4 - Strikes

CHAPTER 4

STRIKES

This chapter describes all techniques for a right-handed person. However, all techniques can be executed from either side.

In drawings, the Marine is depicted in woodland camouflage utilities; the opponent is depicted without camouflage. In photographs, the Marine is depicted in woodland camouflage utilities; the opponent is depicted in desert camouflage utilities.

Strikes are unarmed individual hitting techniques. Strikes use the hands, elbows, knees, feet, and, in some instances, other parts of the body as personal weapons. Marines must know how to execute strikes effectively. They must also know how to counter strikes from an opponent.

1. Principles of Punches

Muscle Relaxation

Muscle relaxation is crucial when executing punches. The natural tendency in a fight is to tense up, which results in rapid fatigue and decreased power generation. Marines who remain relaxed during a close combat situation generate greater speed, which results in greater generation of power. Relaxing the forearms generates speed and improves reaction time. At the point of impact, Marines clench the fist to cause damage to the opponent and avoid injury to the wrist and hand.

Weight Transfer

Weight transfer is necessary to generate power in a punch. Marines accomplish this by—


  • Rotating their hips and shoulders into the attack.
  • Moving their body mass straight forward or backward in a straight line.
  • Dropping their body weight into an opponent. Body mass can be transferred into an attack from high to low or from low to high.


Rapid Retraction

When Marines deliver a punch, rapid retraction of the fist is important. Once the hand has made contact with the target, Marines quickly return to the basic warrior stance. Rapid retraction—


  • Returns the hand and arm to the protection afforded by the basic warrior stance.
  • Prevents the opponent from being able to grab the hand or arm.
  • Permits the hand and arm to be “chambered” or “re-cocked” in preparation for delivering a subsequent punch.


Telegraphing

Telegraphing a strike occurs when body movements inform the opponent of the intention to launch an attack. Staying relaxed helps to reduce telegraphing.

Often, an untrained fighter telegraphs his intention to attack by drawing his hand back in view of his opponent, changing facial expression, tensing neck muscles, or twitching. These movements, however small, immediately indicate an attack is about to be delivered. If the opponent is a trained fighter, he may be able to evade or counter the attack. If the opponent is an untrained fighter, he may still be able to minimize the effect of an attack.

2. Punches

Punches may be thrown during any hand-to-hand confrontation. Most people resort to punching because it is a natural reaction to a threat. The purpose of a punch is to stun the opponent or to set him up for a follow-up finishing technique. However, punches should only be executed to the soft tissue areas of an opponent. A correctly delivered punch maximizes the damage to an opponent while minimizing the risk of injury to Marines.

Basic Fist

Punches are executed using the basic fist. To make the basic fist, the fingers are curled naturally into the palm of the hand and the thumb is placed across the index and middle fingers. Do not clench the fist until movement has begun. This reduces muscular tension in the forearm and

increases speed and reaction time. Just before impact, Marines exert muscular tension on the hand and forearm to maximize damage to the opponent and reduce their chances of injury. Contact should be made with the knuckles of the index and middle fingers. When striking with the basic fist, Marines must keep the hand straight, or in line, with the wrist to avoid injury to the wrist.


Lead Hand Punch

The lead hand punch is a snapping straight punch executed by the forward or lead hand. It is a fast punch designed to keep the opponent away and to set up an attack. A lead hand punch conceals movement and allows Marines to get close to the opponent. Lead hand punches should strike soft tissue areas, if possible. To execute the lead hand punch, Marines—

Snap the lead hand out to nearly full extension, while rotating the palm to the ground.


Contact the opponent with the first two knuckles of the fist.


Retract the hand immediately, resuming the basic warrior stance.

Rear Hand Punch

The rear hand punch is a snapping punch executed by the rear (right) hand. It is a power punch designed to inflict maximum damage on the opponent. Its power comes from pushing off the rear leg and rotating the hips and shoulders. To execute the rear hand punch, Marines— Rotate the hips and shoulders forcefully toward the opponent and thrust the rear hand straight out, rotating the palm down, to nearly full extension.

Shift body weight to the lead foot while pushing off on the ball of the rear foot.

unconscious, cause extensive damage to the neck, or sever the tongue. To execute the uppercut, Marines—

Bend the arms, rotating the palm inboard. The distance the arms bend depends on how close the opponent is.


Contact the opponent with the first two knuckles of the fist.


Retract the hand immediately.

Uppercut

The uppercut is a powerful punch originating below the opponent’s line of vision. It is executed in an upward motion traveling up the centerline of the opponent’s body. It is delivered in close and usually follows a preparatory strike that leaves the target area unprotected. When delivered to the chin or jaw, the uppercut can render an opponent Rotate the hips and shoulders forcefully toward the opponent, thrusting the fist straight up toward the opponent’s chin or jaw.


