In order to be a complete Taekwondo
student, you need to practice and master various martial arts punches and hand/arm strikes. Taekwondo
is not just kicks! There will be many situations where you are
too close for an effective kick and use need to use your
fists and/or elbows. Moreover, your kicks will be more effective if
used in combination with punches/strikes. Click on the
links below to watch videos
illustrating many of these punches/strikes (i.e. click on
the spinning back fist link to watch videos regarding that
Jab - A quick flick of the fist on your forward arm.
This Taekwondo punch is generally
used for defense and keeping your opponent away from you.
Reverse Punch or
Rear Arm Punch - The standard "power"
Taekwondo punch where you hit with
your rear arm. To generate greater power, you
rotate your body towards your opponent as you punch. A number of
these videos rely on boxing experts because this sport focuses
heavily on maximizing your punching power.
Upper Cut - Swing your punch upwards to strike the bottom of
the jaw or into the ribs.
Hook Punch - Short compact punches that
"hook" sideways and can get around a
person's guard. This is not a wild haymaker-type punch.
Fist & Spinning Back Fist-
Use the back of your fist to strike an opponent. Or try a
spinning back fist (which is more powerful than the standard back fist strike).
With this Taekwondo punching technique, you
will spin your body backwards generating additional momentum and strike with the back
of your fist. This move can surprise your opponent and generate
a lot of power. One of the videos in this segment will show you
the knockout power of a spinning back fist strike during a MMA
Hammer Fist -
Make a clenched fist but instead of hitting with your knuckles,
you strike your opponent with the "padded" side of your fist
(non-thumb side). Try a spinning hammer fist
versus a spinning back fist (for greater hand
protection versus using the "unpadded" back of your fist.
Knuckle Punch - Make a fist and use your thumb to "push up" and
semi-reinforce the middle joint of your index finger (the first
joint below the knuckle). Don't put your thumb inside your
fingers. You will use this "extended" joint
to attack small weak areas such as an opponent's temple.
Finger Strike or Spear Hand
- Use the tips of your fingers (on an open hand with fingers
together) to strike soft areas such as an opponent's neck. To
make this Taekwondo strike more effective, try to pull your index back
modestly so it is parallel with your forefinger & ring finger (you want the
fingers at the same level because it generates a greater
striking surface & lessens the chance of injuring your index
Knife Hand Strike
- This is the famous "Karate Chop". Use the outer side of an open hand
(with fingers together) to hit soft areas such as your
opponent's neck. Try to hit with the side of your hand versus
using your pinky (in order to lessen the chance of injuring
Ridge Hand Strike - Use the inner side of an open hand (with
fingers together) to strike soft areas (versus using the outer
edge of your hand in the Knife Hand Strike). Remember to keep your
thumb tucked inside your palm so it is not hurt. This Taekwondo strike is
also called a reverse knife hand strike. See the bottom video on
this page for a short demonstration of a ridge hand strike (it
is about halfway through the video).
Throat Strike or Tiger Claw -
Form your hand into an arc and attack an opponent's
throat. In Taekwondo, it is often called a Tiger Claw strike. However, I think it
is more like a Crab Claw! :)
- Use your elbow to strike targets such as an opponent's head.
This is a devastating Taekwondo strike when used in-close (because your elbow is
made of much thicker bone than the bones in your fist).