This is becoming a habit, posting something after a workout. But here I am.
For those non-Uechi readers, palm strike is one of our common Uechi Ryu techniques. Our three main katas do not have punches, but plenty of palms.
I know that various people have various opinions, mine are based on my bad boys days doing my thing in Boston's Combat Zone and elsewhere.
Oops, I should say this first: Don't get into a fight if it is not absolutely necessary. Avoidance, back off, let it go, give him what he wants, be the gentleman that you are, but if all else fails and he is about to attack, then here it goes-----
Before I go any further, let me repeat here that kata techniques do not have to be executed exactly as in the katas during a real self defense situation.
Let me repeat here also that unless one practices the techniques specifically selected beforehand for use in a real street type situation and practice them repeatedly, probably no effective techniques will out during a crisis. Of course I am referring to us normal folks here and excluded those guys who fight all the time because they are so used to it.
The hundred fancy techniques and thirty katas are great for demonstrations but will just be useless during a real street-type situation due to the infamous chemical-cocktails unless you select a few and practice them for that purpose. The fancy concepts and textbook theories won't do anyone any good during a street-type situation. The fancy kata movements won't miraculously jump out to save anyone's whatever, unless--- (read on).
If you haven't done it yet, don't worry. Do it asap. Pick may be three or four at most, techniques that you feel are most comfortable with; the safest to use; the most effective in "most" self defense situations without the need for much accuracy whatsoever, then select the one that you can execute most devastatingly during a sudden attack to concentrate on. Now you have something you can use as your "primary carry" so to speak. Practice it repeatedly until it can come out without thinking during an attack by the bad guy.
As I inferred, there is no one technique that can counter effectively against all sudden attacks. Therefore you need to consider what are some of the most common sudden attacks and concentrate on the one attack that is most widely used by street thugs. Practicing too many defenses against too many different attacks will again, confuse you during the "chemical cocktail" and you will most likely be a sitting duck.
Nothing wrong with practicing defenses against numerous different attacks though-- but you need a "primary carry". One that would be most effective against an attack from most attackers. Of course you should also practice several other techniques against different type of attacks in case that bad guy tries to be fancy. I would say practice one for a right sucker punch (the most common), one for a left sucker punch, one for a takedown and one for a kick.
And to the naysayers who spout that one should not come up with Defense-A against Attack-B, I generally agree with you but this is not what I am talking about here. I do not rely on using different defense against different attacks anyway simply because I just can't remember even the most simple things. What? A knife attack and you do this then grab that and do a wrist lock and tap him on his nerve point and ----, wut? Fugetaboutit!
OK, so my first immediate defense movement is a palm strike. Yours can be anything you like as long as it meets the conditions I mentioned above.
Before I forget, never stop with just one counter strike. Do at least three continuously, then more if needed or if possible. Stop when he is down or give up or you will risk legal consequences that are designed to protect everyone but you.
Coincidently, GEM's December Newsletter also mentioned the three movements concept: https://vimeo.com/80546734
(Password is: space0202. Is it OK to give out the pw?)
So, just for information or use it as my suggestion anyway, my sequence of movements against a sudden attack (say a right sucker punch):
1. Step forward with a left block toward his sucker punch and simultaneously
blast a palm strike (with the lower palm area) at his nose (straight on if he is about your height, if he is much taller, no mercy here because big guys aren't supposed to attack little harmless guys like us so, blast the palm strike upward at an angle from the bottom of his nose).
2. Follow up with a left palm strike to his right ear area (less chances of missing his entire head if aiming for his temple), anywhere in the ear area would be good.
3. Then follow up with an elbow to his chest area if he is a tall guy. Elbow his neck if he is about your height.
4. Then blast an upper cut to his liver. From this point on, knee butt, groin strike, whatever-----
Of course you will need to practice the movements repeatedly to get into the muscle memory. Can't do them with a real person or a heavy bag though so, good old Bob again. Alternate the height at 5"-10" and 6'-3" and blast away.
I assume we all know that punching someone's head with your fist is a no no, right? Unless you are wearing gloves. (I learned the hard way as mentioned in one of my old posts).
If there are questions on the effectiveness of palm strikes, look up some of the old Pancrase fights before folks started wearing gloves in MMA matches. Here is a sample of Bas Ruten using the palm strike in some of his fights. There are plenty more:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiGQIh-6Kdo