Close Combat Techniques

Close Combat Techniques
Deliver edge-the-hand blows with the
inner (i.e., little-finger) edge of the hand,
fingers straight and close together, thumb
extended, contact is made with the edge
only, about half-wav between the knuckle
of the little finger and the wrist, as shown
in Fig. 1.
Deliver the blow with a bent arm (never
with a straight arm), using a chopping
action from the elbow, with the weight of
the body behind it. Practice by striking the
open palm of your left hand, as in Fig. 2.
There are two ways in which this blow can
be delivered:
(a) Downwards, with either hand;
(b) Across, with cither hand; the blow
always being delivered outwards, with the
palm of the hand downwards, never on top
(Fig. 3).
Attack the following points on your opponent's body, delivering every blow as quickly as
(a) The sides or back of the wrist;
(b) The forearm, half-way between the wrist and elbow;
(c) The biceps;
(d) The sides or back of the neck;
(e) Just below the "Adam's apple";
(f) The kidneys or base of the spine.
Note. - If your opponent catches hold of you, strike his wrist or forearm; a fracture will
most likely result. This would be almost impossible with a blow from a clenched fist.
Some of the best advice from the time-period on training the edge-of-hand blow comes
from Arwrology: All-Out Hand-to-Hand Fighting for Commandos, Military, and
Civilians by Gordon E. Perrigard, M.D. (Montreal: Renouf Publishing, 1943) pages 4650:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------"THE LITTLE FINGER EDGE OF YOUR HAND"
STRIKE with the little finger edge of your out-stretched hand from the base of your little
finger to your wrist. Keep your fingers tightly pressed toegether, and keep your thumb in
close too. Your palm nearly always faces down.
This is probably the most deadly natural weapon that an unarmed man possesses if he
knows how to use it.
[picture caption]"Make the edge-hand blow snappy. Cut it. Don't just push."
How is it used? Look at your right hand. Straighten out your fingers and thumb. Press
them close together. Straighten out your hand, wrist and forearm so they form a straight
line. You strike with the little finger edge of the hand from the base of your little finger to
about an inch up from your wrist. You deliver the blows with your palm facing down.
Feel the little finger edge of your hand. It is probably soft. It must be hard. How are you
going to harden it? Straigten out your hand and with the little finger edge strike
repeatedly against any hard surface.
At first these blows may be delivered as light, chopping stokes. As the hand becomes
used to the exercise and acquires resistance, more severe blows may be given, until
finally a powerful blow with the full, back-hand sweep of the arm is possible. Practice the
blows against tables, walls, sand-bags, poles, doors, anything.
1. Face a wall. Keeping your feet still, turn left, bringing your right hand over your left
shoulder. Swing to your right, striking the wall at the level of your own neck with the
little finger edge of your right hand. Put force into it. Then twist further to your right,
bringing your left hand over your right shoulder, keeping your feet still. Swing to your
left, striking the wall at the level of your neck with the little finger edge of your left hand.
Repeat these actions over and over.
2. Now stand with your left side against the wall. Put your left shoulder against it. You
are standing at a right angle to the wall. Do not move your feet. Turn left twisting about
as far as you can, bringing your right hand over your left shoulder. Unwind and strike the
wall with the little finger edge of your stiffened out right hand. Give a hard blow. You are
using your waist muscles to advantage.
Keeping your feet in the same position, turn right and bring your left hand over your right
shoulder. Deliver a back edge-hand blow against the wall with your left hand.
3. Next stand with your right side against the wall, and repeat the right and left hand
blows as above. Rub alcohol on the edge of your hands if they get tender.
4. Next stand with your back to the wall, and keeping your feet motionless, practice
striking the wall with your left and right hand, twisting the waist with each blow.
These blows have been horizontal. Next come the vertical edge-hand blows.
Vertical Blows.
Facing a wall, turn to your left, just from the waist, keeping your feet still. Give an
upward blow against the wall with the little finger edge of your right hand. Then turn left
and give and upward blow with your left hand. Repeat.
By now you will have an idea of the Edge-Hand blows. Where are you going to hit your
opponent with the Edge-Hand blows?
Remember these points
(a) Either side of his neck (Carotid Sinus)
(b) The back of his neck, at a point just above the hair line. Why here? Respiratory
centres may be affected by a blow in this region.
(c) Just above and below his nose.
(d) Along one of his ribs. Here give a horizontal blow, directly under his arms or a little
behind his arms. A blow in the region of the kidneys has a shocking effect. This blow si
also effective over his heart.
(e) Up into his crotch. Give a vertical blow here.
