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Uchi means "strike." Karate strikes can be quite diverse and are usually performed with different parts of the hand or arm. Each striking technique can impact a target from a multitude of directions and angles, making strikes a karateka's most versatile weapon. Strikes are most useful against smaller, more specific targets and, as such, require good accuracy. Only those with a basic knowledge of human anatomy will find truly effective uses for striking techniques. They are extremely dangerous and should be practiced with utmost control. As mentioned previously, most of the striking techniques can also be quite effective as blocks as well. Strikes should be executed with kime to strike deep and decisively or fast and snappy as a whip to shock. Primary targets include the neck, throat, solar plexus, and groin. 

Roundhouse Strikes

Roundhouse-house strikes (mawashi-uchi) include all of the circular attacks. Roundhouse strikes travel in an arc towards their target. In most cases, if the arc is travelling downwards toward the floor, the strike is referred to as tate (vertical), as in kentsui-tate-mawashi-uchi. If the arc moves in a sideways or horizontal motion, it is called yoko, as in uraken-yoko-mawashi-uchi. Keep in mind that some of the following techniques, especially teisho, can also be used in a linear manner, as in teisho-zuki. Because of their circular nature, mawashi-uchi are very useful for circumventing an opponent's guard.

kentsui-uchihammer-fist strike
uraken-uchibackfist strike
shuto-uchiknife-hand strike
haito-uchiridge hand strike
teishopalm heel


Animal Strikes

These extremely advanced strikes occur only in very high-level kata. These attacks (or if used as blocks) are useful to strike an opponent's kyusho points, or vital areas.        

keitochicken head (Unsu)
seiryutoox-jaw (Hangetsu)
washideeagle hand (Gojushiho sho)


Smashing Techniques

Ate-waza are techniques usually delivered with the elbow or knee and are known as very powerful attacks. They are not used to pinpoint small targets, but rather to shatter whatever their intended target may be. Although knee strikes come in a limited variety, elbow strikes can have a multitude of angles and directions. Knees and elbows are excellent tools for close range combat and are very popular in street self-defense.

empi-uchielbow strike
empi-ateelbow smash
hiza-tsuchiknee strike
hiza-ateknee smash