how to punch correctly in karate

How to punch correctly in Karate

Are you a beginner who is trying out karate for the first time and looking for a guide to show you how to punch correctly? You’ve come to the right place!

You should be conscious that there are various styles of karate that differ in their movements and ways of execution, but the punch is universal.

Many times, a karateka does not know how to throw a technically correct punch due to a poor education in his dojo, or as we like to call it… in a McDojo.

In this article, we will go over all the steps involved in making a perfect punch.

Let’s get started!

Why is punching correctly important?

When you start learning karate, one of the first things you will be taught is how to throw a proper punch.

Punching may appear to be a simple task, but it is far more difficult than it appears!

When throwing a punch, you must pay attention to a variety of factors, including finger closure, joint alignment, a firm grip on the wrist, precise targeting, and so on.

Let’s see now all the steps to throw the perfect punch.

Get into a stable stance

how to punch correctly

It’s crucial to have a good base in karate, so choose a stance that allows you to be planted on the floor of your Dojo so you can concentrate exclusively on the punch.

Relax yourself

After you’ve gotten into a stable stance, relax your upper muscles, especially the shoulders, the forearms and the arms.

Load the punch

Bring your hand to your hip with the palm facing up and put the other one forward.

ATTENTION! To avoid any kind of injury, make sure you close your punch properly.

Use a target

Place a target in front of you, in the center of your body, and align the extended hand with it so you know precisely where to punch.

If you don’t have any kind of target, you can imagine it.

Use your hip

how to punch correctly

Remember that in karate, arm techniques such as punches and parries, do not start from the shoulder, but from the hip!

To make the punch even more effective, launch it correctly from your hip.

Make the punch take a straight trajectory

how to punch correctly

After you’ve launched the punch with your hip, let it follow a straight trajectory to be as fast and direct as possible. 

ATTENTION! Stay with the palm of your fist facing up during the entire trajectory!

Turn your punch

how to punch correctly

You are almost at the end, you are about to reach the target but you still have the fist turned.

At the exact moment you are about to hit the target, turn your punch 180° and at the same time fully extend your entire arm and contract it.

What do you have to do with the other arm?

When the hip is launching the arm, you will need to reverse the action with that other punch, so:

Turn your fist, reach halfway by touching the palms of the two punches facing upwards and load it at the hip.


This point is very important, after the punch technique is completed, relax completely

Staying contracted for a long period of time is useless, it will only lead you to tire yourself unnecessarily.


This is the final point, but it is the most crucial. Once you’ve learned the steps of executing a karate punch, you’ll need to practice it tens of thousands of times to really master it. 

Remember: The punch is a fundamental in karate, as it is in any other martial art. You won’t be able to proceed forward properly if you don’t have the right basics.


Contract your muscles only on the impact.

Do not contract the muscles during the movement or you will slow down the punch


While you are practicing your punches, ask sometimes to an external person to verify that all the steps are performed correctly.

(When you are alone, you may not notice the mistakes as your brain stores the mistakes as a normal thing.)

how to punch correctly


If you have reached this point it means that you are really interested in learning how to throw a punch. 

By following these steps you will learn how to perform a technically correct punch, so now all you have to do is just get up and start working!

Karate Martial Art Team

Karate Martial Art Team

The Karate Martial Art Team is made up of 3 contributors who have full-time job and in their free time are dedicated to martial arts and writing. Do you want to become one of the Team? Get in touch on the contact page.

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