Twisting the Forearm

Today we are back discussing technical issues. This time it is the twist of the forearm. Here I explain the reason we twist the forearm with the example of a reverse punch. However, keep in mind that we also twist it in all of the uke or receiving techniques as well as many other techniques.

In many hand techniques, the forearm is twisted while the fist is thrust forward. This twisting of the forearm is important to maximizing the effectiveness of the technique. In punching, the forearm is thrust directly at the target. The twisting motion, similar to the rifling in a gun barrel, helps the fist travel in a straight course to the target.

The twisting motion is also used to tense all of the muscles used in the technique. Thus, at the moment of impact, the twisting motion has tensed all of the arm (forearm, biceps, triceps) and chest (pectorals) muscles, and thus the fist is then firmly connected to the rest of the body.

Consider a reverse punch. Power is generated by the thrusting of the rear heel into the floor and the rotation of the hips. This power, however, must be transferred into the fist, or it is of little use. By twisting the forearm and tightening up the arm and chest muscles at the last moment, the body’s power is transferred into the fist.

As one advances in rank, the twisting of the forearm should happen later in the punch – closer to the target. This allows more speed to be maintained throughout the technique, bringing the power into play at the instant of impact.