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  • Punches and Handstrikes

    By Marlene Gundlach | July 16, 2008

    If you try moves that are meant for professionals, you may hurt yourself; at which point, you will be in an even more vulnerable position. There are some moves that don’t require a great deal of strength and are easier on your body. In addition to the punches and handstrikes below, there are also basic kicks you can do.


    When you are under attack, you must stand and be prepared to block any punches coming your way. Standing straight and facing forward, toward your attacker, leaves you more vulnerable and gives easy access to your face, ribs, and abdomen. Instead, stand sideways with your hands at the ready and your face toward the attacker as in the photo below. Your weight should be balanced on your back foot.

    Ready Stance

    Avoiding Contact

    Avoiding contact is the easiest way to not get hurt during an attack. By constantly moving your feet and staying in your protective stance, you will become a moving target, which can throw-off your attacker. Your whole goal is to get away. Look for your attacker to become off-balance and then try to run and escape.

    Hammer Fist

    The hammer fist gets its name because the movement resembles the swinging of a hammer. To throw this punch, make a tight fist; using the bottom of your hand, strike your target. This type of punch protects your knuckles, unlike a traditional punch.
    Hammer Fist

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    Front Elbow

    To throw a front elbow punch, bend your strongest arm (probably the one you write with) and swing your forearm toward your attacker’s face. Let your elbow and forearm strike the nose. This will cause immediate pain and shock. As you throw the strike, step directly toward your target with all of your power. This is a punch that must be delivered when you are in close proximity to your attacker.
    Front Elbow

    Blocking Punches

    There are three main ways to block punches:

    Upward Block

    Downward Block
    You do not want to expel a lot of energy fending off punches and kicks. Always be looking for a chance to escape. As soon as you think you have your attacker off balance or distracted, that is the best time to run.  Also, be sure you are being as loud as possible during this whole series of events. Constantly yelling for help will not only draw attention to the attack, but will unnerve your attacker and prove you are not a weak push over.

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