Ippon Ken in Karate

Ippon Ken

Ippon Ken

This is Ippon Ken Strike. This is a strike you may not find in Katas but you can use it in self-defense techniques.

You need to make sure you close your fist properly to avoid and injuries.

Ippon Ken Targets

This strike is for specific targets, mostly key points which will make the attacker act right away, and of course for our advantage.

Target #1 – eyes, by striking the eyes the attacker will try to protect his face, will cover his eyes and this will help us move away.

Target #2 – throat, by striking the throat the attacker will cough and will bring his hands to it, might have a 3 – 5 second window without breathing properly which we can use to run away.

Target #3 – ribs, by striking the ribs the knuckle will fit right in between the rib bones creating a lot of pain, the attacker will bring his arm to himself and will stop any attack. This will give you a 3 – 5 second window to counterattack or run away.

Ippon Ken Striking

You use it and execute it just like a punch, the only difference is that your index knuckle makes contact with the target. This is more of a snapping strike than a thrusting one because you are striking sensitive targets, not large targets.

Make sure you form a fist correctly then move your thumb forward next to your index finger’s nail to provide support to the index knuckle.

Ippon Ken Close up
Ippon Ken Close up

Ippon Ken Step by Step

  • You can start on a Kiba Dachi and prepare just like with a Zuki.
  • Put your Left fist over your right fist.
  • Now execute your Ippon Ken aiming the solar plexus while your other hand is by your ribs.
  • Execute the same Ippon Ken with your other side.


  • Do not lean forward when striking
  • Always keep your back straight with any strike
  • Bring back your hand right away after the strike
  • Make sure your fingers are together supporting the entire hand when striking

Karate Techniques

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