3 kinds of ipponken (and how to take them FAST)

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:

  • Images of all 3 Ipponken 
  • 3 things to take into account
  • Video covering 3 Kinds Of Ipponken and what EVERY type should have 
  • Images, application and explanation of each Ipponken
  • Video explaining WHEN TO USE IPPONKEN (+ Method For Oyayubi Ipponken) 


oyayubi ipponken

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Oyayubi Ipponken

hitosashiyubi ipponken

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Hitosashiyubi Ipponken

nakadaka ipponken

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Nakadaka Ipponken

There are 3 things to take into account for each of these forms:

  1. Quality of Ipponken
  2. Target
  3. Circumstance

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. 

every ipponken needs this

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.

oyayubi ipponken

This is another ipponken, this time the thumb is bent and pressed securely against the index finger.

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Oyayubi Ipponken

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.

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Application of Oyayubi Ipponken

wHEN TO USE IT (+ method for oyayubi ipponken)

Most Karateka get stuck here. "Here" is using Gyakuzuki and simply changing the shape from Seiken to Ipponken. 

Although not impossible. And even useful — you'll be suprised how Ipponken becomes truly effective ⬇️

hitosashiyubi ipponken

Hitosashiyubi is the index finger.

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Hitosashiyubi Ipponken

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.

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Application of Hitosashiyubi Ipponken
The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Application of Hitosahiyubi Ipponken

nakadaka ipponken

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.

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Nakadaka Ipponken

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.

The Digi Dojo - Shiyobui - Application of Nakadaka Ipponken

Want more of this? Discover the Premium Series "Mastering Shiyobui"

The Ipponken videos on this page are part of "Mastering Shiyobui", which covers how to turn your hands and feet into weapons, just as you've always imagined when you started Karate.

Just wait until you see the list. Ipponken, Nukite and Hiraken are the normal ones...


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