Open Palm Strikes in MMA

(Last Updated On: July 13, 2018)

Ever noticed that you don’t usually see open palm strikes in mixed martial arts? It’s not a move you will see that often but it’s definitely an advantage to know how to do them properly.

What are open palm strikes?

Otherwise known as open hand strikes, open palm strikes include multiple strikes used in martial arts to attack or defend without using a fist. Think karate chop for instance. These types of strikes are really advantageous since you can quickly grab the opponent to perform a follow up like a throw or pull into another strike. There’s a lot of extra control that a punch just doesn’t give you, although there’s also a higher chance of damage to the hand or fingers.

5 Useful Open Palm Strikes in Jui Jitsu

When it comes to self-defense, learning open palm strikes can be very useful. There are five of them that we’ve chosen to highlight in Jui Jitsu.

Straight Strike

Using the base of the palm, you can hit the bridge of the nose. This causes pain, and if there’s enough force, you can break the nose. When you don’t want to injure someone seriously though, you can put the palm on the tip of the nose and press back and forth as you push your palm in. The pain from pushing on the nerve endings can push someone away.

Open-hand Hook

This looks like a big slap, but trust me, it’s not. It’s kind of like a hook punch, and can stun someone or knock them unconscious. You hit the skull to rattle it to cause the stunning effect. If you hit the ear drum, you can cause lots of pain, but even if you only hit the face, you can definitely distract someone enough.

Ridge Hand Strike

This strike is usually used on the brachial plexus origin, which is near the collarbone. This nerve results in serious stunning and possible knockouts. Use the inside of the wrist bone rather than the actual hand. You can also use the inside knuckle to attack the nose or the temple if you’re in a life-threatening situation.

Back Hand Strike

Use this strike also on the brachial plexus origin. It’s as simple as slamming the back of the wrist bone into it.

Open Hand Uppercut

The open hand uppercut is kind of like a traditional uppercut, so get close to your attacker to use it. Striking the jaw can stun or knock someone out thanks to the damage to the temporal mandibular nerve, which is right behind the hinge of the jaw. Basically, the jaw slams into the nerve, causing sensory overload that can shut down the brain.

Why It’s Not So Commonly Used in MMA

These types of strikes aren’t used much in MMA, even if they’re not actually against the rules. They’re just frowned upon by many refs because there’s a higher chance of poking the eye. You could end up being penalized if that does happen, since eye gouging is against the rules.


Training how to strike with an open palm will always come as a surprise to your opponent so learning the correct technique is going to give you a massive advantage in your next fight.

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