(f) 'Stomach'. Just under his ribs in the front of his body in the mid-line.
(g) Forearm. Against the top of his forearm at the junction of the upper thirds and lower
two thirds (Brachio-radialis muschle and posterior interroseous nerve).
Do the Edge-Hand Blows work?
They have!
An Actual Case
In 1941, Mr. J.J. who is a member of the Society of Arwrologists was walking home one
night past a field when he was attacked from behind by four men. One man pulled him
around and stuck him a glancing blow on the side of his face.
Mr. J.J. ducked down and swung around delivering a left-edge hand blow against the
side of the man's neck (Carotid Sinus).
What happened? The man's arms dropped to his sides and he fell forward, flat on his
face. The knock-out was absolutely instantaneous.
Two of the men looked with amazement for a moment, then ran. And when Mr. J.J.
turned towards the remaining opponent, he ran too.
With a wave of his hand and a "Good night, gentlemen," Mr. J.J. continued on his way
home, smiling confidently.
Another Actual Case
One February evening in 1943, another member of the Society or Arwrologists reports
that he was attacked by a man in a cigar store. A back edge-hand blow was delivered
under the man's ear. The man fell to the floor, sick to his stomach, hors de combat.
[Special Thanks to Bob Kasper for giving me a rare original copy of Arwrology - J.Sass]
From American Combat Judo
by B. J. Cosneck, 1944
"The hack is an open hand blow delivered with the little finger side of the hand. The
fingers are held extended, stiff and close together. The thumb may or may not be
extended. The blow is given with a sharp, swift, hacking movement with such abrupt
force that it can either break a bone or paralyze a nerve. Continual practice of pounding
the underside of the hand upon a hard, flat object such as a table is advised for
toughening the striking surface of the hand. After the hand is thus prepared it can be
further toughened by pounding the edge or corner of an object.
When administering the blow, contact is made with that surface of the edge of the hand
between the wrist and the base of the little finger. The fingers themselves are not used in
striking, because they may slide over each other and make the blow less effective."
Thanks to "gnarlmaster"
From Combat Judo
by Staff Sergeant Robert L. Carlin, USMC, 1945
The edge of the hand is sharp and penetrates the nerve centers. Therefore, it is a very
dangerous and effective weapon to use against an opponent.
Hold the hand rigid with thumb extended, fingers straight and close together, hit
opponent with edge of hand from the first knuckle of the little finger to the beginning of
the wrist.
Always hit with the arm bent at the elbow Never hit with a straight arm as you lose power
and speed. When delivering the blow snap it out quickly with the entire weight of your
body behind it Caution must be used in practice since these blows will easily kill or
knock a person unconscious.
The Japanese have developed the edge of hand blows so well that they can easily break a
half-inch board with one blow. They practice all day long toughening their hands until
they can snap a man's neck with a single stroke.
Striking a person with your fist may injure your knuckles and is not as effective in
delivering death-dealing blows as the edge of the hand. The fist is blunt and will not
penetrate between the muscles and tissue of the body into the vital nerve centers. Since
the edge of the hand covers less area it easily penetrates the nerve centers and is very
From Thirty-Six Secret Knock-Out Blows Without the Use of Fists
by S. J. Jorgenson, 1938
Pages 5-9
These scanned pages give you the basic KO targets Jorgenson used and the crossed arm
set up and delivery he favored.
From Jiu-Jitsu Combat Tricks by H. Irving Hancock, 1904
From Chapter one:
"For instance, the Japanese does not strike with his clenched fist, but with the inner or
little finger edge of the palm. This edge of the palm, then, must be put in the most
favorable trim for severe attack. The edge must be hard --- capable of inflicting injury
and of enduring sharp concussion.
For training the edge of the hand thus there is a very simple method that calls for time
and patience. Strike the edge of the hand lightly but repeatedly against a wooden or
similar surface. It is never necessary to increase the severity of this training blow, but at
least twenty minutes daily should be given to this hardening process. For this no time
need be taken from other occupations. When seated reading, exercise the edge of that
hand which is not employed in holding the book. At times when neither hand is otherwise
occupied the edge of both may be exercised simultaneously. The importance of so
training the edges of the hands is not to be estimated lightly, and the toughening should
be followed diligently for some months. The harder the edge of the hand is made the
more effective will be the blows struck with it, and with the least exertion on the part of
the combatant."
