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5 Primary Functions for Hand Strikes

Hand striking is a crucial aspect of many martial arts and combat sports. It is an effective way to neutralize an opponent, create openings, and deliver decisive blows. In this article, we will discuss the five primary hand striking functions: Shuffles, Step Thru, Switch Step, Off-Angle, and Creep. A Function is a movement which moves the body towards or away from an attacker by crossing a Distance Zone.

  1. Shuffles: Shuffles are small, quick steps that are used to close the distance between you and your opponent. They are often used to set up strikes or to move into a clinch. Shuffles are an important part of footwork and can be used to quickly change direction and evade attacks. There are four types of Shuffles which we call Phases. Each Phase is used for a different purpose or timing.

  2. Step Thru: Step Thru is a technique where you step forward with your rear foot to cross a Distance Zone. It is often used to close the distance and set up powerful strikes. Step Thru can also be used to create angles and move around your opponent.

  3. Switch Step: Switch Step is a technique where you switch your lead foot to your rear foot and vice versa. It is often used to confuse your opponent and create openings for strikes. Switch Step can also be used to change direction and move around your opponent quickly.

  4. Off-Angle: Off-Angle is a technique where you move to the side of your opponent, creating an angle from which to attack. It is often used to set up strikes or to evade attacks. Off-Angle movement is usually combined with another Function such as a Shuffle or Jump.

  5. Creep: Creep is a technique where you move slowly and stealthily towards your opponent. The Function uses the toes and slight foot movement to move close. It is usually used to cross just enough distance to allow for the use of another Function. Creep requires patience and good timing to avoid alerting your opponent to your movements.

In conclusion, the five primary hand striking functions - Shuffles, Step Thru, Switch Step, Off-Angle, and Creep - are essential techniques for any martial artist. These techniques require a combination of footwork, balance, and timing, and can be used in a variety of situations to set up strikes, evade attacks, and move around your opponent. Remember to always practice these techniques with a focus on precision and control to ensure they are effective in a real-world scenario.

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