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Self Defense Law

Open Hand Strikes

Learn and practice slaps and palm striking. If you have never been a fan of using bare knuckles in the real fight, then your open hand is more than a worthy substitute. The blunt impact of your palm strikes and your slap’s heavy crush may switch off any gorilla just as effectively.

Open hand strikes are an inseparable part of reality based self defense; close quarters combat training and fight it self.

Their blunt, brain shaking, impact with a soft part of your hand (palm), along with your fingers, represents a great striking tool to deal with anything your attacks may land to (especially the hard spots like the skull or the jaw).

What I honestly like about slaps and palm strikes, is that you don’t really have to worry about any serious damage to be done to your hands if you don’t condition them much.

Should you condition your palms? ABSOLUTELY!

You have to get used to the impact and the more you get OK with it, the heavier your strikes can be. Condition not only your palm muscles, but also your fingers and finger tips, so you may use the open hand striking to its full extend.

Vicious open handed combo illustration

When talking about viciousness and explosiveness; on these videos bellow, you can see Lee Morrison demonstrating an open hand striking applications from natural, nonviolent posture and following with some kick ass slaps.

Pay attention also to all the other stuff Lee is talking about – it’s important.

To learn more from Lee Morrison, you can go to:

Notice how Coach Lee hits with the heel of his palm and follows up with the grab and/or a next strike. If the attacker isn’t there anymore, he grabs the air. However, if the attacker remains on his feet, Lee would continue his line of strikes until… until there is no need to hit him again. If you think about it – it’s a great habit to have and a great concept for your training.

Watch the videos again and pay attention to Lee Morrison’s very effective body movement. Can you duplicate it?


As you might have heard, in a fight, it doesn’t really matter if you use punches or an open hand strikes, it can still get the job done. It’s your choice. In my oppinion, you should be learning BOTH.

What I wanted to stress here is that open hand striking is not for girls only.

As you have seen on the video above - it is a freaking effective way how to put people to sleep.

Considering your punching skills, try to shadow box for a little while, but try an open hand strikes instead of closed fist blows. Is the execution any different to you?

I recommend you go through the videos couple times again and try the open hand striking on your next training sessions.

Don’t forget to always follow up with more strikes. Go learn moves like the Tiger’s claw with a slap, Chin jab and/or Elbows to keep your opponent at bay.

TAGS: open hand close quarters combat combat skills


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