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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Writing the Fight Scene: Butterfly Wing Techniques


So how can a woman (or anyone) take out a “superior” opponent? Actually, its simplicity is quite amazing. Fortunately or unfortunately most people have no knowledge of it. I am going to go through every single target from head to toe and how to do it.  I have given this list of strikes the name of "Butterfly Wing Techniques" in honor of a Japanese saying: "A butterfly could knock down a man if it only knew where to place its wings."

When under attack there are three things you must remember. These three things are the core philosophies of the butterfly wing techniques. They are:
  1. If the opponent can’t see, he can’t fight;
  2. If he can’t breathe, he can’t fight;
  3. If he can’t walk, he can’t fight.
 (Sidebar: Some people are very proficient at blind fighting. But they have learned to “see” with other senses. They also make up the vast minority of trained fighters. Furthermore, if they were using their eyesight and suddenly became blind, it takes them a moment (sometimes the length of a breath) to switch over to their other senses.)

Leaving out personal things in this blog, especially regarding this topic is difficult—not to mention that my previous entry of “A Writer with a Learning Disability in Written Expression” uncorked the personal “genie bottle.” So, it is from this personal side that I ask you to understand something: everything comes with a price. What I am about to share with you, the general public, is very personal and with trembling fingers I write. Growing up I was underweight. I was often the “weaker opponent.”

This knowledge I have shared above and will below once scared the hell out of me as a kid and I often let people beat me up. Why would I do that? The first move I learned at age 10, after basic kicks and punches, was a kill move. It involved collapsing both of the opponent’s ceratoid arteries. The bullies’ reasons for fighting were never worth sending them to the hospital or the morgue for. That statement is not bravado. It is the truth. When I was younger, I discovered that when I fight outside of the ring, there is a switch that either turns on a “fighting computer” in my head or shuts off my emotions. To this day, I am still not sure which it is.  

Back then, I didn’t believe that I had the control over my own strength and this “fighting computer” necessary to keep it from becoming as dangerous as it could be in a school setting. I was only a middle belt. I wouldn’t be a Black Belt for a few more decades.

The school setting wasn’t my only arena where this would come up. Outside of that, where it was necessary, I did not hold back. What I learned kept me and other people alive for years. Even though what I did was right, necessary, and so forth, it still haunts me today. NO, I WILL NOT SHARE WHAT HAPPENED! I will only share this: Once, because of that fear I mentioned above and carrying it into the world outside of school, I failed to protect someone I cared about. I swore on her grave that I would never fail again.

It led me on a personal journey of coming to terms with what I could do, what I was capable of, and with myself. In the process I learned from other styles, philosophies, and I learned peace. I don’t know why I am still alive, but it has given me the chance to redefine my humanity.

Without any more ado, here are the targets and how to strike them unarmed from head to toe. (Note these are unarmed targets. There are more targets with certain weapons. The weapon also determines the striking method)

One warning, you will see I will repeat the descriptions of the strikes. After the list of targets will be a glossary that explains the strikes.

The Targets

Target: Temple
Dangers of striking this target: A blow here can cause unconsciousness, brain damage, and/or death.
How to strike it:
  • Chop
  • Ridge hand
  • Palm hands
  • Crane beak
  • Hammer fist
  • A dagger elbow
  • Smashing elbow.
  • Eagle beak
  • The toe of your boot
  • The heel of your boot
  • Side kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Crescent kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
Comments: The temple is not an easy target to hit. It is usually stuck only in very close  hand to hand combat (think wrestling, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, or similar grabbling arts)  or if the person is already on the ground. There are exceptions, but the reason they are exceptions is the fact that they are rare.

Target: Eyes
Dangers of striking this target: Striking this target can cause temporary or permanent blindness or other damage.
How to strike it:
  • Palm hands
  • Hammer fist
  • Dagger elbow
  • Eagle beak
  • The toe of your boot
  • Tiger claw (Raking)
  • Dart
  • Crane beak
  • Finger pincer
  • Gouge
  • Racking punch
Comments: Despite the danger, the eyes are a perfect target. Remember if the opponent can't see, he can't fight. Very few people can fight without their sight and the number of people who are trained to do so are a statistical blip on the radar.