Contact the opponent with the first two knuckles of the fist.

Retract the hand immediately.

Hook

The hook is a powerful punch that is executed close in and is usually preceded by a preparatory strike. To execute the hook, Marines— Thrust the right arm in a hooking motion toward the opponent, keeping the elbow bent while forcefully rotating the right shoulder and hip toward the opponent.


Contact the opponent with the first two knuckles of the fist. Continue rotating the shoulder and hip, following through with the fist to the target.


Retract the hand immediately.

3. Strikes with the Upper Body

Strikes stun the opponent or set him up for a follow-up finishing technique. The hands, forearms, and elbows are individual weapons of the arms that can be used to execute strikes including the hammer fist, chin jab, knife hand, eye gouge, and elbow strikes. These strikes provide a variety of techniques that can be used in any type of close combat situation.

Principles of Execution

There are several principles of execution that ensure a strike’s effectiveness.

Generating Power. Weight transfer is necessary to generate maximum power in a punch. Marines accomplish this by—


  • Rotating the hips and shoulders into the at tack.
  • Moving the body mass straight forward or backward in a straight line.
  • Dropping body weight into an opponent.
  • Body mass can be transferred into an attack from high to low or from low to high.


Muscular Tension. The arms are relaxed until the moment of impact. At the point of impact, Marines apply muscular tension in the hand and forearm to maximize damage to the opponent and to avoid injury to the hand. The arms are relaxed until the moment of impact.

Hit and Stick and Follow-Through. A strike should be delivered so that the weapon (e.g., hand, elbow) hits and remains on the impact site (target) and follows through the target. This technique inflicts maximum damage on the opponent.

Strikes with the arms are executed with “heavy hands”; i.e., the strike is executed by driving through with the strike to allow the weight of the hand to go through the target area of the body. Contact with the opponent should be made with the arm slightly bent, and the arm extends as it moves through the target. This technique allows Marines to deliver strikes effectively without executing full force.

Movement. Movement puts Marines in the proper position for launching an attack against an opponent as well as providing protection.

Movement is initiated from the basic warrior stance and ends by resuming the basic warrior stance. Strikes can be performed with either the left or right arm depending upon—


  • The angle of attack.
  • The position of the opponent.
  • The opponent’s available, vulnerable target areas.


Target Areas of the Body

For each strike, there are target areas of the body that, when struck, maximize damage to an opponent. Strikes use gross motor skills as opposed to fine motor skills. The target areas of the body are just that—areas. Pinpoint accuracy on a specific nerve is not needed for the strike to be effective.

Hammer Fist

Striking with the hammer fist concentrates power in a small part of the hand, which, when transferred to the target, can have a devastating effect. The striking surface of the hammer fist is the meaty portion of the hand below the little finger. To execute the hammer fist strike, Marines—


Make a fist and bend the arm at approximately a 45- to 90degree angle. At the same time, rotate the right hip and right shoulder backward.

Thrust the fist forward onto the opponent while rotating the right hip and shoulder forward.

Rotate the wrist so the hammer fist makes contact on the opponent.


Chin Jab

The chin jab can immediately render an opponent unconscious and cause extensive damage to the neck and spine. The striking surface is the heel of the palm of the hand. To execute the chin jab, Marines—

Bend the right wrist back at a 90-degree angle with the palm facing the opponent and the fingers pointing up.

Keep the right arm bent and close to the body. Extend the hand into a concave position with the fingers slightly spread apart.


Step forward with the left foot toward the opponent, keeping the feet approximately shoulder-width apart and the knees bent. This is done to close with the opponent.

Keep the right arm bent and close to the side. Thrust the palm of the hand directly up under the opponent’s chin. At the same time, rotate the right hip forward to drive the body weight into the attack to increase the power of the strike. The attack should travel up the centerline of the opponent’s chest to his chin.

Outside Knife Hand. To execute the outside knife hand strike, Marines—

Execute a knife hand by extending and joining the fingers of the right hand and placing the thumb next to the forefinger (like saluting).

Retract the right hand. At the same time, rotate the right hip and right shoulder backward.

Thrust the knife hand forward (horizontally) onto the opponent while rotating the right hip and shoulder forward.


Knife Hand

The knife hand is one of the most versatile and devastating strikes. The striking surface is the cutting edge of the hand, which is the meaty portion of the hand below the little finger extending


to the top of the wrist. The striking surface is narrow, allowing strikes on the neck between the opponent’s body armor and helmet. The knife hand strike is executed from one of three angles: outside, inside, and vertical.


Inside Knife Hand. To execute the inside knife hand strike, Marines—

Execute a knife hand.

Bring the right hand over the left shoulder. At the same time, rotate the right shoulder forward and the left hip forward.