From chapter three:
"In Chapter 1 reference has been made to the fact that the Jiu-Jitsian does not employ his
clenched fist in striking blows, but uses the edge of his hand, generally the little finger
edge. This does not mean the edge of the little finger, which should never be struck, but
the edge of the palm on the little finger side. In striking, sometimes the palm of the hand
is turned upward, and sometimes downward, just as the nature of the blow requires for
striking most severely. In some instances, as in striking upward under the chin, the thumb
edge of the palm is used, the thumb being folded downward over the palm.
Here is a list of the more important blows that may be struck with the edge of the hand:
Lower Leg--- Across the shin on either side, and well to the front; strike halfway up the
lower leg
Upper Leg--- Strike halfway between knee and trunk, either across the front of leg, or at
outside of leg somewhat to the front
Side Blow--- Squarely on either side of the lower trunk, in the soft part just below the last
Kidney--- Strike over this organ in small of back, in soft part just below last rib
Wrist--- On either side, just back of the joint
Forearm--- On either side, halfway between wrist and elbow
Upper Arm--- Strike across the front of the biceps, or on outside of arm and well to the
front; in either case point of striking to be midway between elbow and shoulder
Collar-bone--- In case of a close clinch, open at one side, strike with little finger edge of
palm, hand almost perpendicular and fingers pointing up, on collar bone midway between
breast-bone and point of shoulder. (Too sharp a blow will fracture this bone)
Shoulder--- A sharp downward blow on top of shoulder, midway between neck and point
of shoulder (A blow that causes a good deal of pain and subsequent soreness)
Side of the Neck--- Midway between jawbone and collarbone
Back of the Neck--- Too dangerous. Do not employ, except in a case of "life or death".
Instead, when striking from behind, use heel of hand, fingers pointing upward. Strike heel
of hand just at the base of the skull, with a combined forward and upward movement.
And even this blow is hardly less dangerous. Both blows are mentioned more by way of
caution that they be avoided by the experimenting student
Blow across the Base of Spine--- Too Dangerous. Instead, employ blow over the kidney
All of the blows struck with the edge of hand are given smartly and with a good deal of
force. In striking at throat or neck the right hand of assailant is used against the victim on
his right side, instead of at his left, in order that the blow may be given more force."
[Thanks to "gnarlmaster"]
From Lightning Ju-Jitsu
N.Y.: New Power Publications, 1943.
Page 22-23
To most people, the clenched fist has been the main weapon of attack or defense. But
Lightning Ju-Jitsu makes use of other blows more precise, painful and deadly. The most
frequent of these, the edge-of the-hand-blow, is delivered with the knife edge of the hand;
that is, the outer or little finger side.
For a vertical blow, crook the arm at the elbow and swing it down obliquely with a swift,
chopping motion. Keep the fingers rigid and close together (figure 11). Put your
bodyweight behind the blow by rising to your toes; then flex your knees slightly at the
instant of striking. Practice with either hand. Learn to strike so rapidly that your opponent
cannot guess your intention.
For a horizontal blow, swing either hand out from the elbow in an arc. Keep the palm
facing downward (figure 12).
Edge-of-the-hand blows are particularly effective in parrying an attacker's blow, in
breaking his grip, in throwing him off balance, and in inflicting punishment.
Apply these blows upon:
1-The wrist (especially when a fist or weapon is being aimed at you)
2-The lower or upper arm
3-The sides of the body
Except in a life-or-death struggle, avoid striking the following vital points where serious
or even fatal injury may result:
1-The larynx or Adam's apple
2-The back of the neck
3-The side of the neck
4-The kidneys or base of the spine"
[Thanks to "gnarlmaster"]
From Effective Unarmed Combat
by Malcolm Harris, 1972
Pages 19-21
Edge-of-Hand Chop
The chop with the hand may be delivered
either horizontally or vertically. A
horizontal chop is started with the arm
bent and the hand held, palm downwards,
just above the far shoulder (figure 1). A
vertical chop is commenced with the arm
bent and the hand held just above the near
shoulder. The hand is held with the fingers
extended and close together, the thumb
bent and resting comfortably near the base
of the index finger (figure 2). The part of
the hand that extends from the base of the
little finger to the wrist is used to strike at
the following target areas: trachea (windpipe) in front of the neck; either side of the neck towards the front; the base of the skull at
the back of the neck; and the solar plexus up under the rib cage, if not covered with heavy
clothing. At the moment of striking, the hand and wrist are made tense and rigid with the
fingers in perfect alignment with the forearm. Note that the thumb should not be extended
so that it is almost at a right angle to the fingers, because it might then be grasped and
wrenched back or punched back hard enough for it to be broken. Similarly, any
separation of the fingers is potentially hazardous. In both horizontal and vertical methods
of delivery, body weight should be behind the blow in order to obtain the most severe
effect. This is done by advancing the leg on the same side as the hand which is delivering
the chop and transferring the whole weight of the body on to this forward leg at the
moment of impact.
