leaving naturally deflate my stomach. I try to coordinate my breath and my Choku Zuki technique.
    However, do not forget to start with an expiration to empty the stale air.
    After training me well at this, I exhale my Kiai in a forced way as by expiration. I chose the "Haaa ...". Because the sound "A" opens the glottis whereas the "I" would rather tend to close it.
    I gave these examples to illustrate my experience of this technique. But I think this choku Zuki can really be the ideal support for working all the bases of karate. Trunk work, hips, shoulders, "Hara" and many more etc ...
    We can even replace the Hachiji-dachi by Shiko-dachi to work our ground anchors.

    • Hello Fabrice,

      You are launching an interesting debate:
      Can we work effectively on Kiai on Choku Tsuki and Is this the most appropriate technique?
      Personally, I think you're right, Choku Tsuki, because of its simplicity, allows you to focus on the very foundations of the technique and the basics of Karate.
      On the other hand, I do not quite agree about the Kiai and the choice of "Haaa ..." and the opening of the glottis.
      Indeed, I think that to maintain an internal pressure at the moment of the Kime, one should not try to open the glottis completely.
      Sailors pulling a rope make: "Ho! Hiis! And not "Ho! Haas! "
      The ideal, in my opinion, at the time of the Kiai is to adopt the Ujjayi breath (the victorious breath) that the Yogi know well and that allows to form a "valve" at the back of the glottis, a little like a valve.
      The three diaphragms of the glottis, respiratory diaphragm, and pelvic floor must combine to create internal pressure at the back of the trunk to improve body stability.

      • Hello Bruno,

        For the choice of Haaa ... in Kiai, I based on an article found on the internet. This is an article published by a Goshin-budo school. It would be a martial art founded by Karate master Soke Shogo Kuniba who was one of the rare 10ème dan of Karate in Japan.
        For the Ho! Hiis! sailors. I do not think it's the same thing because they have to shoot, not hit. In addition, he must maintain the effort. Which is not the case during a tsuki.
        Finally for "Ujjayi" type breathing, I do not think that yoga breathing techniques are the same as those of karate. I even read somewhere that it was the opposite of Karate and Zen. Even if Zen comes from the Indian Dyana through the Chinese Ch'an influenced by Taoism.
        I confess my ignorance in the matter, you may be right. The question deserves to be deepened.
        Breathing in karate is fundamental and one of the keystones of karate since its origins. It might even be wise to devote an article to it, or even a short video for abdominal breathing. This can be practiced alone at home. And moreover breathing is at the base of Kiai. Indispensable in the practice of Kihon and Katas.
        I leave you the link of the article on breathing by Goshin-budo school. You can get an idea.

      • What I wanted to explain is that we should not open the glottis at the time of the Kiai, otherwise it's like a pressure cooker when you remove the valve, all the energy goes away from a single stroke.
        But we want the energy to be transmitted to the technique and not evacuated by the mouth.
        By keeping the glottis just slightly open as in Ujjayi, we control the internal pressure in the abdominal and thoracic cavity.
        The glottis will be opened wide just after the impact at the moment of relaxation.

  15. Very educational, but video a bit too long. 10 min if adapted would be in my opinion the ideal format. However, it is a very beautiful and complete job that you explain to you there. Without forgetting the work in club which allows us to coorign each other between more and less graded. Thanks again to exist and share your knowledge with ease.

    • Hello Pat,

      Too long? It's a training video. Put the kimono for 10 minutes, it seems a bit short on the contrary.
      In general, I try to give the most technical detail and advice at the beginning of the video and then it's pure training, but I have trouble making it shorter.


  16. Hello,

    A question I ask myself while watching this video. Why do we Hikite at the hip? Whereas in older forms of Okinawa Karate it was higher. In particular, at the level of the floating coasts. And even more for Choki Motobu.
    Does placing Hikite at the hip allow more power?

      • About hikite, somebody say it is useful for giving power to the techiniches, and talk about the principle of action and reaction, Third Law of newton, other say that hikite is useful Tor grap your opponent. No my questi on is

        1 Are you scientific evidence that hikite Give power to the techinches?

        When you are kamite you are on Kamae, if your hand is on the hip, your guard is open to the opponent how can you use it on hihite on ju kumite, on competition. o self defense?

  17. Hi Bruno
    I like your video. It explains the interest of perfecting this technique because the notion of "vibration" and hip work that you talk about are found in almost all techniques of the upper limbs.
    On the other hand you speak about the risks of the work on bag, but you do not speak (in the text as in the video) of the risks of the work in the vacuum. I'm talking here about the potential lesions that can occur on the joints. You only "approach" in the video, the risks for the shoulder if it is not locked down, but you do not speak of the elbow.
    Off, it seems to me (and to have made the expense younger because of a warning from my teacher at the time) that working "too hard" in a vacuum can be harmful to the joints. I mean by "too strong" to reach the joint stop of the elbow which puts it in hyper extension.
    Even today, when I work with my students in the upper limbs, I still feel pain when I now "reserve" when I work in a vacuum.
    It might be worth it to put a warning (at least in the text) on the need to measure one's power in the void ... After what I say is only my commitment
    Congratulations for your pedagogy!
    @ Soon !

    • Hello Nico,
      Your remark is true about working in a vacuum and the risk of injury if you do not lock the joints.
      I just modified the article a bit to warn readers of the risks. Thank you for making this suggestion.

      • Hello!
        The stop is when the arm is completely stretched, and it should therefore avoid going to the end? As I begin, I would really like not to risk hurting my elbow by doing bad gestures in a vacuum.

  18. Hello,

    thank you for this very clear and educational video.
    I find many elements that I practice, and that our teacher also teaches us.
    It's nice to have taken the time to film and share.
    I will come back to this site.

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