The meaning of 引き手

引き手 or simply 引手 can be translated as knob, handle or catch. Within Budo the translation is usually the pulling back of the hand. This is also logic if you analyse the Kanji seperately.

引 = hiki (hiku = verb) = to pull

手 = te = hand

Kinds of Hikite

Hikite as a term within Karate, is allocated to different forms.

  • The pulling back of the fist from Kamae
  • The pulling back of a punch
  • The position at the side of the chest 

The pulling back of the fist from Kamae 
The fist has a start (1) and a final position (2). For convenience sake, let's assume that your arm is streched. The action of bringing back your fist from the streched position to the end position at the side of the chest is one of the Hikite. The name of the action is therefore called Hikite, which actually takes place between picture 1 and 2.

1. Arm streched 
(start position)

2. Arm pulled back 
(end position)

Different positions of Hikite

The end position of the action at the side of the chest is also called Hikite. Although there are numerous of possible positions if you are going to check inch by inch, you could categorise the end positions of Hikite in three heights. In this video, I explain the three different heights of Hikite and will share the answer of Hironori Ohtsuka senseis answer to the following question:

"What is the proper height of Hikite?"