Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A strike is an attack with an inanimate object, such as a weapon, or with a part of the human body intended to cause harm to an opponent. An attack with the hand closed into a fist is called a punch. A strike with a knee, foot or other part of the leg is called a kick. Punches are usually not as powerful as kicks, but also don't require the striker to stand on one leg.
Strikes are employed in many martial arts, such as karate, boxing and Muay Thai. Most Chinese martial arts also use the fingertips, wrists, forearms, shoulders, back and hips to strike an opponent as well as the more conventional fists, palms, elbows, knees and feet. A few martial arts employ no strikes at all; wrestling for example. In most styles, strikes are complemented by traps, locks (see chin na), footsweeps and grappling.
Karate is an especially well known art form which focusses almost exclusively on striking technique. Karate strikes are classified according to the part of the body used in the attack. The terms used for the following strikes are in Japanese. The most common karate strike with the fist is the seiken where the first two knuckles are used to hit the target. A strike with the back of the fist is called uraken. A strike with the bottom of the fist is called a hammer fist or tetsui. Strikes with the elbow are called empi in karate. If you open your hand with fingers together, you have a "sword hand" or shuto. Hence, a strike with the outside edge of this open hand is called shuto. A strike with the fingertips of your sword hand is called nukite. If you tuck in your thumb and strike with the ridge formed, this is haito. You can even strike with the flat surfaces of your sword hand. Other hand forms exist that can be used for striking in the Japanese martial arts. You can strike with the heel of your open palm. You can strike at the eyes of your opponent with the tips of a finger (ippon nukite).
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