Atemi Waza: Kempo Punch Techniques

Atemi Waza, or Kempo Punch Techniques, are stand-alone techniques for defense against a straight punch or a hook punch. There are eight basic techniques for which under-black belt students are responsible. The techniques are numbered, and each number corresponds to the block used to initiate the technique.

1. 1a. 1b. 1c.
2. 2a. 2b. 2c.
3. 3a. 3b. 3c. 3d.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

Atemi Waza #1

#1 block as practitioner steps on left foot to Zone 1. Left thrust punch to attacker’s right ribs, followed by a right thrust punch to same ribs. Step with right foot behind attacker to horse stance facing Zone 5, while cocking right elbow and delivering strike to attacker’s spine. Step left foot behind right to Zone 8, twisting counter-clockwise, delivering right whipping elbow to attacker’s right ribs. Re-cock elbow and deliver a right reverse elbow, targeting attacker’s spine, followed by right rolling thunder strike to base of neck. Raise right knee in a crane stance to deliver right downward side stomp kick, targeting back of attacker’s left thigh just above the knee joint, with kiai. Right foot crosses in front of left to Zone 8, then step out left to side horse stance, right guard up towards Zone 7.

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Atemi Waza #1a

#1 block while left hand comes across with a #4 block, smothering down attacker’s right wrist as practitioner takes a small adjustment step to Zone 1. Deliver front punch to attacker’s right cheek, while letting the motion of punch flow through and upward across your own body while lifting left hand high in the air in sword position. Raise right foot to crane stance, kicking downward to back of attacker’s right knee, felling him to the east. Right cross backfist followed by left driving downward palm to base of skull with kiai. Step back to Zone 5 on right foot while hands cover on guard.

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Atemi Waza #1b

#1 block while left hand comes across with a #4 block, smothering down attacker’s right wrist as practitioner takes small adjustment step with left foot to Zone 1. Immediately after blocking, deliver front punch to attacker’s right cheek, while letting the motion of punch flow through and upward. Right foot then steps to Zone 1 and left foot steps through to Zone 8, turning counter-clockwise to stand behind attacker facing Zone 6. Deliver rolling thunder with left hand, inverted palm with right across kidneys. Cup over saucer on left hip. Deliver right rolling thunder, then left driving palm to center line of spine. Stomp calf just below right knee of attacker with inverted left stomp kick. Step down from kick, step back on right foot into Zone 1, facing Zone 6 on guard.

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Atemi Waza #1c

#1 block while left hand comes across with a #4 block, smothering down attacker’s right wrist as practitioner takes small step to Zone 1 on left foot. Immediately after blocking, trap by sealing left tiger’s mouth over attacker’s right wrist. Left foot then steps to Zone 4 after rotating #4 block motion across attacker’s right elbow creating arm bar. Practitioner continues to rotate body to face Zone 5 with hips square, then sits, arm bar still intact, felling attacker into the ground with face towards Zone 4. Kick feet out towards the west and lay back on attacker’s triceps. Attacker’s arm should be under practitioner’s left arm pit, dislocating the attacker’s right elbow. Practitioner stands up, then step back with right foot to Zone 3 on guard.

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Atemi Waza #2

#2 block while stepping to Zone 2, striking with right front punch to philtrum, followed by left/right combo front punches to solar plexus. Left foot steps up to right in tree stance as hands come to right cup over saucer position. Left foot steps to Zone 1 as hands deliver left inverted hammer strike under chin and right thrust punch driving upward to heart. Raise right foot to crane position and deliver left stepping stool kick to attacker’s center line, landing in forward stance, facing Zone 1 on guard.

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Atemi Waza #2a

#2 block as #3 palm crosses body to smother down on attacker’s right wrist, while stepping right foot out to Zone 2. Counter with right rolling back fist and left driving palm across right side of attacker’s face. Step to the Zone 2 with left foot to Sanchin stance, rotating clockwise while stepping back to the north with right foot, delivering right reverse elbow to sternum. Unfold right elbow to deliver right rolling back fist to bridge of nose. Engage hips to square towards Zone 8, delivering left driving palm to sternum. Right foot steps back looming dragon hidden tiger position on guard.

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Atemi Waza #2b

#2 block as #3 palm crosses body to smother down on attacker’s right wrist, while stepping right foot out to Zone 2. Counter with right rolling back fist and left driving palm across right side of attacker’s face. Raise left foot to crane stance and deliver instep kick under attacker’s groin as hands come to right cup over saucer. Step down with left foot from kick to Zone 2, between attacker’s legs. Deliver left rolling back fist and right inverted palm. Repeat opposite by performing right rolling thunder and left driving palm; all four moves done with whipping circles. At point of last blow, pivot weight forward to ball of left foot, then perform right spinning back kick to center line of attacker, completing 360° turn to on guard position.

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Atemi Waza #2c

Step right foot out to Zone 2, delivering #2 block as #3 palm crosses body to smother down on attacker’s right wrist. Counter with right driving forearm to attacker’s neck, while seizing under attacker’s right wrist with tiger’s mouth. Right arm circles around back of attacker’s neck while lifting attacker’s right arm upward. Step back to Zone 7 while forcing attacker’s head down and wrist up, felling attacker to Zone 4. Right foot steps back to Zone 3, taking up guard position.

