Ipponken litterely means one fist...
...the "Ippon" however describes "one knuckle" instead of the fist.
There is Oyayubi Ipponken, using the thumb. Hitosashiyubi Ipponken with the index finger. And the most well-known: Nakadaka Ipponken (with the middle finger).
Ready to dig deeper..? On this page:
There are 3 things to take into account for each of these forms:
Quality Of Ipponken: Like your wrist should not bend when you punch with your clenced fist, your finger should not 'collapse' when striking with Ipponken.
Target: You can strike bones, but not the front of the skull. Avoid hitting too strong parts and know when to use Ipponken as a punch, when to press onto a pressure point or when to use saw-like movement.
Circumstance: It doesn't make sense to do a long-range Gyakuzuki with Ipponken. In that case: flat fist.
This is another ipponken, this time the thumb is bent and pressed securely against the index finger.
Oyayubi means thumb. The thumb is now used to deliver small stabs to the body. It is preferably used when grappling, striking the neck or side of the body.
In search for the deeper answers and Karate's fundamentals— look for what's common. Not what's different (unless you want to stick on the surface).
In this video you learn not only the 3 Kinds Of Ipponken but also what EVERY Ipponken needs (should have) to be effective.
Hitosashiyubi is the index finger.
From the posture of a fist, extend the index finger halfway and place the thumb on top. Strike with the bend index finger.
This form is used in Seishan.
Naka is another pronunciation of the kanji of chu (like chudan), meaning middle or centre.
Nakayubi, for example, means middle finger. In this case nakadaka means the middle finger knuckle raised.
Use this with sharp and quick actions. Clench the fist as in seiken and extend the middle finger knuckle.
Nakadaka ipponken is often explained with the symbolism of a dagger or indicating that it could have been a dagger in old styles.
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