Despite the possibility of blindness, it is important to remember that the eye is not so easy to actually damage as one might think.  While a strike or an accident (say they fall and hit a table corner the right way) can lead to something permanent, the eye is actually quite resilient.  Many untrained fighters think that the eye is almost as soft as a marshmallow or a hardboiled egg.  Of that comparison, it is closer to the hardboiled egg, but one that has been really overcooked to be too hard to eat.

Target: Nose
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary or permanent breathing problems, temporary loss of consciousness, or death.
How to strike it:
  • Chop
  • Ridge hand
  • Palm hands
  • Hammer fist
  • Dagger elbow
  • Smashing elbow
  • Eagle beak
  • Toe of your boot. If the opponent is on the ground (kicking to the head otherwise is pointless in a street fight, regardless what Hollywood movies show.)
  • Heal of your boot. If the opponent is on the ground (kicking to the head otherwise is pointless in a street fight, regardless what Hollywood movies show.)
  • Racking punch
  • Reverse Punch
  • Side Fist
  • Back fist
  • Knee (If the person is bent over).
  • Side kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
Comments:  Remember, if an opponent can't breathe, they can't fight.

The nose is a great (mostly) non-lethal target to strike. Pressure under the nose, lifting up while you hold the back of their head, will cause enough pain to make anyone go from a sitting position to stand on their tiptoes--useful in bar situations where someone has taken your barstool to talk to someone you were talking to a moment ago. 

A straight strike to the nose will cause the person to stop doing whatever they were doing and retract their hands to protect it--and their eyes to water.  Thus you have caused them to have temporary (or permanent) breathing problems, but also they are having trouble seeing--two birds with one stone.

Striking the bridge of the nose can cause breakage and even the person to temporarily lose consciousness.

A palm strike that strikes upward can cause the nose cartilage to break or be shoved into the brain. This last part is fatal.

Target: Upper Lip
Dangers of striking this target: Can cut your hand, cause the opponent to loose teeth,  and is difficult to hit in and of itself.
How to strike it:
  • Chop
  • Ridge Hand
  • Palm Hands
  • Hammer Fist
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Smashing Elbow
  • Heal of your boot
  • Crane Beak
  • Knee (if the person is bent over)
  • Side Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
Comments:  Generally one doesn't aim for this target, but if you strike to the mouth you are likely to hit it. The upper lip contains nerves that are close to the skin's surface which will radiated a great deal of pain and if the strike is delivered hard enough, they could lose consciousness temporarily as their nerves send a "short circuit" of pain to the brain.  

Target: Mouth
Dangers of striking this target: Can cut your hand as well as cause the opponent to loose teeth.
How to strike it:
  • Chop
  • Ridge Hand
  • Palm Hands
  • Hammer Fist
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Smashing Elbow
  • Heal of your boot
  • Crane Beak
  • Knee (if the person is bent over)
  • Side Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
Comments:  Since there are a lot of veins and arteries in the teeth there will be a lot of blood, which will frighten the opponent.

Target: Chin
Dangers of striking this target: If you use a fist, can break your fingers/knuckles. So don’t use a fist (unless it is a hammer fist)
How to strike it:
  • Palm Hands
  • Hammer Fist
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Smashing Elbow
  • Heal of your boot (if the opponent is on the ground)
  • Side Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Crescent Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
Comments:  The chin should only be struck with the palm of your hand as you can break your fingers on the enemy’s chin. Use the palm of your hand and strike the enemy with a very strong upward blow. This will cause extreme discomfort.

