what is sonobazuki?

Sonobazuki is the most basic punch there is within Karate. 

This Japanese writing for Sonoba translates into "on the spot". The Kanji 'Ba' itself means place or location. 

You can use several different kind of stances for Sonobazuki. Naihanchi dachi is the standard choice for Wado techniques and internal development.

Sonobazuki Sakagami & Peter May sensei

Of course — other stances can be used.

To get the most out of your training, you have to understand the advantages of using each stance. And how to use them.

Another key is the elements that make up the punch in it's totality. 

How to do it? 

Keep reading ⬇️

elements of sonobazuki

When teaching a seminar in 2016 I noticed that many students had the same issue:

Opening the elbow. 

To counter and overwrite that habit, I taught the method demonstrated in the video and shown in the pictures.

The training method empasises "squeezing the elbow" making sure you can punch nicely in a straight line.

And more importantly: learn how to create "Karate power".

Note that when you practise, you can focus on the start of the punch as well as the end of the punch. A common way of practise is focusing on "the punch" (which is actually lacking awareness).

While there's nothing wrong with that, in simple terms—and still on surface-level—you should at least focus on:

  1. the start of the punch
  2. the end of the punch
  3. the whole punch

Simply change the emphasis to highlight what you need to work on.

For example:

  • Fast start, slow end.
  • Slow start, explosive end.
  • Fast. Hold. Explosive.

There are many ways which all contribute to hone proper technique—getting it to the next level.

practise sonobazuki in stages

Sonobazuki - AJ van Dijk from The Digi Dojo

Take Naihanchi Dachi and extend your right or left fist.

Traditionally—and as a good method to understand center line—you may extend your arms and lightly touch the fists in front of you. Then pull back your right fist to start.

Sonobazuki - AJ van Dijk from The Digi Dojo

Pull one hand back, while punching with the other and stop halfway. 

This can be to check your position, but it's more important emphasise the trajectory by what we call "squeezing your elbow" (keeping it inside brushing against your body).


Complete the punch and Hikite simultaneously.

Ideally, keep your stance (do not let your stance be negatively affected by your upper body movement). And don't overrotate, as that's likely turning your punch into a push.

pick your stance wisely...

Because stances matter.

These Sonobazuki videos are not only helpful to understand the different aspects of a punch, but also how to emphasise them as you punch. 

This is hardly taught or under-emphasised to say the least, so that's why I analysed, prepared and shot the "Secrets of Sonobazuki" videoseries.

The 3-part series reveals WHAT to do, and also HOW to do it. 

Did you know the stance you take affects your punch? 

Say a total of 5 'errors' exist in a punch. And your problem is 'error 2'.

Now what if I told you it's 10 times EASIER to fix 'error 2' if you use Shiko dachi instead of Naihanchi Dachi or Shizentai. Maybe 50 times.

Of course you'll use Shiko Dachi to fix it if you know this...

...but the problem is that you don't know all aspects of the punch. And then there's the effects of the stances and how that ties back into the punch...

You'll discover this in detail through "Secrets of Sonobazuki" 👇

the mini series
secrets of sonobazuki




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