Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (January 23rd, 2006)

Sensei Joe Knight

Director- East Meets West Karate Club



One of the karate techniques that best exemplify the “moving forward” aspect of Ueshiro Shorin-Ryu karate is the chasing punch or oi-zuki. The deshi is introduced to this technique as they begin practicing special exercise oyo-tan-ren (composed by Sensei James Wax), and then kata Fukyugata Sandan (composed by Master Ansei Ueshiro).

Oi-zuki is a difficult technique for the new student to emulate since it introduces complex foot/hand movements while the deshi remains in a low stance. The physical objectives at the completion of a properly executed oi-zuki should be as follows:

The torso is in a jigotai-daichi stance, with center of gravity over the knot of the belt

The striking hand has executed a chest punch (chudan-zuki) to the side

The opposite hand is fully chambered, and ready for the next move

The head is fully facing toward the opponent being punched

For the new deshi, the common errors include not staying in a low stance while moving the feet, not keeping the leading foot on the imaginary tightrope line that points to your target, throwing the side punch before being rooted (not stepping first), not executing a corkscrew side punch from the chambered position

For the intermediate and advanced student, common errors include distortion of the jigotai-daichi center of gravity (by leaning towards the target or leaning over the knot of the belt), compromising the technique’s foundation by lifting the foot off the ground or rising the heal, and not using the hip to “explode” the technique.

Before the introduction of Fukyugata Sandan, this technique was not introduced to the Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu student until green belt kata training. It was Master Ueshiro’s intent to expose the white belt western student (typically U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa) to these advanced low stances early in the training curriculum, so that they could develop the low foundation & hara required for eastern martial arts training.


Domo Arigato Hanshi Ueshiro for the Sugar!

Sensei Joe Knight

Director- East Meets West Karate Club