There's more to Gyakuzuki than hiptwisting

basics of gyakuzuki

Meaning of gyakuzuki: Gyaku means opposite or reverse. It basically means that in case of a left stance, the right hand is used. In case of a right stance, the left hand is used.

Name of the stance: Zenkutsu dachi or Gyakuzuki dachi. Zenkutsu means to bend forward. Because there are several zenkutsu dachi the specific name of this stance is Gyakuzuki dachi.

Important points: Move through seichusen and open the body slightly in the process to prepare for gyakuzuki. This is called tame wo tsukuru which basically means to store your power, wait and hold until you release. This could be compared to a bow and arrow where the arrow is pulled back in a large movement. This is the preparation for releasing the arrow, this is tame wo tsukuru. As you release and direct the energy, rotate your hips and throw the fist away.


Take Gyakuzuki Gamae. Imagine your Seichusen (Centre Line) and Tanden (Centre of Gravity).


Move forward as you keep your body straight. It's a given, yet many people lean forward during this transition.


Enter Gyakuzuki Dachi. Note that at this point your body should have rotated to the left.


As you take stance, execute Gyakuzuki as you do a sharp Hikite with your other hand.

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3 secrets of gyakuzuki

Every specific movement has its own specific key points. I will address three key points of the movement that occurs between one Gyakuzuki and the other. In other words, when you move from right Gyakuzuki to left Gyakuzuki, what are the main points to pay attention to? If you move, the following three things are important:

  • Maintenance of Seichusen as you move your body through Seichusen.
  • Opening your body (twist outwards) during the movement.
  • Push your fist through Seichusen.

I demonstrate the mentioned key points in the video from several different angles and execute the technique slowly as well as with performance pace. The series below illustrate the key points by using several figures that emphasise the concept.

videos on gyakuzuki


key points of gyakuzuki

position of the front foot 

This is very raw footage of my seminar from 17 february 2018. I introduced several training methods for Gyakuzuki. One key for Gyakuzuki is to position your front foot correctly. Too much one way or the other has negative affect on your power and stability. And to put it in simple Suzuki sensei terms it's "no good" 😉

In this video you see how I addressed a problem that my student had. Fixed it with one simple method...  You can see me giving him advice, guiding him towards the 'right' way. The video contains two methods that are good in many ways. But especially for positioning the front foot, these are great methods. Either to get in the right position, or to progress that skill. 

Principle of Gyakuzuki

details of gyakuzuki dachi

the mini series
getting great at gyakuzuki

1/3 Sonoba gyakuzuki

In this video you learn to focus on your hip twist and axis rotation to get more power in your punch.

2/3 weight shifting

Learn how to shift your weight to use more body weight. In Karate you punch with your body, not with your arm alone. This is how you can develop that skill.

3/3 weight shifting 2.0

A punch has to be practical. This method teaches you how to move dynamically so that you will learn how to adjust the distance and connect your techniques.

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Isolate Different Elements Of Gyakuzuki With These Methods

Gyakuzuki is one movement which consists of various different elements. Isolate one of these elements and then highlight it. EMphasise. Do that and you can laserfocus your training. Examples of resulting methods can be seen below.

ushiro gyakuzuki

Want to focus on weight shifting and axis rotation? This method forces you to take control conciously as you move backwards and turn— instead of moving forward. 

This unnatural (yet technical) approach is a one of a kind and a must-practise simply to see what benefit you can get. Add this one to your arsenal to unlock keys found in this uncharted territory.

naname gyakuzuki

Sprinters and swimmers take a position that allows them to move instantly and explosively. Think 'ready, set, go'. This method teaches you how to physically prepare Gyakuzuki. Gyakuzuki is 'go'. Get ready to learn 'ready' and especially 'set'. 'Set' is the body's state that allows you to generate full power. Without this, your punch cannot get maximum power with minimum effort.

There is another "Naname Gyakuzuki" inside the free book "Karate Square-Meter Methods".

nukina sensei's methods

This video contains methods that I learned from Nukina sensei. Before Ishikawa sensei passed away, he told me that my Karate was too stiff. Knowing that Nukina sensei was all but stiff, I considered I had to copy his movement. So that's what I did. Copied his movement. His style. And used his methods to develop my skill. This video is a recording from 2010 where I am using the methods for about 2 years. These methods allowed me to develop more relaxed and fluid techniques.

digi dojo kids training

I never run out of ideas. This is a 11 minute video that I designed for Kids to practise along at home. It contains quite some good methods, so if you are not a kid, check it out nevertheless 🙂 You can use them in your classes or for your personal training.


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