MASTERCLASS PRO | DOUBLE OPEN PALM STRAIGHT HANDSTRIKE • SIDE KICK • GROIN KICK | by Orjan Pettersen

MASTERCLASS PRO takes our Masterclasses to the next level.


Learn how to take the individual self defence techniques and strikes you in our Masterclass feature and merge them into natural and effective combinations in MASTERCLASS PRO.


Study how you can mix and match different upper and lower body strikes, with different ranges and angles of attack.


This MASTERCLASS PRO covers:


DOUBLE STRAIGHT OPEN PALM HAND STRIKES vs a primary attacker


SIDE KICK and GROIN KICK vs a secondary attacker


Scenario: Deployed as an in-fight solution or as a preemptive striking combination, this simple yet highly effective sequence of strikes is designed to target the attacker’s face (to break the nose) with a safer double open palm strike before following up dealing with a secondary attacker on your side with a side kick to the centre of the body followed by closing in with a kick to the groin. The combination can be executed very quickly.


HOW TO DO THE DOUBLE STRAIGHT OPEN PALM HAND STRIKES


The double straight open palm strike can conducted from a position of looking placating or submissive, prior to preemptively striking first. It can be preceded by moving away in camouflage stance (SEE MASTERCLASS: CAMOUFLAGE STANCE AND MOVEMENT) whilst verbally expressing a disinclination to fight, revealing the intent and means of the aggressor to pursue and intimidate, then preemptively striking when the opportunity (the distance where you can almost reach your opponent with an outstretched hand, or closer) is available. This verbal and movement pre-fight action is part of your legal self defence.


It can also be conducted in-fight, where the attacker is facing towards you at the same striking range.


The double straight open palm strikes are aimed directly at your opponent’s nose, aiming to break it and move their head and body backwards, initiating a wider foot stance during rebalancing, possibly setting up a groin kick or further straight open palm hand strikes or if they move slightly further away, the front kick.


Other strikes are also available. See our MASTERCLASSES and MASTERCLASSES PRO.


With hands up and in front of your face, send the first open palm forward and aimed at least around a foot behind the opponent’s nose by moving your shoulder forward with a low elbow for maximum reach. The connection point should be the lower part of your open palm, directly in front of your wrist area.


Aim to recoil at least as fast as you send your hand forward. They key is to use the shoulder into the strike, not leaning or stepping forward. The less mass you move, the faster you can accelerate. Acceleration and a quick recoil are the the main ingredients in transferring energy quickly into the target.


As you recoil the first hand on the same level you send it forward and back to the starting position, send the other hand forward in the same fashion, repeating the process. Both strikes should take place before you put any feet forward, if you need to step forward to regain balance or close any distance to the target. This ensures optimal body mass and forward momentum into the strikes.


Exhale once through the double strike.

Picture: The open palm hand strike practiced on a training object.


As you purposely move the opponent’s head and body backwards by the extended strikes and if you lose your balance forward, aim to land forward with the foot matching the first hand strike. Bring the back leg with you by making a small step, leaving you in a good balanced position, with a shoulder-width foot stance and slightly bent knees.


Aim beyond the target (nose) connecting with the palms of your hands and recoil every quickly on impact as if you’ve touched a burning hot stove to transfer maximum energy into the target.


HOW TO DO THE SIDE KICK


This scenario envisages a secondary attacker approaching you from the side, before you are able to turn towards this threat to face it, but still on a kicking range. You need to deliver a slide kick as your first striking option.


A side kick is a primary striking choice as it’s the longer range option available to you when you become aware of a threat from the side, but you’re either unable or too late to turn to face it. Therefore, practice it extensively.


Optimise the strike by:


Turn head towards target, with optimal peripheral vision to detect the fullest range of vision of your blind spot behind you.

Keep chin down and protected by the near shoulder, lock your eyes onto the target, and maintain the ‘lock on’ for the duration of the kick.


Hands come up, near hand close to you (primed to strike if needed), far hand close to it with your forearm across your torso (for protection). Hands remain in this position throughout.


Make a very short step (skip) if needed to close the distance towards the target by placing the far foot behind the closer-to-target kicking leg with the heel facing the target, ensuring optimal mobility in the hip for the kick.


Make sure you have a slight drop of the base leg knee, acting like a suspension, to aid your balance during the motion.


Maintain a small side profile towards the target, lift your kicking leg knee (as you skip) and extend the leg aiming a foot (30cm) beyond the target, connecting with the full sole of the foot, recoiling the leg fast upon extension to transfer energy quickly.

The choice of target area is dependent on your flexibility and purpose of kick; e.g. knee, centre mass (abdomen) or chest.


Maintain knee at connection height to target area as you recoil, before foot is put down in the most optimal tactical position, depending on your next planned action.


Breathe out as you strike.

Picture: The groin kick practiced on a pad.


To continue with a groin kick after the side kick, recoil the kicking leg and simultaneously pivot your body (via your base leg, now on the ball of the foot as you turn) towards the target so you land facing it with the kicking leg in front and the base leg behind it, in a balanced stance approximately shoulder-with apart with your feet and with a short distance between the front and back foot (achieved by pushing your back foot into this position as you land forward with your front leg).


You are now ready for the groin kick.


HOW TO DO THE GROIN KICK


A groin kick - the ‘simple’ calling card of Krav Maga - is a primary striking choice as it can be a devastating medium range option available to you.


If needed to close the range, make a shorter step with our front leg by pushing off with your rear foot, releasing the weight from the rear to-be kicking leg.


Make sure you have a slight drop of the base front leg knee, acting like a suspension, to aid your balance during the motion.


Swing the kicking back leg at max speed towards the target’s groin as if you were kicking a football 45 degrees into the sky. Aim to connect with the lower or mid part of the shin (not the in-step or ball of the foot), curling toes slightly upwards to tense the shin for hardness.


The kicking foot should disappear from view as the shin connects with the groin, ensuring that you hit with a large surface area (shin) rather than a small one (in-step or front of foot) to optimise the chance of not missing the target. This also ensures that if the target moves towards you during the kicking motion, the higher end of the shin or your knee will still be in line to connect with the groin.


‘Dig’ the kick in momentarily, before your recoil the leg fast back to your desired position to either continue fighting or escaping the situation.


Breathe out as you strike.

Picture: Follow up with a groin kick, as seen practiced on a pad.


This sequence of this double kicking strike should be and can be executed within 1-2 seconds. Train it slowly and deliberately with a partner to work on the balance, proprioception and sequencing of the strikes.


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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