Target: Adam's Apple
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary to permanent breathing problems or death.
How to strike it: 
  • Chop
  • Ridge Hand.
  • Hammer Fist
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Smashing Elbow.
  • Toe of your boot. If the opponent is on the ground (kicking to the head otherwise is pointless in a street fight, regardless what Hollywood movies show.)
  • Heal of your boot (If the opponent is on the ground)
  • Knee (If the person is bent over)
  • Web Hand
  • Panther Fist
  • Side Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
Comment: If the opponent can't breathe, then they can't fight.

Target: Carotid Artery
Dangers of striking the target: This can cause unconsciousness or death.
How to Strike it:
  • Chop (if well placed)
  • Ridge Hand. (if well placed)
  • Dagger Elbow (if well placed)
  • Eagle Beak (if well placed)
  • Side Kick (If well placed and you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel Kick (If well placed and you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook Kick (if well placed and you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Dart
  • Crane Beak
  •  Spear-Hand
  •  Panther Fist
Comments: This is collapsing the main arteries to the brain. Any questions?

Target: Esophagus
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary to permanent breathing problems or death.
How to strike it: 
  • Chop
  • Ridge Hand
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Smashing Elbow
  • Eagle Beak
  • Web Hand
  • Panther Fist
  • Side Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Wheel Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Hook Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
Comments: - Striking this target, which is located (right below the Adam's Apple) can be very painful or collapse it. Think of playing with a garden hose when you kink it. But, unlike the garden hose, it doesn't return to normal without medical help.  If you kink it, it will block the oxygen flow to the opponent's lungs and they will die quickly.

Target: Neck
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause whiplash, paralysis or death.
How to strike it: 
  • Chop
  • Ridge Hand
  • Hammer Fist
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Smashing Elbow
  • Butterfly Palms
Comments: Hollywood would like to make you think that it is super easy to break a neck. It is not as easy as they like to make it. There are techniques to do it, but this is post is not going into that.

Target: Collar Bone
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bone.
How to strike it:
  • Chop
  • Gouge
  • Hammer Fist
  • Axe Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Tiger Claw
  •  Eagle Beak
Comments: The collarbone is a great place to strike if your goal is to cause non-lethal pain. A sharp blow will release excruciating pain and possibly break the bone-depending on the strike you use and how hard you hit.

Target: Shoulder
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bone.
How to strike it:
  • Chop
  • Hammer Fist
  • Axe Kick (If you don't mind exposing vital targets, because a kick to the head in a street fight is as intelligent as a punch to the foot--Paraphrased from Bruce Lee.)
  • Palm Hand
  • Dagger Elbow (if delivered from above)
  • Heel of your boot (If you are holding the arm and the opponent is on the ground. Just stomp and you pull.)
Comments: If you have ever dislocated a joint or known anyone who has, you know the pain. It is easy to grab and dislocate it or to break it (depending on your strike of choice).  If you hear a popping sound, you dislocated it. If hear a snapping sound, you have broken it.

Target: Arm Pit
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  • Chop
  • Ridge Hand
  • Hammer Fist
  • Dart Hand
  • Eagle Beak
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Toe of your boot (If you are holding the arm and the opponent is on the ground.)
  • Heel of your boot (If you are holding the arm and the opponent is on the ground.)
Comments: This is one of the more difficult areas to hit.  I call it a target of opportunity. If you get the opportunity, go for it. But don't count on the opportunity to occur. So why hit it? There is a large network of nerves.

Target: Rib Cage
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain, temporary breathing problems and/or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  • Palm Hand
  • Butterfly Palms
  • Eagle Beak
  • Eagle Beak (Raking)
  • Dagger Elbow
  •  Smashing Elbow
  •  Side Kick
  • Wheel Kick (if the opponent is sideways to you)
  • Hook Kick (if the opponent is sideways to you)
  • Muay Thai Kick
  • Thrust Kick
  • Side Fist
  • Reverse Punch
  • Back Fist--if you are striking in an arc
  •   Hammer Fist
Comments: - Depending on how you strike, you can cause pain, loss of breath, tearing of the diaphragm, or break the ribs. Remember, if the opponent can't breathe, he can't fight.

