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Palm heel - interpretation, analysis and application
#1
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In the above video we see an interpretation of a palm heel block.  I'm using this short video only as a visual example for us to use as a reference.  Disregard the instructors explanation, I had the sound turned down.  Disregard where she started the movement and where it ended.  Some start the movement as she did with her hand way out to her side while some start the movement from a chambered position on their hip. 

What I'm looking to discuss here is how you perform a palm heel block.  I italicize the word block as it can (and should) be used as a strike.  That is also part of the discussion; how would you use a palm heel of this type? 

As an example, I'll start the discussion from the consideration that we are grappling with an attacker.  Let's assume that at this time we are on our feet, upper bodies in close proximity to each other, arms grappling somewhere on the upper body.  For example, perhaps you've been grabbed and pushed against a wall.  Or the person is trying to wrap up your upper body, perhaps trying to get you in a head lock.  With this in mind, here is a possible use of this palm heel movement.  For my example, the starting position would necessarily have to begin close to the body, probably from a low position in order to get under the attacker's limbs.  Using the hips to both create some distance as well as generate power you palm heel strike the inside of the attacker's arm, either around the forearm, inside elbow or bicep.  The intent is to injure/disable the arm to the best extent possible as well as the impact moving the attacker's arm/hand off your body thus breaking their grasp.  This is also a clearing strike to open up that side of the attacker's body to further follow up strikes that could include a back elbow strike, hammer fist to the lower torso, back fist to the face etc.

As a practical illustration, picture or have a partner extend both hands to grab both of your shoulders.  You now palm heel block/strike the inside of one of their arms whilst turning your hips appropriately.  This of course is a static movement against a compliant partner but I use it simply to illustrate what I'm referring to in the movement.  It can be made more realistic/dynamic as appropriate to an actual struggle. 

What would/could you use the movement for?
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#2
Oh boy! Don't get me started. If you have time to lift the arm and drop it to 'block' then your attacker must be totally disabled. If it is delivering a strike I still disagree with it because is is telegraphed. How these guys get away teaching stuff like this really disturbs me.

So back to the OP. What would I use it for? I wouldn't. I would use a similar deflection but with nothing like the back lift. Using the hips you can generate as much power from the kamae position and be cocking the body ready to hit with a knife hand or back fist.
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#3
I like to think outside the box.  This same movement could be used after evading/parrying an incoming attack, moving off center to the side/rear of the attacker and dropping down and used against the back of the knee.  One could set up a lift or throw that is quite effective at taking the attacker off balance (which is always a good thing).  All using the same 'palm heel block' motion.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


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#4
I learned and teach it from a defensive position or from the hip straight to the attacking limb. It's a snappy technique that also involves hip twist and a slight sidestep to avoid.

I know there are multiple applications, but allow me to share. In one of my few street altercations a guy threw an off balanced punch. I sidestepped and executed a palm block and missed. It went over his arm and as he lunged off balanced hit him in the side of the head. He fell over......

I love this block because it's more of a block/strike mix on its own than most movements I think.
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#5
(10-07-2015, 07:32 PM)pennmartkd Wrote: In one of my few street altercations a guy threw an off balanced punch.  I sidestepped and executed a palm block and missed.  It went over his arm and as he lunged off balanced hit him in the side of the head.   He fell over......
Could you elaborate a bit?  Did you hit him with the same arm as the one you missed with the palm heel?
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


Reply
#6
Elaboration underway. I sidestepped left and did a left palm heel block. that block slid over the arm and same block cracked him in the side of the head. So the block itself became a strike.
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#7
Thank you.  I wanted to make sure I was visualizing your incident correctly.  This is a good example of this 'block' being quite a bit more than what is commonly taught.  Generating power from the hips it can be quite a powerful strike as well.
Two thousand years ago wise men sought Christ, wise men still do.

Techniques are situational, principles are universal.

Fast as the wind, quiet as the forest, aggressive as fire, and immovable as a mountain.

He who gets there first with the most...wins!

Minimal force may not be minimum force!

We don't rise to the occasion...we sink to the level of our training.


Reply
#8
(10-04-2015, 07:44 AM)K-man Wrote: Oh boy! Don't get me started. If you have time to lift the arm and drop it to 'block' then your attacker must be totally disabled. If it is delivering a strike I still disagree with it because is is telegraphed. How these guys get away teaching stuff like this really disturbs me.

So back to the OP. What would I use it for? I wouldn't. I would use a similar deflection but with nothing like the back lift. Using the hips you can generate as much power from the kamae position and be cocking the body ready to hit with a knife hand or back fist.

I agree with the knife hand strike. In some korean arts they teach this technique with a persons hands on your shoulders and you palm heel strike across your body to release the hand on your opposite shoulder but you turn your hips to get more power and to fallow threw better.  This technique works if a person is standing like a statue when they grab you however most of the time their is some sort of energy being used with the grab like a forward pushing motion or a pulling and so I have found this technique once you pass your centerline with your block and turn your hips if the persons energy comes in towards you even just a little bite your stance does not support you and can fall back on your side. so a simple palm heel block or strike and a knife hand strike to the neck is faster and safer.  The example to me is being pined up against a wall then you can turn your body to the side and elbow what ever because know your not falling backwards.

To the outside of the body side step redirect, hit the tripcept if in close range or forearm if your at a distance from a punch. most the time I use palm heel blocks to trap the arm for a counter strike or to go into a joint lock. palm heel blocks to the inside can block the forearm or bycept. In our art palm heel blocks are not only used as a strike or a redirection or trap but to get you to the double block version of it that we call Fan Blocks in some karate styles they call it switching hands technique, so to the inside arm I can palm heel block the forearm then my other arm can come up and take that arms place with for an example a knife hand block from their my original blocking hand is free to strike or block again and my knife hand block can simply grab onto the arm for control.
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