One of the first things you learn in Krav Maga is how to protect ourselves using upper body strikes – punches, elbows etc… During training you learn effective body mechanics, how to strike at various directions, angles, and distances. The goal is to strike as effectively as possible to protect yourself.
· Strike then move the body. Don’t wind up.
· Rotate and Recoil
· Chin down to protect your jaw, chin, neck.
· Strike vulnerable areas. Move off the line of attack.
Palm Heel Strikes (medium distance). Striking with the heel of your palm. Rotate shoulders, back, and hips for more reach and power. Strike through the target and recoil.
Punches (medium distance): Similar range to palm strikes. The fist is at forty-five degrees, striking with first two knuckles. Rotate and recoil. Don’t wind up!
Elbows – Horizontal and Vertical (short distance). The “V” of your arm should be tight and the hand open. The non-striking hand is up, ready to protect and/or strike. Your chin is down to protect jaw and chin. Rotate to engage large muscle groupings (shoulder, back, hips). Recoil to escape, protect (e.g. ribs) or strike again. For elbow strikes behind, put your chin into your shoulder for better peripheral vision and to protect your throat and jaw.
Forearm Strikes – Horizontal These strikes are often to the throat area (the windpipe or carotid artery). Since you are striking soft tissue recoiling is not necessary. When striking keep you hand open and strike with the inside or outside of your forearm – whatever is most effective for the situation.
Hammer Punches (short or medium) There are five in B1. Two horizontal and three vertical.
Horizontal: Sideways and Backwards. Look at the target. Elbow leads as you want to your fist to travel directly to the target. The non-striking hand is up to protect and/or strike. Strike through the target – e.g. jaw, nose…
Vertical: Forward, Downwards, Back and up. Forward, usually, a high strike to face, head. Rotation, recoil. Downwards – lower strikes – e.g. to someone trying a takedown – bend the same leg as striking arm for power. Back and up. Lead with elbow striking directly back and up.
Good technique is essential but so is understanding when to use certain strikes and combinations of strikes. Explore various scenarios with your instructor.