Deliver this blow with the heel of your hand, full force, with the weight of your body
behind it, and fingers spread so as to reach your opponent's eyes, as in Fig. 4. Always aim
at the point of your opponent's chin (Fig. 5)
Deliver the blow upwards from a bent arm and only when close to your opponent. The
distance the blow will have to travel will depend on the height of your opponent, but will
seldom exceed six inches.
Never draw your hand back, thus signaling your intention of striking. From start to finish,
make every movement as quickly as possible.
Remember that an attack, or an attempt to attack, with the knee at your opponent's
testicles will always bring his chin forward and down.
Note.- Practice this blow as follows: Hold your left hand at the height of your own chin,
palm downwards; jab up quickly with your right, striking your left hand, as in Fig. 6.
From Hands Off! Self Defense for Women
by W. E. Fairbairn, 1942
Page number 7
No.4. How to Apply the "Chin Jab"
In Defense Holds No. 5, Being Strangled (Two Hands); No.8, Waist Hold From the
Front; and No.10, Hair Hold (From Behind), it will be noted one of the methods is
referred to as a "Chin Jab." This blow is struck with the base or heel of the palm of the
hand at the "Point of the Chin," and, if applied correctly, is liable to render your assailant
The "Chin Jab" should be used only when circumstances justify such
drastic methods. Students are advised to practice at "Shadow Drill," not on their friends.
1. Bend the right arm from the elbow, turning the palm of the hand to the front (Fig. 7).
2. Bend the palm of the hand backwards as far as possible, extending the fingers and
thumb, and keep them bent (Fig. 50 that, in the event of your missing your assailant's
chin, they will reach his eyes, should the situation justify such drastic action.
Note: The force of this blow does not depend upon the strength of the person applying it,
but upon keeping the palm of the hand bent backwards. This permits one to deliver a
"rock-crushing" blow with a follow-through from the shoulder and no possibility of
hurting one's own hand app1ying it.
3. The position of the hand in Fig. 8 was selected as the best to demonstrate the relative
position of the fingers, thumb, and palm of the hand. Students will find that a position
somewhat as in Fig. 9 will be a more practical position from which to start this blow.
Page number 9
No. 5. Being Strangled (Two Hands)
Your assailant seizes you by the throat with both hands, forcing you back against a wall,
Fig. 10.
Note: In the event of being attacked in this manner, drastic methods are called for and are
justifiable. We strongly recommend the application of the "Chin Jab."
Turn up the whites of your eyes to deceive your assailant and put him off his
guard. Then suddenly shoot both your hands up inside his arms and strike him on the
point of the chin-"Chin Jab."
Keep your fingers and thumbs extended and endeavor to reach his eyes with the
points of your fingers or thumb of one of your hands. Simultaneously knee him in the pit
of the stomach, Fig. 10.
Page number 13
No. 8. Waist Hold (From in Front)
Your assailant seizes you around the body from in front, leaving your arms free.
Place your left hand around and in to the small of his back, simultaneously striking
him on the point of the chin ("Chin Jab"). If necessary, knee him in the stomach, Fig. 13.
Seize his neck with both hands, fingers touching behind, thumbs in front, the
points one on either side of the "Adam's apple." Force inwards and upwards with the
points of your thumbs and towards you with the points of your fingers-then jerk his head
sharply backwards, Fig. 14.
Note: The average person is very susceptible to the discomfort caused by this neck hold
as shown in Fig. 14, and students are advised not to practice it on their friends.
Page number 17
No. 10. Hair Hold (From Behind)
Your assailant seizes you by the hair, from behind, with his right hand.
Bend backwards and seize his hand from above, keeping a firm grip with your
hands, force your head into his hand to prevent him letting go, Fig. 17.
Turn in towards your assailant; this will twist his wrist.
Force your head up and bend his wrist inwards, away from his elbow, Fig. 18.
Note: The success of this method depends mainly upon the speed with which it is
completed and the continuous upward pressure of your head against his hand, combined
with the firm grip on his hand by both of yours.
If, when you are in the position shown in Fig. 18, your assailant attempts to use his left
hand against you, immediately release your hold with the right hand and strike him on the
point of the chin ("Chin Jab"), Fig. 19.
Thanks to "gnarlmaster”
From Scientific Self Defense
by W. E. Fairbairn, 1931
Your assailant seizes you around the body from in front, leaving your arms free.
