When someone starts their martial arts journey, there are some basic moves that make up the building blocks of everything that you will do. These include various punches, kicks, and blocks. Learning the foundational moves of Goju-Ryu will enable you or your child to grow within the artform and progress from white belt all the way up to black. To help, here are three basic karate moves and how to do them.
Straight Punch (Choku Zuki)
A straight punch, Choku Zuki in Japanese, is also known as the jab. It is the most basic punch, and you use the same technique in other types of punches. To start, you must make a fist, which you do by folding your fingers (excluding your thumb) down so that the pads of your fingertips touch the joint where your fingers meet your palm. Next, bend your knuckles at the base of your fingers to tuck your fingers into your palm. Lastly, tuck your thumb between the first and second knuckles of your fingers. Do not tuck your thumb inside of your fingers, or you may break it on contact. Now you have formed a punch!
When you throw your punch, you always want to strike with the pointer and middle finger knuckles at the base of your fingers. This is the strongest part of your hand and will keep you from fracturing your fingers or the bones in your hand.
Front Kick (Mae Geri)
One of the most basic kicks is the front kick, Mae Geri in Japanese. The front kick can be thrown from either your front or back leg when you are standing in a fighting stance. It can also be thrown as a snapping front kick, which is a quick and sharp motion, or as a thrusting front kick, a longer more powerful motion used to push someone away.
When performing any kick, you want to follow four simple steps: chamber, kick, chamber, down. Front kick is no different. To chamber a front kick, you bring your leg up, so your thigh is perpendicular with the floor, with a bent knee and bent ankle. This is readying your kick. Next, extend your leg in either a snapping or thrusting motion up and forward, keeping your ankle bent so that you hit your target with the flat of your foot. Bring your foot back into chamber and then bring your leg down to finish the kick.
Roundhouse Kick (Mawashi Geri)
A roundhouse kick is called Mawashi Geri in Japanese. It is a fast kick that gets its power from twisting your hips. It follows the same steps of chamber, kick, chamber, down like the front kick. To perform a roundhouse kick off your front leg, make sure that you are standing to the side of your target. Raise your leg up to the side of you while leaning slightly back and bend your knee and ankle so that your shin is tucked and there is a straight line from your shin bone down the top of your foot. To kick, extend your leg in a snapping motion and hit with the top of your foot. Bring your leg back into chamber, then lower it to the ground.
By learning these basics, you can then move on to more intricate kicks and combinations that will become essential parts of your karate journey and competition repertoire. If you or your child are interested in taking the first steps into karate, these are some of the first moves that you will learn along with many defensive blocks that we will discuss in a future blog. To learn this, and much more, contact us at No Limits Martial Arts, the best karate studio in Milton and Oakville! Start down your karate path today!