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Heel of the Palm Strikes (instructional video included)


Striking with the heel of your palm is an easy-to-use anatomical weapon that you can perform with very little effort. It's so simple to use that you may see children and unskilled street fighters perform a variation of this strike when trying to defend themselves. If you’ve ever been slapped in the face, you know it stings and hurts, and that’s only a small percentage of the palm heel strike’s power.


Whereas hammer fists, hooks, and uppercut punches follow a circular line, palm heel strikes can travel either a straight/direct, or circular line to your opponent. When performed correctly, they are ideal for striking to the face including the eyes, nose, ears, temples, and mouth. Additionally, you can palm heel strike when on your feet, on your back, and on your knees (striking downward onto your opponent).


How to perform the heel-of-palm (palm heel) strike:

  1. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart in a neutral stance, or fighting stance; (if using fighting stance, use your rear hand to perform the palm heel strike). Hold your hands slightly above and in front of your head (protecting your face without blocking your vision), with your hands open.

  2. Next, tense your hands and pull your fingers back so the heels of your palms extend forward; this is your striking weapon, not your fingers.

  3. Turn your hip in one direction and raise the heel of that hip up and outward; strike by moving your palm heel straight outward (towards the target).

  4. Keep your elbow in tight when striking and shift your body weight into your strike; this will give you maximum power.

  5. Finally, do not lock out your elbows at the end of your strike; your elbows should have a slight bend when the strike is completed.

  6. Practice aiming above your head height. This will train your body in the correct mechanics for hitting the bigger assailant. So, strike straight out but above your head.

  7. Important: Hit with the heel of the palm, not your fingers, hitting with your fingers has no power, and will bend your wrist back possibly causing injury.


Below is a quick video of how to perform the palm heel strike technique. As always if you have any questions, feel free to contact me.



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Lawrence Castanon,

Author, The Short Fight



The Palm Heel Strike






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