Hammerfist to the Side – Defensive Components to the Strike

This video shows the defensive component to this combative technique. A demonstration and explanation of the proper arm, chin, and leg positioning, as well as how to modify the technique on an opponent or striking target that is shorter than you.


“Hi, this is Randall with KravMagaTraining.com. Today we’re going to address the hammerfist to the side.

A very common beginner mistake that I see is that when they throw the hammerfist to the side, they lift their chin up and leave their face wide-open and their forearm is too low. A lot of beginners need to realize is that the hammerfist to the side is not just an offensive weapon, it is not just designed to strike your opponent. It’s also has a defensive component in that if you keep your chin down, raise your elbow and forearm nice and high as you deliver the strike, you can see that it’s shielding my face so it also has this defensive component. Anytime you turn or rotate towards your opponent it’s very important that you protect yourself in the process to minimize the chances that our opponent doesn’t land a clean blow on us. So remember as you deliver the strike everything should be nice and high.

Now beginners sometimes ask “Well, I can’t see the pad”. And my answer is “Well, what the fuck? You know where the pad is. The attacker is right here. What do you need to see?” Alright, so turn and look at them and then from the strike just deliver it. You can, I can still see, I can still see a little bit above, a little bit below. So it’s like looking through jail bars. Like a prison. You don’t have to see the entire picture. You definitely still see what’s on the other side of the bars. So I know his face is here. I don’t have to see it, all of it, and that I can still strike it.

Now, one other issue that does come up, which is a legitimate concern, and that is. Let’s say my good old buddy here Bob is my training partner and today he decided to be a little short. He’s like a good foot shorter than me. And so, the question is a “Well how am I supposed to practice that hammerfist strike if my training partner is a lot shorter and the target is nice and low?” So like, here’s Bob here and want to practice this and I’m a very tall guy. “Well how am I suppose to hit that target without bringing my arm down and leaving my face open?” The key to this is not so much adjusting the arm positioning, it’s bending your knees. So as I deliver the strike, notice I’m bending my knees, dropping my level down so that way I can still strike at the pad level or whereever my attacker’s level is without compromising the defensive component. So before you deliver the strike, just bend your knees, ground yourself a little bit which is going to help you with your balance anyways, and then you still can deliver the strike properly on that shorter opponent or if your training partner might be a little bit shorter than you.

So those are some good training tips to help you guys tighten up the defensive component of your hammerfist strike to the side.”

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