I am still going through the Phil Pierce book, Self Defense Made Simple. The author recommended something I did not believe at first. Pierce recommends palm strikes for your first line of defensive blows. I had spent my years practicing clinch fist punches.
He asks the reader to press palms against a wall and then knuckles. Which one hurts worse? The knuckles do. Pierce elaborates that fist punches lead to more injuries for the person throwing the strikes.
I immediately rejected this advice, but something inside said, “Try it. Try practicing with palm strikes.” Why should I stick with the same routine? Training something different gives new techniques.
The next time I was in the backyard I did a very quick shadow box. The speed with palm strikes was astronomical. For someone who is not a 27 year old MMA champion, I was impressed with how fast I could target areas using the insides of my hands.
The other advantage with palms is the simplicity. Your mind does not have to process clinching and rotating. Keep in mind; in self-defense situations, your brain cannot afford wasted activity. You have to be focused in keeping safe.
I learned two valuable lessons. First, do not stick to what you do all of the time. You can improve your abilities by listening to others. Second, palm strikes are remarkably practical and fast.
Thankfully, having to defend yourself is very low probability. It is arguably somewhere between getting into a fender bender and winning the lottery. Practicing self-defense can be more about exercise, fun, and feeling better in your environment.
When it comes to training, listen to others, and give palm strikes a chance.