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What are some basic karate moves?

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Quick Answer

Basic karate moves include stances, strikes and kicks. Other basic moves are punches and blocks. Karate is a form of martial art that developed in Okinawa, Japan, characterized by strikes and open-hand techniques without the use of weapons.

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Full Answer

Karate stances keep the body stable and balanced, allowing effective attacks and defences. The three main stances include the side stance, or "kiba dachi," the back stance, or "kokutsu dachi" and front stance, or "zenkutsu dachi." The most famous karate hand strikes is the karate chop, but the technique also includes other hand strikes, such as using the tips of the fingers, the front and back of the fist and palm of the hand near the wrist. Karate hand strikes target the most vulnerable parts of the body such as the neck, throat and groin.

One of the basic defensive techniques is the forearm block. This technique brings the forearm upward while holding it parallel to the ground. This makes it ideal for blocking punches to the face or a downward strike of any kind. At its full extension, the forearm is just over the forehead.

One of the most basic offensive moves is the straight punch. Unlike punches in boxing or mauy thai, which start from a higher position, this punch begins with the hand at hip-level. The other arm is fully extended with the hand in a closed-fist position. Force is generated by retracting the hand that is extended and extending the punching hand from the hip. As the hand is in the punching motion, it is rotated 180 degrees until the palm faces downward and is in the same position that the other hand was before the move was performed.

Kicks rely flexibility and having good balance, and use the heel, the ball and edge of the foot, and the instep as striking surfaces. The karate practitioner may deliver kicks with one foot or both feet in the air, coming from any direction as a thrust, turn, snap, jump or spin.

Karate is a form of self-defense that does not require weapons. Instead of weapons, this martial arts system takes advantage of the various parts of the body, particularly the arms and legs.

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