Friday, October 16, 2009

vertical fist or horizontal fist

"In karate-do, the makiwara is used to strengthen not only the fist, but to practise use of the sword hand, elbows and feet. The explosive power behind the karate strikes and kicks can be attributed to training with the makiwara."Gichin Funakoshi

    seiken choku zuki                          seiken tate zuki          
    horizontal fist                                 vertical fist

In karate both methods are used and is generally a debated topic on traditional forums, some say the vertical is better others the horizontal.

Generally in shotokan its left to individual choice as to which one to use during free sparring, but in basics the choku zuki is prefered, in sparring the tate zuki will generally fly out straight and the choku zuki will impact on a rotation of about 45 degrees since the hands are no longer on the hips as in basic training with the palms facing up towards the ceiling at the begining of the punch trajectory.

In basic training where the punch comes from the hip, both methods employ a turning action or spiralling action the choku zuki (horizontal) is rotated 180 degrees and the tate zuki (vertical) is rotated 90 degrees, both use the sieken or index and middle finger knuckles as the impact surface.

The tate zuki is aligned with the radius bone and the choku zuki is misaligned to both the ulna and radius bones, in Jack Dempseys championship boxing he advocates hitting with the two middle knuckles and the pinky like wing chun guys do it, this aligns the impact knuckles with the ulna bone and the elbow.

Makiwara training