Thrust the knife hand forward (horizontally) onto the opponent while rotating the right hip and shoulder forward and the left shoulder backward.


Vertical Knife Hand. When thrown vertically, the knife hand strike comes straight down in a straight line.


Eye Gouge

The eye gouge is used to attack an opponent’s eyes, blinding him so follow-up strikes can be executed. The striking surface is the tips of the fingers or thumb. To execute the eye gouge, Marines—

Extend the right hand with the fingers slightly spread apart to allow entry into the eye sockets.


Place the palm of the hand either toward the ground or toward the sky and thrust the right hand forward into the opponent’s eyes.


Thrust the hand forward at the opponent’s nose level so the fingers or thumb slide naturally into the grooves of the opponent’s eye sockets.

Elbow Strikes

The elbow is a powerful weapon that can be used in several different ways to attack virtually any part of an opponent’s body. Elbow strikes can be performed either vertically (upward or downward) or horizontally (forward or reverse). The striking surface is 2 inches above or below the point of the elbow, depending upon the angle of attack, the opponent’s attack angle, and the position of the opponent.


Above Elbow Below Elbow

Vertical Elbow Strike (Up). To execute an upward vertical elbow strike, Marines—

Bend the right elbow, keeping the fist close to the body. The fist is at shoulder level and the elbow is next to the torso.


Thrust the elbow vertically upward toward the opponent while rotating the right shoulder and hip forward to generate additional power.

Contact the opponent with the right forearm 2 inches above the point of the elbow.


Vertical Elbow Strike (Down). To execute a downward vertical elbow strike, Marines—

Bend the right elbow, keeping the fist close to the body. The fist is on the shoulder and the elbow is raised well above the shoulder.


Thrust the elbow vertically downward toward the opponent while dropping body weight into the attack to generate additional power.

Contact the opponent with the right triceps 2 inch-Contact the opponent with the right forearm 2 es above the point of the elbow. inches below the point of the elbow.


Horizontal Elbow Strike (Forward). To execute the forward horizontal elbow strike, Marines—

Tuck the right fist near the chest with the palm heel facing the ground.


Thrust the right elbow horizontally forward toward the opponent. The forearm is parallel to the ground.

Rotate the right shoulder and hip forward to generate additional power.

Horizontal Elbow Strike (Rear). To execute the rear horizontal elbow strike, Marines—

Tuck the right fist near the left shoulder with the palm heel facing the ground. At the same time, rotate the right shoulder forward and the left hip forward.


Thrust the right elbow horizontally rearward toward the opponent. The forearm is parallel to the ground and the hand moves toward the direction of the attack.

Rotate the right hip back and the right shoulder toe of the boot or the bootlaces. To execute the backward to generate additional power. front kick, Marines—

Contact the opponent with the right triceps 2 inch-Raise the left knee waist high, pivot the hips into es above the point of the elbow. the attack, and thrust the left foot forward toward the opponent.


4. Strikes with the Lower Body

The legs are the body’s most powerful weapons because they use the largest muscle groups to generate a strike. Legs are also less prone to injury. The feet are the preferred choice for striking because they are protected by boots. Marines use their feet, heels, and knees to execute kicks, knee strikes, and stomps.

Kicks

The purpose of a kick is to stop an opponent’s attack or to create an opening in his defense in order to launch an attack. Kicks can be performed with the left (lead) leg or the right (rear) leg. Kicks with the rear leg have greater power because the hips are rotated into the attack. However, the rear leg is further away from the opponent so a strike with the rear leg will not contact the opponent as quickly as a strike with the lead leg.

Front Kick. The front kick is executed when the opponent is in front of the Marine. The front kick, delivered with either the rear or lead leg, is effective for striking below the waist. Attempting to kick higher results in diminished balance and provides the enemy with a greater opportunity to grab the leg or foot. The striking surfaces are the Contact the opponent with the toe of the left boot or bootlaces.


Return to the basic warrior stance.

Side Kick. The side kick, delivered with the lead leg, is effective for striking the knees. The side kick is executed when the opponent is to the side of the Marine. The striking surface is the outside cutting edge of the boot near the heel. To execute the side kick, Marines— Raise the right knee waist high and rotate the right hip forward.


Thrust the right foot to the right side toward the opponent, turning the foot at a 90-degree angle to maximize the striking surface on the opponent.

Contact the opponent with the cutting edge of the right boot.


Return to the basic warrior stance.

Knee Strikes

Knee strikes are excellent weapons during the close range of close combat fighting. The knee strike is generally delivered in close.

Vertical Knee Strike. The striking surface is the thigh, slightly above the knee. To execute the vertical knee strike, Marines— Raise the right knee and drive it up forcefully into the opponent. Power is generated by thrusting the leg upward.

