One of the ten techniques that we teach in our Gutterfighting is the Hammer Fist. I personally love this technique because of its pure simplicity. Gross motor movement all the way! As the name implies, your arm mimics the handle of the hammer, and your fist is the head of the hammer. The meaty part of the underside of the fist is your striking surface. I like to think of the Hammer Fist as “the beat down.” Aim for the head, neck and shoulder region, but you really don’t have to be much more specific than that. We sometimes aim for the area of the solar plexus, as well.
We train it a number of different ways, one of which is depicted on Kelly McCann’s (Jim Grover) Combatives series. If you are left lead, as we often are, accelerate off the back foot and plunge the right Hammer Fist in a downward arc, all the way through the target. We often utilize an angled pad (we like to do a combination with a front kick and Hammer Fists) for our drills. You can also use a thai pad (little less margin of error) or one of those big Slammer pads. Use your whole body, as opposed to just your arm, and sink it into the strike to get the most bang for your buck. I like the way Kelly utilizes the cycling with this and many other techniques.
In Krav, they also train Hammer Fist to the side and to the back. We train these, also. On the first, the feeder holds the pad out from his/her torso and stands to the side of the technician. The Hammer Fist arcs out from the body, into the feeder’s pad, just like a door swinging open. With the second scenario, the feeder just moves behind the technician. The tech must torque his body a little further (utilizing the ever-important pivot points on the balls of the feet) to blast into the target with that horizontal arc. You could also drill this one with the feeder running into, or “bumping” the tech from behind with the pad, and the tech whirling around to throw the Hammer Fist. I like this as a reaction drill.
You can add a more sting to your Hammer Fists by clenching objects like kubotans, and even rolled-up magazines, like we used the other night. This, of course, concentrates the force into a much smaller area, thereby making it a lot more painful when you land the strike. In fact, in some target areas, this could very well be deadly force, so keep that in mind.
Levine, Darren, and Whitman, John. (2007). Complete Krav Maga: The Ultimate Guide to Over 230 Self-Defense and Combatives Techniques. Berkeley: Ulysses Press.
Grover, Jim. (1999). Jim Grover’s Combatives Series: Power Strikes & Kicks, Vol. 1. [Videotape]. Paladin Press.
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