Strike the hands ...or go straight to the head?

Discussion in 'Filipino Martial Arts - General' started by geezer, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. punisher73

    punisher73 Senior Master

    Mar 20, 2004
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    As my instructor points out (empty hand system) that most people don't "defend" their hands and it is a good distraction technique if you can punch the back of the hand. Anything that can buy you time or get their mind on other things works in your favor. Best case is that you jam up their fingers or break the small bones in their hand.

    Works especially well when you have someone "pawing" or leaving their hands way out that have to be bridged to get to the body/head.

    I have used it plenty of times and it has always worked well because unless you have had training where the hands are a target most people don't move them out of the way to a strike directed at them because they don't see it as a threat.

    But, as others have pointed out if someone is holding them really close to the body then there are other options that may work better. Such as, striking directly to the head/body or striking the arm to temporarily "trap" or immobilize the limb to strike to the head/body.
  2. geezer

    geezer Grandmaster

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    Oct 20, 2007
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    Phoenix, AZ
    I remember learning really quickly to retract my hand after striking with a stick, and chambering in a protected position. But This is more true of FMA because of the types of weaponry commonly used that leave the hands exposed.

    Then I ran into some HEMA guys who do saber and cutlass. There are a lot of stylistic similarities ...and even a historical connection, if you consider that back in colonial times Filipino sailors on Spanish ships would have been exposed to such techniques. However, do to the hand-guards engineered into those European weapons, the hands are not retracted to the same degree, and offensive hand strikes with the guard (almost like using a buckler) are often used.
  3. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Sep 5, 2002
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    New Iberia, Louisiana USA
    We call it short arcing. The arc of the hand and weapon tip is more of an oblong arc. Removes the hand while allowing the weapon tip to be directed toward the target or in an 'OS' moment to shield the opponent's attack.
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