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Techniques>Strikes>Knife-hand strike

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Knife-hand strike

Intro

The knife-hand strike is a middle to long-range weapon that may be used for striking or blocking. The striking area is the outside, meaty edge of the palm. The strike can be used in a circular or a semi-thrusting motion.

How to perform a knife-hand strike

  • Hold the arm straight out in front of the body with the hand held flat, the palm up with the fingers straight and together, and with the thumb sticking out.
  • Slightly bend the fingers and arch the palm backward. This pulls the little finger inward and helps keep the fingers from striking the target as the edge of the hand impacts the target.
  • Stiffen the fingers to help keep them from banging together upon impact.
  • Bend the thumb and keep it tucked close to the hand to prevent it being snagged or grabbed.
  • The striking area is the fleshy part of the outer edge of the hand between the base of the little finger and the wrist knuckle. Since this part of the hand is padded, it can strike hard targets with little damage to the hand.
  • Keep the hand aligned with the forearm with the wrist locked to help prevent injury to the wrist. 
  • The strike may be used in an outside to inside, inward, palm up, slashing motion, in an inside to outside, outward, palm down, slashing motion, in a downward chopping motion with the palm facing inward, or in a forward semi-thrusting motion with the palm facing inward where the hand is thrust forward, but it strikes with a slight downward motion. 
  • Accurate distancing is essential to avoid impacting the target with the little finger or the wrist. 
Forge your knife-hand by striking it against a canvas bag filled with dried peas, then, after a few weeks of training, use a mixture of dried peas and sand in the bag, and finally, use pure sand in the bag. Forging by striking solid, immovable objects can lead to injuries that may become chronic and permanent.

Targets

The targets for the knife-hand are the temple, face, neck, septum, throat, clavicle, ribs, kidneys, groin, or large muscle groups. The throat strike is especially effective since the knife-hand's narrow profile allows it to slip under the chin.

Variations

  • Horizontal knife-hand strike. A strike that is usually used to the temple, face, neck, ribs, kidneys, or large muscle groups. 
  • Bring the striking hand back in a knife-hand shape, cupping it over the same side ear.
  • As the hand moves forward and inward across in front of the body during the strike, let the shoulder move into the strike, twisting hand to a palm upward position as it impacts the target. 
  • Develop additional power by leaning into the strike. Leaning forward at impact can cause the knife-hand to slide over skin as it strikes, possibly causing a tearing injury to the opponent. 
  • Vertical knife-hand strike. A strike that is usually used to the clavicle. 
  • Bring the striking hand back in a knife-hand shape, cupping it over the same side ear. 
  • As the hand chops forward and downward, let the shoulder move into the strike while twisting your hand to a palm inward position as it impacts.
  • Develop additional power by slightly rotating the upper body and dropping the body weight into the strike. 
  • Vertical knife-hand thrust. A strike that is usually used to the clavicle when a vertical knife-hand strike is not feasible. 
  • Bring the striking hand back in a knife-hand shape, cupping it over the same side ear.
  • Thrust the hand forward and downward into the target with the palm facing inward while keeping the knife-hand angled upward about 45-degrees.
  • The impact will stress the wrist so keep it firmly locked into position.
  • Inverted knife-hand strike. A strike that is usually used to the temple, face, neck, ribs, kidneys, or large muscle groups or as a block. 
  • Bring the striking hand back in a knife-hand shape, cupping it over the opposite side ear.
  • As the hand moves forward and outward across in front of the body during the strike, twist the hand to a palm downward position as it impacts the target. 
  • Develop additional power by twisting the body into the strike.
  • Backward vertical knife-hand strike. A strike that is used against an opponent standing directly behind you. 
  • Bring the striking hand back in a knife-hand shape, cupping it over the opposite side ear.
  • Step forward with the opposite foot while turning the body to the striking side and chop the hand downward backward into the groin of the attacker standing behind you. 
  • Spinning knife hand strike. A strike that is usually used to the temple, face, neck, ribs, kidneys, or large muscle groups. 
  • Bring the striking hand back in a knife-hand shape, cupping it over the opposite side ear.
  • As the hand moves forward and inward across in front of the body with the palm down, step the trailing foot around behind you as you spin the body in that direction. 
  • The knife-hand strikes with a spinning, slashing motion.
  • Striking with the base of the knife-hand. Instead of striking with entire span of flesh between the base of the little finger and the wrist knuckle, the knife-hand is angled upward so the striking point is just the area just in front of the wrist knuckle.

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