Target: Xiphoid Process
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain, temporary breathing problems, breakage, and (if broken in a certain way) case this bone to go inside the main rib cage and cut organs.
How to strike it:
  • Palm Hand
  •  Eagle Beak
  •  Dagger Elbow
  •  Side Kick
  • Wheel Kick
  • Hook Kick
  •  Muay Thai Kick
  • Thrust Kick
  •  Side Fist
  •  Reverse Punch
  •  Hammer Fist
Comments: Unless you really are aiming for it and have developed your--marksmanship, for lack of a better word, this is a hard target to hit.

Target: Floating Ribs
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain, temporary breathing problems and/or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  •  Palm Hand
  •  Eagle Beak
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Side Kick
  • Wheel Kick
  •  Hook Kick
  •  Muay Thai Kick
  • Thrust Kick
  •  Side Fist
  •  Reverse Punch
  • Hammer Fist
  • Toe of your boot (if the opponent is on the ground)
  •  Heel of your boot (if the opponent is on the ground)
Comments: Striking here will cause pain and can stun the opponent--also make them lose their breath. Remember, if the opponent can't breathe, he can't fight.

Target: Solar Plexus
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain and temporary breathing problems.
How to strike it:
  •  Palm Hand
  •  Eagle Beak
  •  Spear-Hand
  •  Dagger Elbow
  •  Side Kick
  • Wheel Kick
  •  Hook Kick
  •  Rear Kick
  • Thrust Kick
  • Muay Thai Kick
  •  Side Fist
  •  Reverse Punch
  • Panther Paw
  • Chop
  • Ridge Hand
Comments: Remember, if the opponent can't breathe, he can't fight. A blow here can make them lose their breath and cause a lot of pain as there are a large amount of nerves located here. Also the pain, if delivered with enough force, could cause unconsciousness (this is rare)

Target: Spine
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause paralysis or death.
How to strike it:
  • Palm Hand
  •  Eagle Beak
  •  Dagger Elbow
  • Side Kick
  • Wheel Kick
  •  Hook Kick
  •  Rear Kick
  • Muay Thai Kick
  •  Panther Paw
  •  Chop
Comments  - You can't attack the spine unless the opponent has turned their back on you or they have turned sideways.  The lower part of the spine is more susceptible to damage. The amount of damage you cause is determined by your choice of strike and the power you put behind it.

Target: Kidneys
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause organ damage--when this happens, the opponent will have blood in their urine.
How to strike it:
  •  Palm Hand
  • Butterfly Palms
  • Spear-Hand
  • Reverse Punch
  • Side Fist
  • Hammer Fist
  •  Chop 
  •  Ridge hand
  • Panther Paw
  • Dagger Elbow
  • Elbow Smash
  •  Side Kick
  •  Rear Kick
  • Muay Thai Kick
  • Wheel Kick
  • Hook Kick
Comments: Striking the kidney can cause a lot of pain, as there are large nerves running over them close to the surface of the skin. If you strike hard enough you can cause organ damage or even a slow death (meaning they won't die right in front of you).

Target: Groin
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary crippling pain (even on a woman) and organ damage leading to sexual dysfunction.
How to strike it:
  • Hammer Fist (if your back is to them)
  • Palm Hand
  • Chop (if your back is to them)
  • Tiger Claw
  • Tiger Claw (Raking)
  • Ridge Hand 
  •  Snap Kick
  • Muay Thai Kick (delivered like the Snap Kick)
  •  Side Kick
  • Rear Kick (if your back is to them)
  • Wheel Kick (if they turn sideways)
  • Hook Kick (if they turn sideways)
  • Thrust Kick
  •  Knee
Comments:  - In a street fight, this target can be easy to strike--especially if they are walking or running at you.  All you have to is kick between their legs and raise the leg. Your foot or leg will bounce off the legs like a pin ball straight to the target.  Let's face it, how many people walk or run protecting their groin with their hand? If they don't want to look like they are doing a potty dance, none.

