Street Self-Defense Techniques: The Heavy Palm Strike

December 23, 20121 Comment

When looking at self-preservation techniques, there are several criteria you need to look at.

Among them, 3 principles stand out:

  1. It has to be easy to learn
  2. It has to be simple to do
  3. It has to be effective (even for the smaller person)

With that said, one of the techniques that have often ignored is the “open hand heavy palm strikes”, which can be a powerful tool in your self-defense arsenal.

It can be used from a variety of force vectors, but is most commonly seen in a hook-line strike and a downward strike.

When learning the heavy palm strikes, you would first want to get a feel for how to use the weight of your arm in a relaxed fashion.

The average weight on an arm is about 6% of your body weight, which means that the arm of a 180lbs (81 kg) man weighs approximately 11 lbs / 5 kg (conversely a 135lbs / 60 kg woman’s arm will weigh approximately 8 lbs / 3.5 kg).

Once you can swing your arm in a relaxed fashion, you can start guiding the open palm strike to the target…

Imagine getting hit by a 10 lbs (4.5 kg) baseball bat even at low velocity. With the addition of torque you can increase the velocity exponentially and strike the target with devastating effect, both as a pre-emptive strike (as seen in the video below) or as a follow-up strike.

To learn more about how to throw basic palm hooks and palm smash (downward palm strikes), be sure to check out this post on How to increase punching power.

(Please note, the following video is graphic)

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  • Marc

    This is a great article. I found the How to Increase Punching Power video and pdf very helpful.

    The video shows the downward palm and the palm hook, but it doesn’t show a straight thrusting palm (same force vector as a straight lead or cross).

    Is the straight palm strike effective in your opinion?



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