List of Karate Skills

List of Karate Skills

Every sport requires a culmination of many skills in order to perform well at said sport. Basketball, soccer, and handball all require dribbling, passing, and shooting. Football requires throwing and catching. Hockey requires skating and baseball requires batting. Karate may seem different from traditional ball sports as a martial art, but it requires many skills all the same.

Karate Skills

  • Straight Punch
  • Front Lunge Punch
  • Front Kick
  • Roundhouse Kick
  • Side Stance
  • Back Stance
  • Front Stance
  • Down Block

Straight Punch

Known as Choku Zuki in Japanese, or more commonly as the jab, the straight punch is the most basic punch there is. This move is done by making a fist, with fingers tucked into the palm, and the thumb tucked in between the first and second knuckles. The striking point should be the knuckles of the pointer and middle finger, as it is the strongest part of the hand.

Front Lunge Punch

Known as Oi-Zuki in Japanese, this punch starts by stepping into a front stance, or Zenkutsu Dachi, with the punching leg. When throwing the punch, the arm technique should be the same as for a straight punch. However, for this punch, you also push both the front hip and pectoral forward with the punch in order to add force.

Front Kick

One of the basic kicks in Karate, known as Mae Geri in Japanese, the front kick is very versatile, as it can be used quickly and sharply as a snapping front kick, or longer and more powerfully as a thrusting front kick. It can also be performed from the back or front leg in a fighting stance. This kick follows the four basic steps of any kick: chamber the kick by bringing the leg that’s kicking up with a bent knee and ankle, perform the kick, return to chamber, and finally put the leg back down. The striking point should be the flat of the foot.

Roundhouse Kick

Known as Mawashi Geri in Japanese, is a rapid kick that gains power through the rotation of the hips. It follows the same four basic steps (chamber, kick, chamber, down) and is done off the front leg from the side of the target. The kicking leg should be raised, knee and ankle bent, with a straight line from the shin bone down to the top of the foot. This is then released in a snapping motion, with the striking point being the top of the foot.

Side Stance

There are various stances in karate that help maximize offense and defense. One of the three basic stances is the side stance, known as Kiba Dachi in Japanese. This stance is performed by keeping the feet wide and parallel, keeping the back straight, having knees and feet pointing somewhat inwards, and by keeping most of your weight on your lower body.

Back Stance

Another one of the three basic stances, the back stance is also known as Kokutsu Dachi in Japanese. This stance is performed by keeping a straight front leg with forward-pointing feet, a slightly bent front knee, a heavily bent back knee, keeping both feet apart by one and a half times your shoulder length, keeping an upward pelvis, keeping a straight back and neck, and keeping 70% of your weight on your back foot, with 30% of your weight on your front foot.

Front Stance

The last of the three basic stances, the front stance is also known as Zenkutsu Dachi in Japanese. This stance is performed by keeping an extended back, keeping the rear leg straight at the knee, keeping the front knee bent, keeping a slightly bent back knee, keeping the back foot turned outwards from around 30 degrees to 45 degrees, keeping your feet wider than shoulder length, and keeping 60% of your weight on your front foot, with 40% of your weight on your back foot.

Down Block

The down block, also known as Gedan Barai in Japanese, is one of the basic blocks in Karate, and starts with the blocking arm at the ear, with the non-blocking arm at around belly-button height. From there, you slide the blocking arm down the top of the other arm. Then, you bring the non-blocking arm to the hip, and step out into the front stance.