T Nation

Palm Strikes (Street Fights)

I was just reading the Copland articles where the author recommeded using palm strikes to the nose, chin, sternum, solar plexus, in a street fight. (the other techniques he recommended were leg sweeps and a lateral choke, none of which were fully explained).

ANYWAY this palm strike idea seems to run counter to my first instinct: to clench my fists and sock somebody. What’s the logic behind the palm strike? I can only guess that you’d avoid broken knuckles/broken fingers, and also maybe a clenched fist tends to tighten up your whole upper body, when you need to be loose and fluid.

I’d especially appreciate hearing comments from the cops, bouncers, MMA, streetfighters, military personnel etc… What works? What do you use?

This seems to be pretty common advice in a lot of self defence books etc. but if it were that effective would we not see more of it in MMA etc?
Id imagine the origin of all this came from the early gloveless UFCs where many hands were broken while striking but when u consider those were match fights often lasting 10 minutes or so against a trained opponent capable of blocking etc perhaps this is not applicable to the street?
Ive only been in one fight and it ended up on the ground with me ground an pounding my opponent an i hit him several times on the forehead with close fists…not too sore to be honest with the adrenaline dump etc …just my two cents :slight_smile:

Yeah, the reason you don’t see it in the UFC or other mma is that they now wear gloves and their hands are heavily taped. Even still, I wouldn’t really recommend trying something like that[palm strikes] unless you were trained in it. Counter-intuitive or not, I really doubt a novice would benefit from such a technique…might keep you from breaking your hand though.

It is just a bitch slap.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
It is just a bitch slap.[/quote]

This is true…you’d probably look a little less-than-masculine using such a strike, so it does lose a few points on the coolness factor.

[quote]slimjim wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
It is just a bitch slap.

This is true…you’d probably look a little less-than-masculine using such a strike, so it does lose a few points on the coolness factor.[/quote]

Unless we call it a pimp slap. Then you are cool again.

I’d rather just stab someone. If you really wanna look cool just stab someone that messes with you.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
slimjim wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
It is just a bitch slap.

This is true…you’d probably look a little less-than-masculine using such a strike, so it does lose a few points on the coolness factor.

Unless we call it a pimp slap. Then you are cool again.[/quote]

Just keep some baby powder with you at all times. When you’ve gotta throw down, powder up.

Hard on soft, soft on hard.

If you’re hitting soft areas like ribs, solar plexus, stomach: use a fist.

If you’re hitting skull, use a palm.

How much training/experience do you have? If very little it doesnt really matter what you read or think about trying out because you adrenaline will dump and you will revert to instinct. 95% of the people have no idea how to throw a punch or can do it instinctively.

Street fights are all about dealing as much damage and violence as quickly as possible and getting the hell out of there. Nothing beats a well placed fist to the chin/jaw or the nose. As far as palm strikes go, unless you practice them to the point of muscle memory, stay with the basics.

If you are good/calm enough to use palm strikes effectively in a street fight, you will know how throw a solid punch without hurting yourself and dropping someone anyway.

I punch with fists usually. If you pound the top of his head full on that won’t be good for your hand but if you get off on an angle and hit the chin right your fist should be fine. Sometimes teeth cut your fist or even come off in your fist.

Now, the idea behind the palm is a solid one. Soft on hard so as to not damage your hand. In the real world though, the fingers get caught up on things when you throw a palm sometimes and if you don’t hit on the heel of the palm you can hurt the fingers/wrist.

The palm is also bigger and a bit more awkward to throw so it doesn’t loop in at angles as well as the fist.

A palm can be good as an initial running stiff arm type of strike to the face. Punching w/fist is usually safe if you hit the chin right, unless the guy is a huge head, huge boned guy compared to you. If his bones are very thick, think pro wrestler size, then you better hit just right or do something else.

It’s one of the reasons I like to grab people.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
I’d rather just stab someone. If you really wanna look cool just stab someone that messes with you. [/quote]

LMAO!

I’ve always used palms because you can get to clinch etc easier with palms as opposed to punches

I know I’m new here but I just wanted to put in a opinion. I have experience in a few different styles and I have never used a palm heel in a strret fight. I wouldn’t understand the reasoning for doing so!!

If you’re hitting with your first two knucles I would think alot more power would be being transferred through a smaller area then a palm heel as well!!!

You should always use palms and not your fists. If you break your hand on your opponent, you’re done.

Put your open hands up, as if you were surrendering. This often causes your opponent to relax a moment, thinking you are ‘easy pickins’. Then, double palm him (one palm supports the other, like a battering ram) in the chin. This will cause unconsciousness. If not, you then pin his head with one hand while driving your fingers into his eyes with your other hand. If he’s lucky, he’ll be only blinded.

That’s what I use, saves the knuckles! To the face, then the chest. Usually one is enough. RIGHT TO THE FUCKIN’ NOSE! Love it!

When did we all decide to leave our glocks at home?

I’d still just rather stab somebody.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
You should always use palms and not your fists. If you break your hand on your opponent, you’re done.

Put your open hands up, as if you were surrendering. This often causes your opponent to relax a moment, thinking you are ‘easy pickins’. Then, double palm him (one palm supports the other, like a battering ram) in the chin. This will cause unconsciousness. If not, you then pin his head with one hand while driving your fingers into his eyes with your other hand. If he’s lucky, he’ll be only blinded.[/quote]

I really have doubts this technique would work in the street, if you have used it more power too you. As for eye gouging you are looking at definite jail time if you do manage to blind him. I have jammed a finger in an eye to get out of a hold, but its not something to play with.

As far as broken hands go, I doubt you will notice your hand is broken until after the fight. I have broken my hand a few times and its not until you are done and a bit calmer until you even notice. Its not like a boxing match or MMA fight where you have rounds and rest periods.

[quote]Scrappy wrote:

It’s one of the reasons I like to grab people.[/quote]

I like to hug my opponent tightly and tell him over and over “Jesus loves you, let go of the hate.”

DB