Contact the opponent 2 inches above the right knee.


Horizontal Knee Strike. The horizontal knee strike is executed with the leg generally parallel with the ground while rotating the hips to generate power. It is often delivered to the peroneal nerve. The striking surface is the front of the leg, slightly above or below the knee. To execute the horizontal knee strike, Marines—

Raise the right knee, rotate the right hip forward while pivoting on the left foot, and drive the knee horizontally into the opponent.

Contact the opponent 2 inches above the right knee.


Stomps

Stomps are delivered with the feet, usually when the opponent is down. Remember, when the opponent is down, Marines take whatever target is available.

Vertical Stomp. The vertical stomp allows Marines to remain upright and balanced, to rapidly deliver multiple blows with either foot, and to quickly and accurately attack the target. It is the preferred stomp. The striking surface is the flat bottom of the boot or the cutting edge of the heel. To execute the vertical stomp, Marines—

Raise the right knee above the waist with the right leg bent at approximately a 90-degree angle.


Drive the flat bottom of the right boot or the cutting edge of the right heel down onto the opponent forcefully. At the same time, bend the left knee slightly to drop the body weight into the strike.


Ax Stomp. The striking surface of the ax stomp is the cutting edge of the heel. To execute the ax stomp, Marines—

Raise the right heel above the waist, keeping the right leg straight.


Drive the cutting edge of the right heel down onto the opponent forcefully. At the same time, bend the left knee slightly to drop the body weight into the strike.

5. Counters to Strikes

In a close combat situation, an opponent will attempt to strike Marines with punches and kicks. When an opponent uses a strike, Marines must first avoid the strike. This is accomplished by moving quickly and blocking. Next, Marines must get into an offensive position. This allows Marines to use offensive strikes to attack the opponent. Regardless of the strike, the counter to a strike requires Marines to move, block, and strike.

Move

The first step in countering a strike is to move out of the way of the strike’s impact. Movement removes Marines from the opponent’s intended strike point and positions Marines to attack. Movement is executed at approximately a 45-degree angle to the front or rear. Movement is always initiated from the basic warrior stance. Return to the basic warrior stance with the toe of the lead foot pointing toward the opponent once the movement is complete.

Block

Different blocks are executed based on the strike. These will be covered by individual counters.

Strike

Any of the upper body or lower body strikes can be executed as a follow-on attack or part of the counter to an opponent’s strike. The follow-on strike is determined by the angle to the opponent, the position of the opponent, and the opponent’s available vulnerable target areas.

Counters to Punches Counter to a Lead Hand Punch. This counter is used when the opponent throws a lead hand punch. To execute the counter to the lead hand punch, Marines—

Step forward and to the left at approximately a 45-degree angle, moving in to the outside of the opponent’s attacking arm.


Raise the left arm and block or deflect the opponent’s lead hand with the palm of the hand or the meaty portion of the forearm.


Hit and stick by leaving the left arm against the opponent’s right arm while stepping forward and to the left at approximately a 45-degree angle to close with the opponent.


Execute a finishing technique, such as a strike or a kick, to the opponent’s exposed target areas.

Counter to a Rear Hand Punch. This counter is used when the opponent throws a rear hand punch.

To execute the counter to the rear hand punch, Marines—

Step forward and to the left at approximately a 45-degree angle, moving in to the outside of the opponent’s attacking arm.


Raise the left arm and block or deflect the opponent’s rear hand with the palm of the hand or the meaty portion of the forearm.


Hit and stick by leaving the left arm against the opponent’s right arm while stepping forward and to the right at approximately a 45-degree angle to close with the opponent.


Execute a finishing technique, such as a strike or a kick, to the opponent’s exposed target areas.

Counters to Kicks Counter to a Front Kick (Left or Lead Leg).

This counter is used when the opponent executes a front kick with his left leg. To execute the counter to a front kick, Marines—

Step forward and to the right at approximately a 45-degree angle, moving in to the outside of the opponent’s striking leg.

Lower the left arm and block or deflect the opponent’s leg with the palm of the hand or the meaty portion of the forearm.


Hit and stick by leaving the left arm against the opponent’s leg while stepping forward and to the left at approximately a 45-degree angle to close with the opponent.


Execute a finishing technique, such as a strike or a kick, to the opponent’s exposed target areas.

Counter to a Front Kick (Right or Rear Leg).
This counter is used when the opponent executes a front kick with his right leg. To execute the counter to a front kick, Marines— Step forward and to the left at approximately a 45-degree angle, moving in to the outside of the opponent’s striking leg.

Lower the left arm and block or deflect the opponent’s leg with the palm of the hand or the meaty portion of the forearm.


Hit and stick by leaving the left arm against the opponent’s leg while stepping forward and to the right at approximately a 45-degree angle to close with the opponent.