Biomechanical characterization of the Junzuki karate punch: indexes of performance

Martina Rinaldi, Yasmen Nasr, Ghada Atef, Fabiano Bini, Tiwana Varrecchia, Carmela Conte, Giorgia Chini, Alberto Ranavolo, Francesco Draicchio, Francesco Pierelli, Mokhtar Amin, Franco Marinozzi, Mariano Serrao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aims of this study were: (i) to determine kinematic, kinetic, and electromyographic characteristics of Junzuki karate punch in professional karate athletes; (ii) to identify biomechanical parameters that correlate with punch force and lead to a higher punching performance; (iii) to verify the presence of muscle co-activation in the upper limb, trunk, and lower limb muscles. Data were collected from nine experienced karatekas from the Accademia Italiana Karate e Arti Marziali during the execution of the specific punch. Mean punch forces (181.2 N) delivered to the target, the range of motion of both right and left knees (1.13 and 0.82 rad) and right elbow (1.49 rad) joints, and the angles at impact (knee: 0.81 and 0.91 rad; elbow: 1.19 rad) in the sagittal plane were computed. Furthermore, the trunk rotational angular acceleration (63.1 rads 2), force related to the lower limbs (550.2 and 425.1 N), and co-activation index for the upper limb (36.1% and 34.7%), trunk (24.5% and 16%), and lower limbs (16.0% and 16.1%) muscles were evaluated bilaterally. Significant positive correlations were found between the punch force and both right and left knee flexion at the instant of impact and right and left leg force. Significant negative correlation was found between the punch force and maximum trunk angular acceleration. Significant differences (p = .03) in the co-activation index among the upper limb, trunk, and lower limbs muscles highlighted a rostro-caudal gradient on both body sides. This research could be of use to performers and coaches when considering training preparations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
Publication statusPublished - Jul 7 2018


  • Karate punch
  • kinematic
  • kinetic
  • performance
  • surface electromyography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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