Uchi Uke Gyaku Zuki Stepping

Uchi Uke Gyaku Zuki Stepping

In this video, we’re going to be working on a basic shotokan combination comprising of uchi uke gyaku zuki (inside block reverse punch). We will be stepping forward and stepping back.

This is a great exercise for coordinating arms and legs to help you move faster, more efficient.

Many years ago, we used to have uchi uke gyakuzuki (inside block reverse punch) as one of the combinations for 8th Kyu Red Belt.

People used to really struggle with changing the arms at the half way stage of this karate combination.

When you practice this basic shotokan combination, you have to change your arms at the halfway point. You utilize body dynamics and the change of arms with the step, as you practice, this does become much easier, but it is very confusing at first.

Start from a left gedan barai with a right gyaku zuki reverse punch.

As you step forward with the right leg, drive the front left knee forward very slightly, no pressure on the knee itself, this is a very small movement, but it does initiate the step.
Also drive off that back leg as you start to step. So as you drive off the back leg and drive the front knee forward, prepare the arms immediately.

So as the right leg comes forward, the left arm is going to punch. But this is just a preparation and the fist can be open or closed back of the hand up.

As you step up with the back leg, pull the right arm back to the opposite hip. This is a great exercise for coordinating the arms with the step.

The right blocking arm pulls back to the opposite hip, just above the hip and because you are blocking Chudan (mid level). Try not to be too high with the right fist. At the half way point, the body is in a shomen (square position).

Both feet are on line at the half way point, we have our feet apart, but if you put your feet together that’s also fine. Now to step forward. We won’t cover the uchi ude uke block in too much detail as we have another video for that and there are different ways to practice inside block.

Drive off the left leg at the half way point. Drive the body forward, you should still be in the shomen (square position). These double technique combinations are excellent for working on the shomen (square position) and hanmi (side facing position).

As you land and block uchi uke rotate the body and hips into the hanmi (side facing) position and be sure and pull the left hikite (pulling hand) back sharply, then immediately punch with a gyaku zuki (reverse punch)

Now moving backwards. Pull your front leg back and at the same time soften the back legs knee.

Use the reverse punching arm to help the leg come back and use the front leg to help the arm come back.

So use both legs and arms together. As you start to step back the hikite arm wants to stretch forward, so just let the arm go quickly but lightly. Then drive off the front right leg to step back, alos drive the left stepping leg back sharply, along with the left side of the body.

As you land and block uchi uke rotate the body and hips into the hanmi (side facing) position and be sure and pull the left hikite (pulling hand) back sharply, then immediately punch with a gyaku zuki (reverse punch).

Practice slowly until you feel confident with the half way arm changing, try and coordinate legs and arms to help with this combination.

Uchi Uke Gyaku Zuki Tips

Make sure you block with the outside of the forearm and finish with a sharp rotation of the forearm.
Try and time the block with the body and hip rotation into the hanmi (side facing) position.
At the three quarter stage through the block, just before you finish the block, you’re in the shomen position. So just as you finish the block, you sharply go into the hanmi (side facing) position, after a complete stop on the block, you immediately punch gyaku zuki (reverse punch) and finish the punch in the Shomen (square) posotion.

Focus and work hard on the shotokan fundamentals, because this will make your karate much stronger and ready for the advanced karate at black belt.

Linden Huckle

About the author

Linden Huckle has been practicing and teaching karate for over 50 years and believes first and foremost, karateka should enjoy their karate. He says 'there is nothing better than seeing a person develop into a great person through their karate practice, while at the same time enjoying karate.'

Linden Huckle