US Army Combatives

5-1 Extended Arm Punches and Strikes

5-1. EXTENDED ARM PUNCHES AND STRIKES

Extended arm punches and strikes in long-range combatives, like those in medium-range combatives, should be directed at vital points and nerve motor points. It is essential to put the entire body mass in motion behind long-range strikes. Closing the distance to the target gives the fighter an opportunity to take advantage of this principle.

  • a. In extended punches, the body weapon is usually the fist, although the fingers may be used—for example, eye gouging. When punching, hold the fist vertically or horizontally. Keep the wrist straight to prevent injury and use the first two knuckles in striking.
  • b. Another useful variation of the fist is to place the thumb on top of the vertical fist so that the tip protrudes beyond the curled index finger that supports it. The thumb strike is especially effective against soft targets.

Do not fully lock out the arm when punching; keep a slight bend in the elbow to prevent hyperextension if the intended target is missed.


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