Should A Palm Strike Just Be A Palm Strike In Self Defense?

Whenever SAFE International teaches gross motor strikes, one of the strikes we recommend as an option is the Palm Strike.  A palm strike delivered directly into the face or under the chin/jaw may give one an opportunity to keep striking or to escape from either shaking the brain, striking the eyes, or causing disorientation.  For some it is used initially as a distraction to be followed up with stronger strikes.  I like to teach that every strike should do damage otherwise you may be giving the attacker the warning of your intentions that you don't want to give.  I want to address is the question, "Should A Palm Strike Just Be A Palm Strike?" When most people think of the palm strike they automatically think of the strike delivered with just the palm.  They human arm on average weighs according to what I have read to be about 5% to 8% of the overall bodyweight with obvious reasons for variance.  Well, if one hits with just their arm they are robbing themselves of much more power which might be the difference between surviving an attack or not.  Many teach to add the rotation of the hips which definitely adds more power to the strike, BUT what if it really started from the ground working its' way up to the palm?  If you envision and practice your strikes starting at the ground and moving up through the whole body driving forward to its' target, you are now delivering a strike with possibly every ounce of your bodyweight, and how much stronger would that be to put an injury on the attacker?  As I say, if you can avoid an attack, avoid, if you can verbally defuse, then defuse, if you must defend, don't defend, but rather Attack the Attacker! Now many are probably picturing a strike that takes too long to deliver.  There are definitely no guarantees that any strike will be a success, but the more you practice putting all your bodyweight behind your strikes, the more chance of success.  The one challenge with this for most at first is putting too much telegraph into the strike.  Telegraphs may be done with our bodies, face, or even words, so the more scenario training you do, the better chances of delivering a non-telegraphed full body palm strike.

Here is a short clip in which I show the strike doing my best to show as little telegraph as possible!


As my friend Athena Scott Rublee once said during a seminar, "You want to be able to access 100% of your resources 100% of the time". You do this from striking drills, scenario replications, and mindset training. 

Keep SAFE!

Chris Roberts

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Saturday, 24 August 2019
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