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The Natural Weapons of Karate

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The Natural Weapons of Karate


In Karate, the “Seiken” refers to the closed fist, and it is one of the basic elements of striking techniques in the system. Seiken, which translates to “fore fist” in Japanese, represents both power and precision. Karate practitioners spend years perfecting their Seiken, making sure that it becomes a formidable weapon capable of delivering devastating and lethal blows. The correct formation of the fist, with the knuckles of the index and middle fingers making contact, will make sure that the force is concentrated and distributed effectively. Through rigorous, hard training and discipline, Karateka learn to harness the potential of their Seiken, turning it into a symbol of focus, strength, and unwavering determination in the pursuit of martial excellence.

Tettsui – Hammer fist

In Karate and other martial arts, the “Tettsui” is a striking technique known as the “Hammer Fist.” This technique involves using the bottom part of a closed fist, near the wrist, to strike a target with a downward motion, similar to how one would use a hammer. The Tettsui is particularly effective for delivering powerful and concentrated blows, often targeting vulnerable areas such as the temple, collarbone, or sternum. It is a versatile technique that can be used in various situations, making it an essential tool in a martial artist’s arsenal. The Hammer Fist embodies the concept of precision and force, demonstrating the martial artist’s ability to adapt and employ different striking techniques to achieve their goals effectively. The Hammer fist is especially effective when striking downward in a repeated motion targeting the lower jaw.


Tiger Claw

The Tiger Claw is a distinctive and powerful hand technique used in various martial arts, including Kung Fu and some forms of Karate. This technique involves forming a hand shape that mimics a tiger’s paw, with the fingers slightly spread and the fingers’ tips acting like sharp claws. The Tiger Claw is not only a striking tool but also a grappling and controlling technique. It allows the practitioner to target vital points on an opponent’s body, such as pressure points, joints, and nerve centres, with precision and force. The Tiger Claw symbolizes both strength and dexterity, making it a formidable aspect of martial arts that showcases the martial artist’s ability to harness the characteristics of this majestic and fierce big cat in their techniques. The Tiger Claw is especially effective when attacking the eyes or using the thumbs for gouging.

Ippon Ken (karate)

“Ippon Ken” is a Japanese term used in Karate and other martial arts, which translates to “One-Knuckle Fist” in English. This specialized hand technique involves concentrating the striking force on a single knuckle, usually the index finger knuckle or the middle finger knuckle. It is an advanced and precise method of striking, often targeting specific pressure points or vulnerable areas of an opponent’s body especially the floating ribs below the arm. Ippon Ken is known for its effectiveness in delivering powerful, penetrating strikes with a minimal surface area, making it a formidable tool in self-defence and combat situations. It requires a high level of skill, focus, and discipline to master and is an example of the refined and intricate techniques that martial artists strive to perfect.

Koshi – Ball of the foot

In martial arts, “Koshi” refers to the ball of the foot. This part of the foot, located just behind the toes, is used in various techniques for striking and balance. It is particularly useful in kicking techniques such as the front kick (Mae Geri) or the roundhouse kick (mawashi Geri) in Karate and other martial arts. The Koshi is a precise and versatile part of the foot used to deliver effective and focused kicks. It is an integral aspect of martial arts training, emphasizing the importance of proper footwork and accurate striking, contributing to a practitioner’s overall skill and control in combat situations.


Sokuto- Foot edge (Karate)

In martial arts, “Sokuto” refers to the edge of the foot, specifically the outer edge of the foot. This technique is commonly used in various striking and blocking techniques in disciplines like Karate. The Sokuto is a very versatile tool, particularly when it comes to delivering precise, cutting kicks or strikes to an opponent. For example, it is often used in techniques like “Yoko Geri Keage,” which is a side snap kick, where the edge of the foot is employed to strike the target. Sokuto requires careful training and flexibility to utilize this part of the foot with precision, making it an important element in martial arts.


“Haisoku” refers to the instep, this is the top part of the foot, between the toes and the ankle. The Haisoku is a versatile and essential tool for both offensive and defensive techniques. It is used in various kicking and blocking manoeuvres in disciplines like Karate and Taekwondo. When executing kicks, the instep is often used to deliver accurate, powerful strikes, in techniques such as “Mae Geri” (front kick) or “Yoko Geri Keage” (side snap kick). The Haisoku can also be used for blocking, as it provides a flat and sturdy surface for intercepting and deflecting away incoming attacks especially low kicks. Effective use of the instep is a fundamental basic for martial artists, as it allows for effective and controlled strikes.



“Enpi,” also known as “Empi,” is a Karate kata, which is a prearranged sequence of movements that simulates a series of combat scenarios. The name “Enpi” translates to “Flying Swallow” in Japanese, and this kata emphasizes various elbow techniques.

Enpi is known for incorporating a range of elbow strikes and strikes with the forearm in its movements. Practitioners perform rapid and precise elbow techniques, often demonstrating the versatility of elbow strikes in close-quarters combat. These techniques can be used to attack an opponent’s vital points, defend against incoming attacks, or create openings for counterattacks. Enpi is practiced by martial artists to refine their understanding of timing, distance, and the effective application of elbow strikes within a preset sequence, which can be adapted for practical self-defence or full contact sparring.

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