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Hikite Chambering

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The fundamental punch draws the fist all the way back to the chest before striking. This method is heavily emphasised in traditional kata which uses the hikite or pulling arm method.

This is as the name suggests a pulling technique that seizes the opponent so they can't escape and then you deliver the punch

Firstly when the arm is pulled back the shoulder must be dropped down and not lifted which is a common mistake leading to restricted movement.

As the elbow draws back it touches the point in front of the floating ribs then continues its course around the body keeping contact until the last moment. Drawing body and limb together creates a powerful muscle contraction.

The side of the wrist and not the fist comes to rest against the side of the chest otherwise the elbow tends to stick out. If the shoulder allows, pull the elbow in so that it is behind the shoulder blade, this gives an extra pull.

Keep the fist higher than the elbow. As the elbow drives back it also points down to the ground behind so pulling the opponent down rather than into you.

To seize the opponent use primarily the little, ring and then middle fingers to squeeze. The index finger should not be tensed otherwise this tends to tighten up the Triceps muscles. If this are tight then the arm will not naturally extend when the opponent tries to pull away and you will likely loose them.

In this way you should be able to maintain a strong grip but able to lengthen and shorten the reach of the arm according to necessity.

Seizing and controlling is an important part of many martial arts, although in Karate due to the influence of sport it is not as widely used as it might be.
Sodokan Goju Karate Association
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Mike Clark 1997-2005. Reproduction of material on this site is not permitted