Published On: Thu, Sep 12th, 2019

Tate Suki – Vertical Punch in Traditional Karate

Tate Suki or Vertical Punch

A Tate Suki is a vertical punch in Traditional Karate. It has the same principal as the horizontal punch and the point of contact are the two upper knuckles. It can be applied differently in other martial art styles but the principles are the same.

On the following image, you can see in details the points of impact, the two upper knuckles transfer the force.

Close up on a Tate Suki or Vertical Punch

This punch can be applied against the following targets:

  • Kidneys
  • Ribs
  • Solar plexus
  • Stomach
  • Neck
  • Face
  • Groin

Tate suki is direct and thrusting move, it is considered the perfect counterattack which can stop any aggressor if applied correctly. Many practitioners prefer this punch over the horizontal one. Tate Suki fits better between people’s guard, it lines up better. When doing Kumite, if you get too close to your opponent you will notice vertical punches work much better, it allows you to apply them faster than a horizontal punch.

Benefits of the Tate Suki or Vertical Punch

After analyzing this punch we encounter several important factors in favor of this technique:

  • Tate Suki protects the wrist more that an horizontal punch and fits better into the V shape of the sternum.
  • Strength & Impact. In Tate Suki the elbow is behind the fist during the strike, and supported by the strength of the entire body rather than just a swinging fist, and therefore has more impact. It allows the top two knuckles to make contact instead of the other weaker knucles.
  • Strength & Impact. In Tate Suki the elbow is behind the fist during the strike, and supported by the strength of the entire body rather than just a swinging fist, and therefore has more impact.
  • Directness. The punch is not loaded by pulling the elbow behind the body. The punch travels straight towards the target from the guard position.
  • Protection. The elbow is kept low to cover the front midsection of the body. This aids in generating power by use of the entire body structure rather than only the arm to strike.

In certain Karate styles the vertical punch or Tate Suki is a trademark of the style.In just about any martial art, when punching, contact should be made only by the top two knuckles of the hand. The reason for this is they have much more structural support when it comes to taking impact. If you punch something hard with the bottom two, you will likely end up with a boxers fracture.

Punching with your fist vertical makes it easier to keep your elbow down, thus avoiding telegraphing the punch. One of the most common mistakes seen in many martial art students is when they raise the elbow when punching, this allows the opponent to telegraph the move and easily counter attack.

On the following video, you can see the development on this vertical punch in a traditional kneel stance. It is important to keep your back straight when punching because it maintains your balance and allows you to move freely in any direction if needed.

Recommendations:

  • Do not overextend your arm when punching, this might cause an injury in your elbow; and the generated power will not completely transfer.
  • Relax and don’t use your shoulders, if your shoulder feels distress when executing this punch then you did something wrong.
  • The power of this punch comes from the body not from the arm.
  • The point of contact is the first two knuckles.

Recommended Karate Techniques:

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