The Palm Heel Thrust Discussion Thread
Inspired by the YMAS women's self defense thread, I'd like to try and do some analysis on one of the striking techniques which has always bothered me the most: The palm heel thrust.
I'm sure you all know it - like a straigh punch, but instead of culring your fist like god intended, you instead blasphemously open your hand and straighten your fingers back to strike with the meaty part of the palm. I'm sure you all learned it as part of a taekwondo self-defense move when you ten years old.
I see it being commonly advocated by self-defense types as a better alternative to punching, on the grounds that a punch which goes awry and strikes the bony skull part of the head instead of the fragile face part can lead to an injured hand. A palm strike, theorectially, does not have this problem, and is thus better suited to self-defense.
Now, in my own counter-hypothesizing, it seems that a palm strike gone awry could easily lead to fingers being bent back violently, wrists suffering the same fate, or palm meat being lacerated against teeth.
But more importantly, that's all hypothetical. Never once have I seen anyone throw a palm heel thrust in any type of stand-up striking match, with either success or failure. The closest I've seen are the palm strikes in gloveless MMA events like ZST and Pancrase, but even then, the strikes coming in swinging from the sides (a la "power slaps"), rather than down the center like a jab or straight right would. What's more, these strikes were only used in events the rules mandated them by dissallowing punches to the head, and in bareknuckle events like Rio Heroes, the fist is certainly dominant over the palm strike.
Thus, I am tempted to dismiss the palm thrust out of hand as another worthless and esoteric striking technique, which was only popularized in martial arts and RBSD circles as an attempt to "be cool" and differientiate themselves from more mainstream or sport-oriented martial arts in which the closed-fist punch was the dominant means of striking.
I'm curious as to the opinion of other individuals on the palm heel thrust, and if anyone ever has seen it working. If there is, for example, a wealth of Pancrase fights that slipped through my eyes in which fighers were KO'd by palm heel thrusts, or some candid video of a street fight in which someone unleashes the deadly palm heel thrusts learnt in his RBSD classes to devastating affect on his opponent, then I would obviously have to rethink my position on this particular strike.