Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

November 8th , 2015

From Rick Cupoli, Ni Dan, Shihan West Melbourne Dojo

Forward Punch

The forward punch is the most basic technique outside of stepping first. Because it is so basic it can be taken for granted and is often executed improperly. Among the most common errors is dipping the fist downward as the arm extends to slam the fist into its target. This misapplication is caused when the elbow is allowed to wing out while throwing the punch.


This can be easily experienced with a simple exercise. Using just your right arm, chamber your fist to prepare for a punch. Now allow your elbow to wing out. From this position, very slowly, extend your arm to throw a forward punch. You will notice that your wrist is forced to drop prior to meeting the target. At full speed this can be very dangerous for your arm and wrist and renders the punch ineffective.


Now, let’s perform the same exercise, but this time the proper way. Place your right arm in the chamber as before. This time make sure that your elbow stays directly behind the fist at all times. This means that your elbow is straight back and your forearm is parallel to the floor. Now, very slowly, extend your arm to throw the punch; keep the fingers of your fist facing the ceiling. Extend your arm to be completely straight and turn your wrist when your arm is fully extended. Notice how natural and efficient your arm feels during this motion. The same mechanics are to applied to the arm coming back allowing the arms to work together to create a devastating punch.

This simple exercise affirms the vitally important principle of maintaining a proper chamber. This chambering principle must be enforced throughout the entire technique by keeping the elbow directly behind the fist.


Domo Arigato,


Rick Cupoli

Shihan West Melbourne Dojo

Ni Dan