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Obverse Walking Stance Punch Preformed by ITF Black Belt

An obverse punch in an ITF Walking Stance

T1 Punch

A middle-height straight punch (momtong jireugi) while in WTF Walking Stance in Taegeuk Il Jang

There are a number of different punches in taekwondo, but they all share the same basic technique. The Korean word for punch is jireugi.

Punches are designated as being low, middle, or high depending on where they are aimed. 

  • Low Section Punch (also called Low Punch) - this is aimed at the opponent's navel.
  • Middle Section Punch (also called Middle Punch or momtong jireugi) - aimed at the opponent's solar plexus.
  • High Section Punch (also called High Punch or olgul jireugi) - this is aimed at the opponent's face.

Punches are also designated as being "obverse" (aka "straight") or "reverse" depending on the position of your feet and your stance.

  • For example in a Front Stance if you punch with the fist that's on the same side as the forward foot, this is called a "reverse punch." A reverse punch is considered less powerful than a straight punch because you are not benefiting from the extra push that your rear foot could be giving the punch.
  • Conversely, a punch performed on the same side as the rear foot would be called a "straight punch."

So for example a "Right Reverse High Punch" would be a punch with the right hand, with the right foot forward, aimed at the opponent's face.

All punches share a common hand technique. The hand is balled into a fist with the thumb on the outside. The intent is to hit with the first two largest knuckles of the fist. The wrist should be straight at the moment of impact; so for example, imagine a straight line extending through the middle knuckle all the way down through your forearm. The fist should move in a straight line towards its target.

The fist is rotated during the movement, so that at the moment of impact it "snaps" into place with the palm of the fist facing downward; this usually implies that the fist was initially chambered with the palm of the fist facing upward.

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