Uchi (Strikes)

       Strikes can be quite diverse and are usually performed with different parts of the hand or arm. Each striking technique can impact a target from a multitude of directions and angles, making strikes a karateka's most versatile weapon. Strikes are most useful against smaller, more specific targets and, as such, require good accuracy. Only those with a basic knowledge of human anatomy will find truly effective uses for striking techniques. They are extremely dangerous and should be practiced with utmost control. As mentioned previously, most of the striking techniques can also be quite effective as blocks as well. Uchi have been divided into 3 categories:

Roundhouse Strikes
       Roundhouse-house strikes, or mawashi-uchi, include all of the circular attacks. Roundhouse strikes travel in an arc towards their target. In most cases, if the arc is travelling downwards toward the floor, the strike is referred to as tate (vertical), as in kentsui-tate-mawashi-uchi. If the arc moves in a sideways or horizontal motion, it is called yoko, as in uraken-yoko-mawashi-uchi. Keep in mind that some of the following techniques, especially teisho, can also be used in a linear manner, as in teisho-zuki. Because of their circular nature, mawashi-uchi are very useful for circumventing an opponent's guard.
hammer-fist strike
backfist strike
sword-hand strike
ridge-hand strike (sword-ridge strike)
Animal Strikes
       These extremely advanced strikes are often very neglected. These techniques are most likely remnants of the animal forms that stem from the influence of kung fu, during the early years of karate's development. They occur only in very high-level kata. Two of the strikes, kumade and kakuto, do not appear in any Shotokan kata at all. These attacks (or if used as blocks) are useful to strike an opponent's kyusho points, or vital areas.        
ox-jaw (sabre strike)
Smashing Techniques
       These two techniques are often referred to as ate, or "smashing" techniques. Ate-waza are techniques usually delivered with the elbow or knee and are known as very powerful attacks. They are not used to pinpoint small targets, but rather to shatter whatever their intended target may be. Although knee strikes come in a limited variety, elbow strikes can have a multitude of angles and directions. Knees and elbows are excellent tools for close range combat and are very popular in street self-defense.

empi-uchi (empi-ate)
hiza-tsuchi (hiza-ate)
elbow strike (elbow smash)
knee smash (knee kick)