There are ways to protect the groin, but if the opponent has their hand over it to do so, you can hit the hand in such a way that the hand acts like a billiard ball.

Obviously, striking the groin of a man is a target. What about a woman? Yes, it can be very painful to them too.

Final comment. If the opponent is drunk, stoned or had a high tolerance for pain, use a Muay Thai Kick. They will go down--and maybe to the hospital and have to have one or both testicles (if it's a man) amputated.

Target: Tail bone
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain
How to strike it:
  • Palm Hand (if you are behind them)
  • Hammer Fist (if you are behind them)
  •  Knee (if you are behind them)
  • Side Kick (if you are behind them)
  • Hook Kick (if they turn sideways)
  • Wheel Kick (if they turn sideways)
  • Thrust Kick (if you are behind them)
Comments: The tailbone is a very sensitive part of the spine and can be broken off. There are a lot of spinal nerves down there.

Target: Elbow
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  • Palm Hand
  •  Hammer Fist
  • Chop
Comments: It can be amazing how easy this joint is to dislocate or break. To do so, you will need to grab and extend the arm or pull it behind them and attack it from back there. Attacking the elbow makes that opponent's arm useless in a fight. Please note, that doesn't eliminate them from the fight. They can still be very dangerous (think wounded animal). Only if they go away and nurse the arm can you consider the threat over.

Target: Wrist
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  •  Hammer Fist 
  •  Chop
  •  Ridge Hand
  • Crescent Kick (if they are holding something you want to kick out of their hand)
  • Snap Kick (if they are holding something you want to kick out of their hand)
Comments: The wrist is easy to break or sprain. There are various techniques that can cause that, but I am not including them in this post. If the wrist is damaged, the ability of the opponent to fight is greatly reduced.

Target: Fingers
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  • Hammer Fist
  • Crescent Kick
  • Crescent Kick (if they are holding something you want to kick out of their hand)
  • Snap Kick (if they are holding something you want to kick out of their hand)
Comments: Like the wrist, the fingers are easy to break or sprain. There are various techniques that can cause that, but I am not including them in this post. If the fingers are damaged, the ability of the opponent to fight is greatly reduced.

Target: Knee
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  •  Side Kick
  • Rear Kick
  • Thrust Kick
Comments:  If the opponent can't walk, they can't fight.  With that said, the knee can be a very elusive target.You can destroy the knee by kicking it with the side of your boot in an upward motion. This will rip the ligaments and the cartilage. This will cause unbelievable pain and make it impossible for the enemy to move around. Once a knee has been ruined, you will have a great advantage over the enemy.

Target:  Shin
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  •  Side Kick
  • Rear Kick 
  • Check Kick
  • Just slide your instep down it
  • Run your heel down it.
Comments: The nerves in this area are very close to the surface of the skin and even running your inset or your heel down it will cause a lot of pain. A  Side and Rear Kicks can break the fibula, which is one of the weakest bones in the body. If you do that, you have eliminated their ability to walk--they will have to hobble if they can tolerate the pain.  Remember, if they can't walk, they can't fight.

Target: Ankle
Dangers of striking this target: Can cause temporary pain or broken bones.
How to strike it:
  • Stomp
Comments:  There are a lot of techniques that can be used to break the ankle, but they will not be posted here. Remember, if the opponent can't walk, he can't fight. And actually, it will be impossible to walk and fight with a broken ankle.




The Strikes

The following strikes are not described below:
  • Stomp
  • Heel of your boot
  • Toe of your boot

These have not been described because they are  kind of obvious.

