Fist vs Palm Strikes

With so much misinformation out there; it’s tough to tell which advice is solid and which is not (pun intended). At SDG we only teach striking with closed hand/fist in a very limited fashion. Why do we do this? Because striking with the fist is only a good idea against soft targets such as inner/outer thigh, solar plexis, stomach and/or side. Although there are people in this world that can repeatedly punch semi-hard targets without any issues, the majority of us will find that it’s easier to get injured by landing a punch in the wrong place such as a hard surface than most would like to admit. First strikes/punching can potentially cause more harm than good for you as it can lead to broken/fractured wrist, knuckles and even fingers.

Even with some instructors and fighters saying “well, you have to do it correctly”, or “you need to be properly trained”. Keep in mind; being properly trained in first strikes means you’ll be practicing with gloves on. This is something you won’t have time to wear or put on just prior to a self-defense situation. If you can’t train exactly how you’re going to defend yourself, then what’s the point? in terms of fist strikes; you’re way better off striking with a hammer fist and using the straight fist strike on soft body tissue.

In The World Of Global Gestures, The Fist Bump Stands Alone : Goats and  Soda : NPR

Palm strikes (also known as open handed strikes) are a far more effective means of striking harder targets as well as providing a pushing force when needed. Not only that, but imagine being watched by others during a self-defense situation or maybe being on camera. Having your hands open and ready to respond makes you look like the non-aggressor. With open hands; its easier to counter an attack such as if a hostile is throwing a punch at you, or maybe trying to elbow/kick you. With multiple uses for open hands; it’s easier to see why they have more of an advantage compared to keeping a closed fist. Keeping a closed fist only provides striking ability and showing that the person is aggressive and/or violent.

Palm or fist - Which is the better strike? - Martial Tribes



Photos courtesy of, LinkedIn, NPR, and MartialTribes.