Thursday, August 29, 2013

Self Defense Striking Tools: An Introduction

Striking techniques – punches, kicks, knees, elbows etc..., are used to defend yourself in various circumstances.  Over time, your training allows you to strike an assailant from various directions, distances, angles, and heights. 

Here is a list of 7 basic striking tools.  All of these, with the exception of knees, can be performed in all directions.  (Only Chuck Norris can knee backwards).

1. Kicks.  Kicks are generally long range tools used to strike when you want to maintain or create distance.  Your legs are more powerful (you are using your body’s most powerful muscles) and offer more reach than your arms.

2. Punches. Medium range strikes can be very effective.  Proper technique must be used to avoid breaking the many bones in the hand. 

3. Palm Heel Strikes.  Easy to perform as you don’t have to make a fist.  Palm strikes are also less likely to incur an injury to your hand.  Excellent if weak wrists or inexperience don’t guarantee proper punching technique.

4. Hammer Strikes.  Similar range of punches and palm strikes that allow you to diversify your direction and angle of attack (e.g. striking to the side, behind, down…).

5. Elbows.  Short range strikes.  Elbows are very versatile as you can strike various angles and directions. 

6. Knees.  Very powerful strikes!  Excellent close range tools, difficult to defend against as they are usually very difficult to see. 

7. Head butts.  Not everyone’s favourite but very effective.  There are times, for example, when our hands are confined and the attacker is very close.  Go for the nose!

There are more advanced strikes (finger strikes etc...) but this comprises a general overview.  Please feel free to offer your insights and questions. 

Stay Safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor, International Krav Maga FederationToronto

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