Slapping in Combatives

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Thread: Slapping in Combatives

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Slapping in Combatives

    What would you rather endure from a training partner, a punch to the chest at 25% power or a slap to the face at say 15%? I for one will take the punch. Slaps are too often over looked when it comes to combatives.

    Slaps are intuitive and much easier to become efficient with than other hand strikes. One of the biggest problems with teaching people to strike efficiently is getting them to follow through and visualize the energy going beyond the target. Due to the open hand and arc of slaps, it is much easier.

    Lets talk about targeting with slaps. First, and most obvious, the head. A power slap to the head is more likely to effect the Central Nervous System, Circulatory System, and Structural System than any other strike. Here is why, picture yourself slapping someone across the face/side of the head as hard as you can, I mean really putting your hips into it. Upon contact it will overload all the nerves of the face, the eyes will involuntarily close as the head snaps back at a 45 degree angle. This is the Central Nervous Systems disruption, not only is the brain being over loaded by the sting of the slap, but the brain, and Ocular nerves are also being violently smashed into/towards the side of the skull. Structural System disruption is being achieved by the cervical vertebrae being instantly squeezed together. As the head moves back and to the side, the body is taken off center and your attackers base is destroyed, if only for a second. Using your hands large surface area to the target rich area of the face/neck increases the likely hood of either striking the Vegus Nerve, which provides information about the state of the body's organs to the Central Nervous System, or the Baroreceptor which serves as your body's thermostat.

    A few classes ago an advanced student volunteered for a little experiment. After donning the appropriate protective equipment, headgear, and mouthpiece for him, and eye protection for me, we proceeded. Standing within arms distance with an exposed G17 airsoft in his holster, the directions were simple, whenever he was ready he was to draw the pistol and try to shoot me. I in turn was supposed to only defend myself by slapping him in the side of the head. He drew the gun and I slapped, luckily "checking" my slap instead of following through. Both of us being right handed, as soon as he was slapped his head spun back and to his right, my pinkie struck below the headgear and made contact with the Baroreceptor. His gun, just out of the holster fell to the floor out of his limp arm and I moved forward to grab him before he hit the ground. Took him a few minutes to recover.

    Moving onto other targets, MCS never relies on pain to make techniques work but we don't mind it helping either. I along with many reading this have higher than average pain tolerance than others who don't train. That said I have found that pain tolerance has little to do with things that sting, like being smacked across the lower back or even the chest. A powerful slap to the chest causes the arms to go out to the side and then forward, as the chin snaps violently to the chest. My other favorite is on the inside of the leg, halfway between the knee and groin, easier to strike than the groin. Causes people to open their legs to establish base, this in turn exposes the groin.

    So in closing, maybe you should consider adding the slap to your striking repertoire.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    One thing that my Jujitsu sensei really drove home was using the body as your guide for strikes. Parry an incoming punch (we didn't actually block much) and just run your strike down their arm into their face or neck (I'm a neck man, myself).
    We used an open back-hand slap as an alternative strike if we felt that the full-tilt chop or backfist wasn't in order (aggressive panhandler, unarmed drunk in a bar, etc) and I can say with authority that that slap to the side of the face or jaw wasn't lacking in effectiveness in any way despite being fired from a backhand strike.

    Slaps are definitely good stuff, but don't forget that your hand has two sides to use for them.

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Now you know as a fellow Ju Jitsu guy I love me some backhands, they are just not as instinctive to teach as regular slaps. Also love it up and under the chin, especially if they are talking.... with their tongue in between their teeth.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    The only time I spend under the chin when bonking are spear hand looseners (the sound they make is a really fun way to start your sequence), uppercuts, and shutos.

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    A little pic, I purposely hit high to show the compression on the neck.


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    Senior Member Array Matthew Temkin's Avatar
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    These Swedish/Polish officers have been teaching slaps for quite some time.
    Slavo

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    Nice pic! Like most good picks of that type, it kinda hurts to just look at it. I spent almost a week with my head tilted about 10-degrees to the left due to getting hit like that once. It sucks to try to work as a server when you can't turn your head...

    I also forgot Chin Jabs on my list. How I did that is completely beyond me as I keep mentioning the bloody things in my posts. Of course, a Chin Jab is a bit of a palm strike/uppercut...

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    Senior Member Array unloved's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    Of course, a Chin Jab is a bit of a palm strike/uppercut...
    I like chin jabs.

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychophipps View Post
    Nice pic! Like most good picks of that type, it kinda hurts to just look at it. I spent almost a week with my head tilted about 10-degrees to the left due to getting hit like that once. It sucks to try to work as a server when you can't turn your head...

    I also forgot Chin Jabs on my list. How I did that is completely beyond me as I keep mentioning the bloody things in my posts. Of course, a Chin Jab is a bit of a palm strike/uppercut...
    Easy, I need material for future articles.

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    My bad!

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Good post. Slapping is often VERY overlooked and underrated. I've learned via both training and school of hard knocks that there are certain places and times i would much rather take a full on Mike Tyson punch over a properly applied slap.

    I actually used to practice my slaps. I've discovered that if you utilize your arm like you would a bullwhip(meaning your entire arm is loose and your hand basically takes the place of the cracker on the end of a bullwhip), the force applied when your hand hits your target is just as high if not higher than a good cross.
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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    I always use the example of snapping a towl since I lost my bullwhip:)

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    Senior Member Array mojust's Avatar
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    My Krav Maga instructor thinks punches are overrated. We work a lot with open hand blows -- not slaps exactly and not palm-heels, but something in between. A focused open hand shot can do a lot of damage. Also prevents broken hands.
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    Good thread.

    Well, if you're going to slap the face/head area you might as well think about cupping your hand a bit....hit the ear and rupture AKA blow out an eardrum.
    That is an incredibly instant and totally disorienting pain.

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    Interesting, I would not have thought about the power of a 'slap'.
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