What Is The Deadliest Karate Move?

Karate is one of the most popular martial arts in the world, with around 100 million people practicing the art of it across the globe. That’s a lot of people who know the same moves as you do! 

However, with films surrounding karate mainly focusing on punching, kicking, and karate chops – it got us thinking about whether those moves were really dangerous or not.

Spoiler alert… they’re not. In fact, these are some of the least dangerous moves in karate

So, what is the deadliest move that you can use during karate? Let’s find out together. 

Deadliest Moves In Karate

Many people have their own opinions on which is the deadliest move in karate, but one thing that these people have in common is that they cannot agree on a single answer.

It makes sense if you consider the fact that any move could be deadly depending on how you use it. 

For example, a light punch to the arm is very unlikely to kill anyone, but a punch to the chest from the world’s strongest person is much more likely to be fatal. 

So, as there is no one correct answer to the original question, we’re going to look at some of the deadliest moves that could be carried out. 

  1. Seiken Punch To The Solar Plexus

The seiken punch is another way of saying a straight punch. It is the act of solely punching someone with all of your power behind you.

This means that it takes all of the power from your entire body and directs it into one punch. 

Have you ever seen a Master of karate punch through wooden blocks before, wondering how on earth they do it? It’s quite simple – they use the seiken punch. 

This move packs quite a punch! Not only that, but it can be deadly if used in the correct area of the body. 

The solar plexus is the system of nerves and ganglia within the pit of the stomach.

It can be located in the upper body region and is in front of the aorta, one of the main arteries carrying blood away from the heart. 

If you were to use the seiken punch in this space, you could damage the artery and do some serious internal damage to the person.

This could also lead to a collapsed lung, and a lot of internal bleeding. 

  1. Roundhouse Kick To The Temple Neck Or Chest

The roundhouse kick is a very common kick used in karate, and it uses all of the weight in your leg to kick. This means that the power coming from your leg is stronger than if you were to use another type of kick. 

The roundhouse consists of you leaning back on your non-dominant leg and kicking with the other, as high as you can.

Impact will be coming from the top of your foot, giving you a firm surface area to contact your opponent. 

You will step with your non-dominant foot before leading the kick, allowing yourself to gather even more force to push back through your foot. 

This strong kick to the temple can easily stop blood from getting to the brain. It can also leave the opponent with nerve damage and even a cracked skull, which can be deadly. 

The same result might come from using the roundhouse kick to the neck or chest, with internal bleeding being a common result from such force into these areas.

The strongest of roundhouse kicks to the chest may even be enough to stop the heart.

  1. Knife Strikes 

The knife strike is another very commonly used technique in karate, with the hand being used to resemble that of a knife.

Keep your hand open and strike your opponent with the side of the hand that is opposite the thumb – so coming off of the pinky finger. 

Knife strikes are otherwise known as karate chops and can be used with an amazing amount of force from your body weight behind the movement.

Knife strikes are sometimes used to break wooden blocks during training as well. 

Due to the knife strike coming from your hand, you can target it to almost anywhere on the body.

The deadliest places on the body to knife strike an opponent would be to the neck or the chest. 

The neck is a fragile area of the body as it houses some of the most important arteries and nerves that we have.

A strong knife strike to this area of the body is sure to do some damage, with internal bleeding and compromised airways being a few of the risks. 

  1. Push Kick To The Abdomen
Push Kick To The Abdomen

A push kick in karate is considered one of the strongest moves as you are able to control the move until you push your foot into your opponent with immense force.

What is often used as a light move to simply push your opponent away from you to create space can turn dangerous very quickly. 

When conducting a push kick, you will chamber your leg into your chest before using all of the force of your body weight to push into your opponent’s chest.

If you are able to get enough power behind your push kick, it is possible that you can damage your opponent’s internal organs if hit in the right place. 

Commotio cordis is the process of hitting your opponent with such force in the chest that it changes the rhythm of their heart.

This is commonly fatal as the heart cannot cope with the change of rhythm and shuts down. 


There you have it – four of the deadliest karate moves that you can use with an opponent.

These moves are often only deadly when used with extreme force and when they are used in exactly the right area of the body to cause the most damage. 

You’re unlikely to kill your opponent when practicing karate, but bear in mind that there is always a slim chance… 

Christopher Anderson
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