MASTERCLASS | INWARD HORIZONTAL FOREARM STRIKE | by Orjan Pettersen


The MASTERCLASS gives key information on how to optimise a Krav Maga strike or technique.


This MASTERCLASS covers the INWARD HORIZONTAL FOREARM STRIKE, a strike with the inside and bony part of your forearm aimed against the face or neck of the opponent.


This strike can often be used in conjunction with a groin kick or low kick to the legs as you subsequently move out of line and bypassing the target, especially if the head of the opponent is on a slightly downward (and ‘colliding’ with the forearm) motion following the kick.


This strike is not specifically found in traditional Krav Maga but its efficacy is inherent in using your forearm (a long striking object) against a bigger target area (face or neck) rather than a palm or clenched fist, both smaller striking surfaces demanding much more precision to be effective.


HOW TO DO THE INWARD HORIZONTAL FOREARM STRIKE


A natural follow-up to a groin kick or low kick to the inside or outside of the leg is to strike with the opposite arm as you land the kicking leg down. This movement to land will give your opposite side of your body a natural momentum that you can take advantage of. This sets up the inward horizontal forearm strike.

In this description, we will assume you deliver a groin kick with your right leg (SEE MASTERCLASS: GROIN KICK) and follow-up with an inward horizontal forearm strike with your left arm.


Holding your hands up and in front of you as you kick (never drop your hands when kicking!), as you start to recoil the (right) kicking leg upon impact, move the opposite (left) arm to the kicking leg from the position in front of your face and direct it outward and forward so it is parallel to the floor (or into an angle where a forward movement of it can target the face or neck area of your opponent).


Any backward movement should only be far enough to generate power and not swinging too far back, which delays the strike as it’s time consuming.


Keep a slight bend in the elbow, where your entire arm should now be ‘locked’ at the shoulders and elbow, rock solid and the entire arm from shoulder to hand is ready to be used as a complete striking force. Keep your fingers straight and not clenched into a fist.


As you put your (right) kicking leg down forward and to the side of the opponent on your right side, as you land forward aim to connect with the inside part of your forearm (bony part) either into your opponent’s face or side of the neck around the jawline height. The connection point can either be the side of the neck near the carotid artery or onto the face itself, dependent of where the opponent places their head post-kick.

Aim for the jawline to give you some margin of error either way. Use the striking arm’s shoulder to push into the strike to aid your body mass movement so it’s not just an arm-only motion. The strike should ideally land as you land the recoiling leg for optimal forward force.

Breathe out as you strike and keep the other (right) hand up and between your head and the opponent’s head as you connect, enabling this (right) arm to be ready for any further strikes, such as an open palm hand strike to the ear (SEE MASTERCLASS: OPEN PALM HAND STRIKE), a forward elbow to the back of the neck (SEE MASTERCLASS: ELBOW STRIKES) or just to repeat the inward horizontal forearm strike with the (right) arm to the back of the neck.


Aim to ‘go through’ the target by 10-20cm (aim beyond the target) and recoil fast on connection to transfer maximum energy. If you’re able to pivot your upper body into the strike, you will also put more mass into the strike to make it more powerful.


This forward horizontal elbow strike may be slightly angled up or down depending on the height difference between you and your opponent at the moment of striking.


If you kick with the (right) leg, you can also deliver the inward horizontal forearm strike with the same side arm. To do this, land with the kicking leg back on a line but close together (c. 20-30cm) with your (left) base leg. Use your (right) kicking leg as it lands to immediately push off leading with the other (left) leg to land forward with it in the same position on (your left) side of the opponent, delivering the inward horizontal forearm strike as the (left) leg lands forward. The pushing (right) leg should move forward to so you land in a balanced position (SEE MASTERCLASS: FIGHTING STANCE MOVEMENT).


Breathe out as you strike.


Further strikes are then available if needed. See our MASTERCLASSES and MASTERCLASS PRO for options.


Find all our MASTERCLASS PRO articles by clicking on the theme selection on the website home page. Chose MASTERCLASS for individual strikes and techniques.

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