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.
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.
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.
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.
There are three main ways to block punches:
- An outward block is utilized to stop an assault that comes from the side. To throw an outward block, raise your hand to the side at a 90° angle with your forearm pointing straight up. Use your elbow and forearm to block punches from either side of the body.
- Using the same bend in your arm, you can throw an upward block. As you see below, for an upward block, simply raise the bent arm in front of your face to block higher aimed blows.
- To defend kicks and low punches, a downward block is used. The same bend in your arm is utilized, but you throw the arm down at waist level. As you see in the photo below, with a downward block your forearm is parallel to the ground.
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.