Inside Defense Against Straight Punch Low – Correct Arm Position

The most common mistake beginners make while performing the Inside Defense Low is dropping their hand two low (similar to a 360 Degree Defense position). This videos explains the correct arm position for this defense in order to avoid this mistake. Also, it shows several fine details in hand and body positioning that helps you perform it consistently correct. In addition, it explains multiple tactical reasons why the correct arm position is vital for this particular defense.


“Hello, this is Randall and Glenda with KravMagaTraining.com. This video we’re going to discuss the proper arm positioning on the inside defense low.

So when Glenda throws the straight punch to the body and I do the inside defense low, this is a common beginner mistake is dropping their hand down like they’re doing a 360 block. What it should be is like this. Notice how my forearm is vertical. My hand stays up to protect my face.

This is really important for several reasons. One is, when she throws that punch at me, and I start dropping my hand down like this, it’s starting to leave my face open. Which is obviously unacceptable. Instead, when I do the inside defense and I keep my arm vertical in case I need to protect my face, notice that my hand is still up.

Also, the reason why keeping your arm vertical is important is because it allows you to defend not a specific point on your torso but your entire torso. So if Glenda throws a punch, could you punch with your right hand, she punches at my chest, I’ll end up blocking with the middle part of my forearm or maybe up closer by my wrist. She punches a little bit lower, that’s okay. If she punches me real low, I catch it more with the elbow area. So by having my arm in this position it gives you a much larger blocking surface and a larger margin of error. As soon as you start dropping your hand down, notice that the distance of this is starting to shrink. And once I start getting too low now I’m really leaving myself open. Whether it’s protecting my face or maybe I was just a little off and she’s punching me in the chest.

Now one of the reasons, a couple of reasons why people, beginners, do this wrong is because, one is they don’t rotate their body far enough. So when she throws the punch and I just rely on my hand defense that’s why people start dropping their hand down. Now, if you remember to twist your torso like you were taught and allow your body to rotate you don’t have to rely on your arm defense nearly as much because the punch ends up flying past you. So blading your body properly is extremely important.

Another reason that helps is, I like to turn my palm towards me as I do the inside defense because it increases your range of motion. If you keep your palm turned towards her as she’s punching, that’s what’s causing people to start dropping their hand because your range of motion is decreased. As soon as I turned my palm towards me, I found that your range of motion increases with the ability to still keep your arm in a vertical position.

So rotating your palm is very helpful with that and it also sets up good habits in case she’s not punching me but she’s stabbing me with an edged weapon straight to my body. I like to have my palm turned towards me anyways, that way if I’m a little off and I get cut, I would rather get cut on this side of my forearm instead of on this side. There’s a reason why people who want to kill themselves slash the inside of their wrist not the outside. So by defending this way it’s going to protect the inside of my wrist so I don’t bleed out as easily. That’s setting up good training habits for the future when you’re doing more advanced training.

Now the other thing that might happen is that if she throws a straight punch but a little bit lower. Like to my lower stomach or maybe she’s trying to punch me in the nuts. When that happens people are like ‘Wait a second. I can’t, I can’t block because my elbow goes so low.’ Well two things. One is your shoulder is adjustable in that I can still keep my arm vertical but by adjusting at the shoulder that will help. Also, if I bend my knees as she is delivering the punch, that punch is a little bit lower and I drop my level as well that can compensate for that as well without sacrificing my ability to have to drop my hand.

So all those little things will help. Making sure that you’re blading your body. Make sure to rotate your palm towards you as you do the inside defense. And if the punch is very low also bending your knees, dropping your level down will help with that.

So make sure you avoid doing the 360 block position. Make sure you keep that forearm as vertical as possible. All those things will help out quite a bit.

“Krav Maga is the official defensive tactics system of the Israeli military.”