Strike his chin a hard upward jab with the heel of your right wrist (Fig. 10).
Seize his neck with both hands, fingers touching behind, thumbs in the front, one
on, each side of the "Adam's Apple." Force inwards with the point of your thumb and jerk
his head sharply backwards (Fig. 11).
Seize the back of his neck between the thumb and the fingers of your right hand
and force him to the ground (Fig. 12).
Kick him on the shins.
Knee him in the testicles or stomach.
Thanks to "gnarlmaster"
From Cold Steel
by John Styers, 1952
Page 107
The heel of the hand. The wrist is locked and firm in all attacks with the hand. This is one
exception. With the fingers extended, bend the whole palm back in the same position as
when pushing of leaning palm first against a wall. The palm in this manner makes a
battering ram of your forearm. The natural seat of your palm fits perfectly under the chin
of an opponent. When in close, aim an uppercut at your opponent's solar plexus or chest,
the heel of the hand will sweep up in a natural arc. The heel of your hand, directly backed
by the bones of your forearm, will connect with the impact of a rock. Close your teeth
and try it gently on yourself.
Thanks to "gnarlmaster"
Carl Cestari
Proper execution of the Tigers Claw
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------Extend the hand in a complete line with the forearm, just as one would in forming the
edge of hand blow.
Bend the wrist upward at NO more than a 45 degree angle.
Simply tense and "hook" the fingers slightly. This resembles a Tigers Claw.
This blow is used JUST like a fast and hard LEFT JAB. Piston like, NO fish tailing!
Target the eyes with the "clawed" fingers. As the fingers make solid contact(and it DOES
NOT matter if you strike the eyes or NOT!) the wrist will NATURALLY flex and the
PALM will crush the nose and the HEEL of the hand smash the chin. At least that's the
Now an assailant MUST come into your range to do YOU any damage. Whenever he
DOES...........TIGERCLAW! Once, twice three times........whatever. Get the job done.
Take a lesson from boxing here: How often is a good left lead blocked or avoided? Not
often at ALL. Any boxing coach worth his salt knows the left is your bread and butter so
to speak. As it is with the Tigers Claw.
And...............old boxing cliche' - "lead with speed - follow with power".
Re-read my post under Essentials for more info on the Tigers Claw.
Hope this helps!
With a few exceptions, you should always kick sideways, for you arc thus able to put
more force behind your blow and can, if necessary, reach farther.
Turn your right side to your opponent, putting the weight of your body on your left foot.
Bending your left leg slightly from your knee, raise your right foot two to four inches off
the ground, as in Fig. 7. Shoot your right foot outwards and upwards to your right, aiming
to strike your opponent's leg just below the knee-cap.
Follow the blow through, scraping down your opponent's shin with the edge of your boot
from the knee to the instep, finishing up with all your weight on your right foot, smashing
the small bones of his foot. If necessary, follow up with a chin jab with your left hand
(Fig. 8).
Note. - Where the kick is to be made with the left foot, reverse the above.
Your opponent has seized you
around the body from in front,
pinning your arms to your sides.
1. Having put your weight on one
foot, raise the other and scrape
your opponent's shinbone
downwards from about half way
from the knee, finishing up with a
smashing blow on his foot (Fig. 9).
2. An alternative method to Fig. 9,
permitting you to use the inner
edge of the boot, is shown in Fig.
Note A. - Whether you should use
the outside or inside of your boot
will depend upon how the weight
of your body is distributed at the time. Provided that you are equally balanced on both
feet, you can use either; otherwise, use the one opposite to that on which you have your
Note B. - lf seized from behind, stamp on your opponent's foot with the heel of either
boot, turning quickly and following up with a chin jab with either hand.
Your opponent is lying on the ground.
1. Take a flying jump at your opponent,
drawing your feet up by bending your
knees, at the same time keeping your feet
close together (Fig. 11)
2. When your feet are approximately eight
inches above your opponent's body, shoot
your legs out straight, driving both of your
boots into his body, and smash him.
Note. - It is almost impossible for your
opponent to parry a kick made in this manner, and, in addition, it immediately puts him
on the defensive, leaving him only the alternative of rolling away from you in an attempt
to escape. Further, although he may attempt to protect his body with his arms, the weight
of your body (say 150 pounds), plus the impetus of your flying jump (say another 150
pounds), will drive your heels into your opponent's body with such terrific force that you
will almost certainly kill him. Steel heel-plates on your boots will make his attack even
more effective.
Practice this kick on a dummy figure or on the grass as in Fig. 12.
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