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A 'hammer fist' is any strike with a closed fist that impacts with the bottom of the fist instead of the knuckles. It is most commonly employed in ranges 2 and 3.

Advantages of Hammer Fist

Hammer Fist

Hammer Fist striking surface

Striking with the bottom of the fist has many advantages over utilising other striking surfaces found on the hand. In particular, the muscular tissue of the area is more prone to bruising than breaking in the event of accidentally striking a hard, bony surface which gives the hammer fist a significant advantage over striking with the knuckles or other bony areas. Despite the softer striking surface, however, the hammer fist's striking surface retains sufficient density to be significantly impactive. This strike is unlikely to damage the bones of the hands as there is no compression of the knuckles or metacarpals, and there is typically no leverage to bend the wrist. 

The hammer fist is also a highly versatile striking method, allowing for an unusually great variety of striking angles and trajectories to be followed. Strikes can be employed downwards, sideways (inside and outside), diagonally (inside and outside) and backwards (upwards, sideways and downwards) from the perspective of the striker with relative ease and efficacy.

Disadvantages of Hammer Fist

The hammer fist has few disadvantages when compared to other striking methods, but the following are notable:

  • As with all closed-fist striking methods, grabbing (whether for control or tissue destruction, gouging, etc) is slow and difficult to effect compared to open-handed striking methods.
  • Striking straight forwards is inefficient at range 2 and beyond as the stability of the wrist is difficult to maintain at these ranges.