Kenpo Basics - Punches & Strikes
Punches & Strikes

A punch involves hitting with the knuckles, strikes do not.

Punches are generally long/mid range weapons. When in closer, elbows replace punches. They are the short range equivalent of a punch. Part of that is common sense (if you're in too close to get in a punch, try an upward elbow) and part is because we want to use Point of Origin for our strikes, i.e. we don't want to have to spend the time to wind up in order to get the appropriate travel for a punch if we're in close.

Name Description
Horizontal Thrust Punch straight out with fist, knuckles up. For snap version, bring hand back to waist.
Vertical Thrust Punch slightly upward, knuckles to outside of body. For snap version, bring hand back to waist.
Uppercut Beginning with hand at your side, punch upward and away from you, stopping at the height of your lower chest.
Hammerfist This strike is done in numerous directions and at numerous angles. In general, you are striking with the bottom of your fist (outside the little finger).
Back Hammerfist Swing fist from in front of your body, past your side and behind you, striking at groin level with the bottom of your fist.
Inverted Hammerfist Swing fist (circular) in towards you,down and away from you, striking at groin level with the bottom of your fist.
Inward Hand Sword Sword hand striking on side of attackers neck, palm up, arm bent coming from outside my body
Outward Hand Sword Sword hand striking on right of attackers neck, palm down arm bent coming from across my body.
Inward Elbow Pull fist into my chest, pushing elbow into attacker
Upward Elbow Pull fist to my ear, pushing elbow upward to attacker
Overhead Elbow Raise arm (open hand) around the back, over head and straight up then drive elbow down onto attacker while making fist with hand.
Obscure Upward Elbow Start with arm fully extended downward (i.e. arm hanging at side) then drive upward with elbow. This is almost always used to strike an attacker under the chin. This strike can be used to the front, side and back.
Rear Elbow Move arm straight out in front of body then back behind body. Bend arm at elbow as it moves back behind body.
Side Elbow Move arm across body and strike back to original side. Bend arm at elbow as it moves across. Upper arm should be lined up with back.
Whip Left arm 90 degrees in front of body, left elbow resting in right hand. Snap left hand loosely toward attacker striking with ring and little finger knuckles and side of hand.
Heel Palm Push arm out slightly across body striking attacker in the face and pushing across. This strike can be executed in multiple directions and to multiple angles, but we always strike with the lower part of our open hand with the finger tightly together.
Heel Palm Claw Essentially the same as a Heel Palm, but finger are bent (like a claw) and rake across the target. This strike is mainly used on the face.
Finger Poke Using first 2 fingers slightly bent. Fingers must line up or they get broken.
Ridge Hand Swing arm from outside body to inside body, hand flat and palm down, striking with thumb and forefinger.
Middle Knuckle Vertical fist position, extend middle knuckle slightly so it's the contact point.
Half Fist Horizontal fist position, unroll fist one knuckle's length.
Back Knuckle This strike is done in many directions and to many angles. Strike with the knuckles using the back of the hand. It's like a slap with a closed fist.

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