U.S. Army Combatives – FM 3-25.150

6-01 Arm Strikes

6-1. ARM STRIKES

The strikes in this section are presented individually. It is important to know that they will almost never be used this way. Follow-on sections will address combinations and how strikes fit into an overall fight strategy. Remember that when learning each of the following strikes to keep your guard up with the non-punching arm.

a. Jab (Figure 6-1). The jab is thrown with the lead hand and is used for controlling the range, and setting up further techniques. From the basic stance, snap your lead arm out with a slight pivot of your hip and shoulder. You should rotate your shoulder so that the punch lands with your palm down and quickly snap your arm back into the ready position. Your punch should travel in a straight line, and your elbow should never stick out away from your body at any time during the punch.

Figure 6-1. Jab.

Figure 6-1. Jab.

Note: To step into your jab, drive off of your trail leg as you punch and slide your trail leg forward as you withdraw your punching arm.

b. Reverse Punch (Figure 6-2). The reverse punch is a power punch thrown from the rear arm. It can be a fight ender by itself, but it is also very useful to set up takedowns. From the basic stance, turn on the ball of your trail foot as if you were putting out a cigarette so that your hips and shoulders are facing toward the enemy. As you extend your punch, rotate your arm so that you strike with your knuckles up and palm facing down. You should extend your punch as if to go through your opponent and then snap back into the ready position.

Figure 6-2. Reverse punch.

Figure 6-2. Reverse punch.

Note: Ensure that you do not lock your elbow when your punch is fully extended.

c. Hook (Figure 6-3). The hook is a power punch that is usually thrown from the front arm. It is very powerful and works well in combinations. One of its main advantages is that it can be fully executed outside of the enemy’s field of vision. The common mistake is to think of it as a looping arm punch. In reality a powerful hook does not involve very much arm movement, generating its power from your leg hip and shoulder movement. From the basic stance, turn on your lead foot as if you were putting out a cigarette, turning your hips and shoulders toward the inside. Raise your elbow as you turn so that your punch lands with your arm parallel with the ground, and your palm facing toward your chest. Your trail foot should remain planted. You should then smoothly tuck your elbow back in to your side and turn your shoulders to return to the ready position.

Figure 6-3. Hook.

Figure 6-3. Hook.

d. Uppercut. The uppercut can be thrown with either hand and is particularly effective against an opponent who is crouching or trying to avoid a clinch.

(1) Lead Hand Uppercut.

(a) Step 1 (Figure 6-4). From the basic stance, turn your hips and shoulders slightly to face the enemy, and dip your lead shoulder downward. You should be changing your level slightly by bending your knees.

Figure 6-4. Lead hand uppercut, step 1.

Figure 6-4. Lead hand uppercut, step 1.

(b) Step 2 (Figure 6-5). Keep your elbow tucked in and drive off of your lead leg to land your punch, palm facing up with your wrist firm and straight.

Figure 6-5. Lead hand uppercut, step 2.

Figure 6-5. Lead hand uppercut, step 2.

(c) Step 3. Turn your shoulders and snap back into the ready position.

(2) Trail Hand Uppercut.

(a) Step 1 (Figure 6-6). From the basic stance, turn your hips and shoulders slightly to face the enemy, and dip your rear shoulder downward. You should be changing your level slightly by bending your knees.

Figure 6-6. Trail hand uppercut, step 1.

Figure 6-6. Trail hand uppercut, step 1.

(b) Step 2 (Figure 6-7). Drive off of your trail leg through your hip to land your punch, palm facing up with your wrist straight and firm. Your arm will be slightly more extended than the lead hand punch.

Figure 6-7. Trail hand uppercut, step 2.

Figure 6-7. Trail hand uppercut, step 2.

(c) Step 3. Snap back into the ready position.

e. Elbow Strikes. Elbow strikes can be devastating blows and are very useful at close range. You should remember that they gain their power from the hips and legs.

(1) Horizontal Elbow Strike (Figure 6-8). A horizontal elbow strike is thrown almost exactly like a hook, with the exceptions that at the moment of impact the palm should be facing the ground.

Figure 6-8. Horizontal elbow strike.

Figure 6-8. Horizontal elbow strike.

(2) Upward Elbow Strike (Figure 6-9). The upward elbow strike is thrown almost exactly like an uppercut, with the exception that at the moment of impact the palm should be facing inward toward your head.

Figure 6-9. Upward elbow strike.

Figure 6-9. Upward elbow strike.


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