Junzuki — Karate’s #1 punch technique (in-depth)

junzuki: the first thing you learn

No matter which Dojo you go, next to Sonobazuki, Junzuki is the first thing you learn. It's the most basic punch in Karate, common to every style out there.

On this page, you'll discover the basics as well as the advanced details of Junzuki. 

And it's important. 

"Step and punch" is fine in the beginning. And even adding extra hints to that description...

BUT: You need to discontinue that sooner than later for one simple reason: If you say "step" you think of leg rather than body movement. 

If you...

  • use "step" for convenience...
  • and know EXACTLY what that means in terms of using your body...
  • with the  key points that matter...

...that's ok. 

Otherwise, no matter if you're a white belt or advanced Karateka...

...you'll find the knowledge on this page necessary to deepen your understanding and up your skill.

junzuki demonstration


FACTS AND TIDBITS OF JUNZUKI

  • Meaning of Junzuki: Jun is a term that comes from Jujutsu. 
    It basically means that when you take left stance, you use your the left hand to strike. In case of a right stance, use your right hand. On a deeper level, this is down to alignment and Seichusen as your naturally strong line. For example, this also applies to Jodan Uke (down below is seminar footage with in-depth explanations).

  • Name of the stance: Zenkutsu dachi or Junzuki dachi.
    Zenkutsu means to bend forward. Because there are several Zenkutsu Dachi, the specific name of this stance is Junzuki dachi.

  • Important points:
    • Push from your hips and relax your knee.
    • Keep your back straight as you move.
    • Squeeze your elbow as you punch and twist your fist as late as possible.
    • Don't over rotate.

key points of junzuki

Now that you're aware of the basics, it's time to study Junzuki move by move.

Let's dive right in 👇

junzuki — step by step analysis


junzuki — step by step

The Digi Dojo - Junzuki 1 - Shizentai

Take Shizentai (also called Shizenhontai and Soto Hachiji Dachi).

After rei, assume Shizentai by opening the left foot first, followed by the right. Grip the fists lightly. Your hands should take the form of a fist, but not actually a clenched fist.

Move both feet to maintain Seichusen. Of course, this is especially true if you are facing an opponent. 

The Digi Dojo - Junzuki 2 - Hidari Gamae

Push your hip forward and drop into Hidari Gamae. 

Inhale as you lift your centre and move the body forward by pushing koshi first slightly (intent) and strike sharply with the left fist as you drop into hidari gamae. As you do kime, drop the shoulders and lower your centre internally as you squeeze the Jin area.

Don’t prepare the position of the fists, strike from the hanging position.

how to move into kamae sharply (training method)

The Digi Dojo - Junzuki 3 - Transition

Bend your front knee, push your body forward from your hips and control Seichusen with your left fist. 

Move the body forward as if carrying the body forward. Push koshi forward and use hiza no nuki to facilitate this. Keep the upper body erect and most of all do not lead with the head first. Imagine having a rope around your back and someone is pulling you forward. Protect Seichusen with your left fist and maintain it with required energy.

Please understand this keeping seichusen with the left fist is not the same as just holding it there. Although it is not the fist that moves the body, I can say that you should lead with the left fist.

Hence, the left fist has an active and alive role to play. It is as if you are pushing through seichumen with the left fist as you move your body.

*The "step" in Junzuki uses Ayumi Ashi. Click here to dig deeper in that body movement (or continue reading about delivering the punch).

The Digi Dojo - Junzuki 4

Execute Junzuki with the right fist and try to use your whole body as you maintain Kinto. The name of the position or state of the body is Junte.

Execute chudan junzuki. When you apply Kime, which should happen before your body stops moving, apply Nukeru instantly and leave your potential in the opponent and to be ready to react immediately.

Another point is that of tachikata. A stance is simply the consequence of your body movement, as Sakagami sensei explains it. Or in my words, it is the end of the process of the movement. Hence, I think it is not really of use to say that feet have to point here or there.

For example, a common error is to point the front foot inward. This means there is too much rotational movement, which can have several causes. You should look for the elements that create that consequence and correct the process, instead of correcting stance after the process has finished.

junzuki pro videos

karate class #24 (38:45 minutes)

what is junte?

details of junzuki dachi

How to move with your whole body

seichusen for alignment

what is the correct timing to psadunch?

wadokai seminar "junte" 2013

how to improve and strengthen your alignment


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