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Atemi Waza #3

Right foot steps to Zone 2 as #3 block covers face. Left thrust punch to attacker’s right ribs as right hand returns to elbow position. Right back punch to throat, followed by right inverted hammer just below navel, then right rolling thunder to bridge of nose. Shift weight to right foot as left driving palm strikes under chin of attacker, driving him back to Zone 8; right fist comes back to elbow position as left palm strike lands. Shuffle to Zone 8, performing right whipping elbow across left cheek of attacker followed by right cross hammer strike to bridge of nose as weight shifts back to bow and arrow stance on left foot. Lift right foot to crane position, and then deliver right side stomp kick to inside of attacker’s left thigh. Right foot crosses in front of left to Zone 7, left foot then steps out to Zone 7 while hands circle to cover.

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Atemi Waza #3a

Step back with left foot to Zone 8, pulling right foot up into a crane stance while delivering #3 sword hand block to radial nerve of attacker’s right wrist. Right instep kick to attacker’s groin. Step down with right foot forward, delivering right cross sword to throat followed by left inverted whipping palm as right hand drops to right hip, forming ridge hand. Deliver right whipping ridge hand to left side of neck followed by left driving palm, then right inverted palm while shifting weight to left foot into a bow and arrow stance. Deliver right side kick to sternum. Right foot crosses over left to Zone 8, left foot steps out while hands circle to cover.

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Atemi Waza #3b

#3 sword hand block covers practitioner’s face as left #2 block strikes attacker’s right radial nerve. Step in with right foot to Zone 8 as both hands wind back in circular motion to left shoulder, then strike with right cross sword to right side of attacker’s neck and left whipping sword to attacker’s right ribcage. While staying under attacker’s arm, draw left foot to right as hands circle down in sword hand position to right hip. Continue counter-clockwise motion and deliver right downward sword to attacker’s left clavicle as left downward sword strikes the attacker’s sternum, felling attacker to Zone 2. Jump over attacker by lifting right foot and rotating counter-clockwise, then lifting left foot and landing in Zone 5, in side horse stance, on attacker’s right side. Practitioner then performs upward tiger rake from chin to eyes and downward left tiger rake from eyes to chin as right hand draws back to ribs. Finish with right spear poke to trachea. Right foot steps back to Zone 5, drawing up to flat cat, on guard.

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Atemi Waza #3c

Left foot steps behind into twist stance, as #3 closed fist blocks with left hand in looming dragon cover guard. Strike with right inverted hammer to groin, right rolling thunder to bridge of nose, and right cross hammer to ribs, switching left guard while moving between high and low strikes. Right foot then steps to Zone 8 behind attacker’s left foot as right tiger claw strikes to face, left tiger claw to groin. Claws stay on face and groin and squeeze while pushing downward on face and upward on groin to Zone 1, felling attacker to the same zone. Step back on right foot to Zone 4 to on guard position.

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Atemi Waza #3d

Step to Zone 2 with right foot, delivering #3 closed fist block while simultaneously striking with left thrust punch to right ribs of attacker, while cocking #3 block to left shoulder. Deliver right back fist to right cheek of attacker, followed by left front punch to same cheek. Make #4 block motion to cock left hand by right shoulder as right hand strikes attacker’s left ribs with thrust punch, followed by left back fist to left cheek. Finish with right front punch under attacker’s left jawline. Right foot steps back to Zone 7 as hands circle to on guard position.

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Atemi Waza #4

#4 block and simultaneous right thrust punch to the attacker’s liver, stepping on the left foot to Zone 1. Pivot clockwise on the left foot, maintaining contact with the attacker, to a horse stance facing Zone 5, back to back with the attacker. Right rearward driving elbow to the attacker’s spine, followed by a tiger claw grab between the attacker’s legs to his groin. Pull the right fist up and back over the practitioner’s right shoulder to strike the attacker in the back of the neck with a back punch.

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Atemi Waza #5

#5 block, stepping to Zone 1 and grasping attacker’s wrist, rotating arm to lock elbow. Scuff left palm up attacker’s ear, then bring hammer strike down to break arm. Grasp above attacker’s elbow with left tiger’s mouth, then execute right bow kick to attacker’s midsection. Bring right leg down to horse stance, drawing attacker down to the floor. Maintaining grip on wrist and tiger’s mouth at elbow, bring left foot to right into a tree stance, then step over attacker with right heel tucking into the side of his neck. Twist clockwise, separating elbow and shoulder across the the leg. Pivot 90° clockwise on right foot, lifting left foot and delivering left heel kick to attacker’s head.

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Atemi Waza #6

#6 block, stepping to Zone 2 and grasping attacker’s right wrist with left hand. Scuff under chin with right upwards palm. Circle around to bring right forearm up under attacker’s humerus for a break. Right cross hammer to right side of attacker’s ribs, uppercut to chin, whipping elbow to side of head, and sword hand to collarbone. Grasp attacker’s right shoulder with right hand, using it as support for jumping side stomp to the attacker’s knee.

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Atemi Waza #7

#7 block, stepping to Zone 1. Right rolling thunder to bridge of attacker’s nose. Right side stomp to back of attacker’s knee, felling him to his knees. Step down on right foot, facing Zone 5 to deliver left spinning hook kick, pivoting on right foot to face attacker, followed by right crescent kick movement to axe kick. Cross right over left and step out to on-guard position.

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Atemi Waza #8

#8 block, stepping to Zone 2. Left rolling thunder to attacker’s nose. Hide hands in cup over saucer position on left hip, drawing left foot to right into a tree stance. Deliver left instep kick to attacker’s groin, stepping down forward to Zone 1 on left foot. Deliver right backfist followed by left inverted palm to attacker’s cheek. Pivot on left foot to deliver right spinning back kick to attacker’s midsection.

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