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Hand attacks include punches (using knuckles to hit target), strikes (using other parts of hand to hit target), and thrusts (using parts of the hand that are thrust into target).
Fist shape. Extend your arms in front of your body with the fingers open, straight, and pointed ahead. Curl the fingers into tight fists and fold the thumbs over the fingers with hem laying across the fists. Position the fists so the wrists are locked and the first two knuckles of the fists are aligned with their forearms.
Forefist punch. This is the basic taekwondo punch. When it is mastered, all other punches will be easy to learn.
- Stand in a sitting stance with both fists chambered to the hips with the palms upward.
- Extend one arm so the fist is horizontal, positioned along the vertical centerline of the body, and in line with the sternum.
- Punch the other fist forward into the same position, as the other fist is pulled back to the hip simultaneously.
- Practice this punching motion until it becomes smooth and powerful.
- In later lessons we will learn how to use hip snap and body twist to increase the power of the punch.
Knife hand shape. The knife part of the hand is the padded outer edge of the hand that extends from the base of hand at the wrist to the base of the little finger; this is the area that will impact the target. To shape the hand into a knife hand:
- Hold arm straight out in front of body, with hand held flat (palm up), with wrist locked.
- Fingers are extended and slightly bent. If fingers are held straight, they may be jammed if struck on the ends.
- Fingers are held together tightly; if not, the knuckles may bang against each when hand makes impact with the target.
- Thumb is bent and tucked in against inner edge of hand, so it will not snag on anything and so it cannot be grabbed.