Orange Belt Open Hand Strikes

In this section we discuss strikes where both hands are open upon contact. Try practicing these strikes when the hands are a) open the entire time, and b) opened just before the moment of impact. Using both techniques will ensure you can use these strikes regardless of how your hand was originally structured or positioned.

Soto Shuto Uchi – Shuto Uchi

Utilizing this strike involves striking downward into a target area using a Soto Shuto Uchi[glossary] and then striking with a Shuto Uchi, generally to a different target area. Both strikes are performed using the same hand. The most obvious targets are the shoulder-neck area, followed by a strike to the throat. You may wish to consider how this same striking combination might be utilized for an opponent who is bent forward, or alternately, bent backward.

You could also employ this combination to strike the outside of an incoming strike, forcing that arm down and inward, thereby exposing the face and neck to the second strike.

Naturally you should minimize the time between these strikes. However, as you gain experience you will be more concerned with hitting a specific target at a specific time than with simply doing it fast. But in training you should work to maximize your speed as it is usually easy to go more slowly when required.

You will find that a shift in your center position will likely be required between these two strikes. This is largely due to the fact that two different targets are involved. As you practice this strike on a variety of different target areas pay attention to how your center must move, shift or rotate in order to complete both strikes effectively.

Morote Jodan Cupped Hands

The [glossary]Cupped Hand strike can be delivered simultaneously with both hands, most commonly to the ears. These strikes can cause dramatic pain to the ears of an assailant. This is seldom truly viable in a conflict (the opponent will likely move or have a guard in place to block at least one of the strikes). But this combination can be quite useful in the case where someone has grabbed you around the waist from the front such that your arms are not entrapped. In this case the opponent has his or her hands both occupied down low while your hands are free to strike without hindrance to the Jodan level. The strike is usually not possible if the opponent has pinned your arms at your side as they grabbed you around the waist.

This strike can be most useful if the opponent has also lifted you from the ground. You can apply the strike repeatedly until the opponent decides to release you. But you must be prepared for this release; it is not likely to be done politely.

Morote Jodan Shotei Uchi

Similar to the Morote Jodan Cupped Hands, this combination involves striking with the palm of both hands, most commonly to the side of the face at or near the jaw joint (though other Jodan level targets are possible as well). Again, it is most useful in a waist grab where the opponent has little or no protection from strikes to the face.

Morote Nakadaka Ippon Ken Tsuki

Like the previous two striking combinations, this is most useful in a waist-grab situation. The middle knuckles of both hands strike simultaneously to the temple area as a way to induce your opponent to release their grip. Naturally, striking with Morote Ippon Ken Tsuki would also work in this situation.

Juji Ippon Nukite Uchi

This strike involves using two concurrent Ippon Nukite Uchi to strike to the eyes of an attacker. You can deliver these strikes by placing your palms so they face each other, or placing the back of your hands together. In either case the index fingers will be at about the proper distance apart to easily strike both eyes concurrently. If striking with the palms together it is essential that the other fingers tuck under and protect the index finger. If these fingers are not curled sufficiently then the index fingers may be two far apart to simultaneously impact both eyes. This support for the index finger is also critical to reduce the chances of injury should your strikes miss the eyes and hit the bony surfaces in the forehead or immediately below the eyes.

If striking such that the backs of the hands face one another then you will need to consider how your hands and wrist must be oriented to ensure the fingers are at the correct level and have the correct spacing. This take some practice because it is an unnatural hand posture. You will want to practice this until you feel you can deliver this strike reliably in a stressful situation.

Morote Jodan Shuto

When striking with this combination both hands form a Shuto. The two hands overlap each other and then the two Shuto Uchi strike at the target as one single event. The hands can overlap in two fundamental ways. Firstly, the hands can be set so that a V-shape is formed by the two outside edges of the hands. Secondly, the two hands can completely overlap one another so there is effectively one stronger striking surface.

Whether the right or left hand is on top is a matter of preference but may be dictated by what you intend to do next.

Kakuto Uchi – Kumade Uchi

Commonly known as a Chicken Wrist to (Bear or) Tiger Claw, the first strike is a Kakuto Uchi that impacts beneath the chin, forcing the face up and backward. This same hand then rotates and opens to form a Kumade Uchi or Tiger Claw and the palm of the hand is driven downward into the upturned face. The two strikes are issued in rapid succession so that the opponent does not have time to move his or her head between the two strikes.

The heel strike from the Kumade Uchi is likely to be very powerful, but there is another advantage to this strike. If the opponent is wearing glasses then the Kumade Uchi can be used to strip the glasses from the face. If the fingers are opened and spread more to form a Tiger’s Claw, then this same stripping motion can also be used to rake the fingers through the eyes.

You may wish to note that the Tiger’s Claw is one of the few finger strikes to the eyes that is effective against someone who is wearing glasses. Most eye strikes involving the fingers will result in more damage to your fingers than to the opponent’s eyes if the opponent is wearing glasses.

Kakuto Uchi – Nihon Nukite Uchi

The prior striking combination is nearly identical to this strike except that a Nihon Nukite Uchi is used as the second strike. This usually targets the eyes and will almost always result in significant eye damage due to the focused downward force slamming into the upturned face. The second strike may have little or no effect if the opponent is wearing glasses (though in this case it may cause injury to your fingers).

Haito Uchi – Soto Shuto Uchi

This single hand Keiretsu combination can be used in at least a couple of different ways (can you think of more?). The first is to strike to the Gedan Level with a Tate Haito Uchi, return the hand immediately to guard position and without stopping, extend the hand forward and down as a Soto Shuto Uchi to the Jodan level. This can be used as a defense against a frontal shoulder grab and pull type attack.

A second application is to use the first strike more as a Mawashi Haito Uchi that strikes to the opponents head, likely causing the head to tilt away somewhat from the direction of the strike. In this case the hand is not returned to guard position but instead the wrist quickly rotates and a Soto Shuto Uchi is delivered to the neck or shoulder area. This combination is not especially powerful but works well as a lead hand combination that might be followed by a more powerful back side Atemi or Keri. It also an effective and fast combination that can be used to good effect in Kumite.

Nukite Tsuki – Soto Shuto Uchi

The most common use for this combination is to strike first to the abdomen with a Nukite Tsuki and to then strike with a Soto Shuto Uchi to the neck or shoulder. The fastest way to transition between these two strikes is to simply bend the elbow of the striking arm downward which automatically raises the striking hand upward in preparation for the second strike.

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