The list of strikes used above (alphabetical order):

  •  Axe Kick: The Axe Kick is like the Crescent Kick, except you are bring the leg downward on the target instead of straight across--striking with the back of your heel as if it is an axe head--and thus origin of the name.
  • Back Fist: This is a punch that is similar to a side fist, except you are hitting with the back of your knuckles. Note: this is not really a "smack" with the back of your fist, though I have seen people treat it like that. It is, like the side fist, a straight out and hits the target. The punch should strike with the knuckles of the first and second finger only. Using the least amount of space on your hand causes the power of the blow to go deeper into the target and more damage.  Please note: This is not a haymaker. It is a straight in and out punch.
  •  Butterfly Palms: This is using both of your palm hands with the base of your palms touching above the wrists, thus making the rest of your hand look like wings (thus the name).  You are striking with the palm bases. This is a great strike for "rounded parts" of the body (such as the kidney area).
  • Check Kick: Normally this is used as a block, but it can be used as a strike. It is like the Inward Crescent kick, except that it starts in the center of your body and goes toward the opposite side's outside. Your leg doesn't travel far and you strike with your instep.
  • Chop: When executed properly, is actually done not with your hand but with the end of your ulna.
  • Crane Beak: A crane beak is made by bringing all of your finger tips together, forming what looks like a beak--thus the name. You strike with the tips of your fingers.
  • Crescent Kick: The best way to describe a Crescent Kick is that you are slapping with the side of your foot. It is kicked out in front of you, traveling in an arc to and through the target. There really are two kinds of Crescent Kicks:
o   Inward (or what most call Crescent Kick) where the leg travels from the outside of your body inwardly toward roughly the center of your body; and
o   Outward (or Reverse Crescent Kick) where the leg travels from roughly the center of your body toward the outside.
  • Dagger Elbow: This is a strike with your elbow that is a straight in and out motion--think of your bony elbow like Zorro's sword and the funny comment that is made in the Mask of Zorro: "The pointy end goes into the other man."
  • Dart Hand: Think of a finger poke, but done correctly. The dart is not a lone finger, but actually done with the index finger extended and the other three fingers bent underneath in support--why? Having the lone finger do the work risks breaking the finger. It is too flexible and weak by itself. The other three fingers provide a rigid support.
  • Eagle Beak: Make a fist. Raise your middle knuckle. Strike with it.
  • Eagle Beak (Raking): This is closed hand strike of the Eagle Beak, except you are raking it across the target--either inwardly or outwardly.
  • Finger pincer: This is actually a grab with two fingers. I know you probably have crossed your fingers before and this is a very close to a finger pincer. Instead of fully crossing your fingers, you grab the object (usually the eye) between the top of the fingernail of your extended index finger and the first full joint of your middle finger. Then you pull.
  • Gouge: This is the same concept as the dart, but you use your extended thumb which should lay across the top of your fist. By itself, without the support of your fist, your thumb could break.
  • Hammer Fist:. This is the only fist I like to strike with. Make a full fist (keep your thumb on the outside. You strike with the fleshy bottom of your hand like a hammer (thus the name). It can be used in a downward arc or in an side arc either going from outside of you to the center or from your center toward the outside.
  • Hook Kick: A hook kick looks like a side kick. The difference is that the kick actually missed the target on the "outward path of travel) and hooks back to the target with striking with the back part of your heel. This kick should not be used (too often) in a street fight. It doesn't have the power of the side or rear kick.
  • Knee: If the person is bent over, this can go to a head target, but otherwise it is only for the lower torso. It is not a fancy strike. You drive your bent knee into the target just as if it was an elbow.
  • Muay Thai Kick: The Muay Thai style of kickboxing has a lot of kicks, so calling out one kick is really a false name. I use the name to reference what you are kicking with. The Muay Thai style strikes not with their foot, but with their shin bone.
  • Palm Hands: Your hand is open, your fingers together, and you are striking with the fleshy heel of your hand.
  • Panther Fist: Some call this a half fist. It is made by bending all the finger at the first knuckle only. Like the dart, the side fingers are there for support. It looks like a paw. You are actually striking with the middle knuckle.
