What is a Palm Heel Strike?
- A medium range strikes (arm’s length)
- An effective tool for striking soft and hard targets (e.g. side of the attacker’s head).
Palm heel strikes are usually the first strike we learn in Krav Maga training. It is easier to perform than a punch which requires more training to make a “proper fist”.
As the name indicates you are striking with the heel of your palm. The body mechanics of a palm heel strike are the same as a straight punch.
- Lead the motion with the striking hand moving to the target (this is faster and is less likely to giveaway the strike).
- Bring your other hand up to protect as rotate your shoulder, back, then hips for better reach and power with your striking hand.
- Flex your hand backwards striking with the base of your hand.
- Strikethrough a vulnerable target (e.g. chin).
- Recoil quickly.
When/why do we use palm-heel strikes instead of punches?
- You are striking a hard surface – e.g. the side or top of an attacker’s head
- You cannot make a fist due to a sprained or broken finger(s)
- A cut/laceration prevents you from making a fist.
- Long nails (real or fake) can hinder “fist making”.
- You simply prefer palm strikes to punches.
- You do not have confidence in your hand strength or punching technique.
For those of you who come from a boxing background, palm strikes can feel awkward. There are times, however, when the palm strike is the preferred or the necessary choice.