  • Racking punch: There are other names for this punch, but since most of my readers are not trained martial artist I am going to make the name easier for you to remember and visualize.  This is a strike with your full fist, but it is not your normal punch.  As you go to strike the target: You hit the target with the second knuckle of your fist and as you hit you rotate the punch so that the base of the palm is turned skyward. This punch will tear flesh, especially were the flesh is tighter over the bones (for example: the temple or the eyebrow line above the eye--which leads to blood streaming into the eye.)
  • Rear Kick: A rear kick is a kick behind you (thus the name) and strike with your heel. Many people strike with their whole foot. This is a mistake. You  should imagine striking as if you have a dagger (or for the ladies to make the image even easier--imagine you are wearing stilettos) coming out of your heel and your plunging the dagger straight in.
  • Reverse Punch: This is what most people think of as a straight punch. The hand extends straight out in a fist with a rotation (as opposed to a twist like the racking punch). Normally a reverse punch is only good for soft targets. I don't care how good someone is at breaking bones, soft targets are a lot better to hit than bony ones. Think along these lines: Which would you rather hit: a support beam or dry wall?  The punch starts like a side punch, but turns as it moves toward the target until the knuckles are on top of the hand and are parallel to the floor. The punch should strike with the knuckles of the first and second finger only. Using the least amount of space on your hand causes the power of the blow to go deeper into the target and more damage.  Please note: This is not a haymaker. It is a straight in and out punch.
  • Ridge Hand: This is the opposite of a chop. Here you are striking with the last knuckle of your thumb.
  • Side Fist: This is a reverse punch that never rotates. Like the reverse punch The hand extends straight out in a fist with the fleshy part of the fist aimed at the ground. As with the reverse punch it is only good for soft targets. I don't care how good someone is at breaking bones, soft targets are a lot better to hit than bony ones. Think along these lines: Which would you rather hit: a support beam or dry wall? The punch extends straight out and hits the target. The punch should strike with the knuckles of the first and second finger only. Using the least amount of space on your hand causes the power of the blow to go deeper into the target and more damage.  Please note: This is not a haymaker. It is a straight in and out punch.
  • Side Kick: A side kick is a kick you make out to the side (thus the name) and strike with your heel. Many people strike with their whole foot. This is a mistake. You  should imagine striking as if you have a dagger (or for the ladies to make the image even easier--imagine you are wearing stilettos) coming out of your heel and your plunging the dagger straight in.
  • Smashing Elbow: This is where you smash the target with the edge of your elbow.
  • Snap Kick: This is a fast kick that goes in front of you. You strike with the balls of your feet. Many people make a mistake with this kick and use the top of the foot. The purpose of the kick is to stun and cause a sharp pain. It is generally not as powerful as a side or rear kick.
  • Spear Hand: You hand is open, with the fingers are tight against each other. The strike is with the tip of the middle finger. The angle of the hand should fit the target and the direction from which your arms come from. This is a straight in and out strike and should hit a soft target. It is only good for soft targets.
  • Thrust Kick: This kick looks like a side kick except it hits with the heel of the foot. It is the kick you see most police use to kick open a door.
  • Tiger Claw: This is an open hand strike with your fingers rigid in a claw. While having fingernails is a plus, they are actually not required. The tips of your fingers actually does the real damage. The claw grasps the target or "punches into" the target. If you have ever watched a cat (be it your house cat or a tiger) grab something with his claw, you will get the general idea.
  • Tiger claw (Raking): This is an open hand strike with your fingers rigid in a claw. While having fingernails is a plus, they are actually not required. The tips of your fingers actually does the real damage.  The claw rakes across the target.
  • Web Hand: This is a straight strike with the web of your hand that runs between your thumb and your first finger. The web is stretched so it can be as rigid as it can be--which is made harder by making the thumb and your fingers rigid.
  • Wheel Kick: Some styles call this a round house kick. There is a lot of debate on how to execute this kick. Personally, I like to keep my wheel kick (strike from point a to point b or floor to target) tight rather than making it arc. This kick should not be used (too often) in a street fight. It doesn't have the power of the side or rear kick. If you use it in a street fight either strike with your ankle bone or turn it into a Muay Thai Kick..

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