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Drill Palm press to move an opponent

Skill learned

Teaches how to move a working stance forward and engage an opponent to move their body.

The ability to move forward and then move your opponent is a skill that is the foundation of many striking arts. While this drill uses your body momentum and frame structure to engage and move the target, it is important to remember that the skill is also useful for moving by an opponent.

How to

Get into a working stance. Not a kicking stance if you come from a big kicking background. You want to be grounded and have your center well seated in your stance.

Start with one hand on the hip and the other roughly on your sternum palm out. Your palm is not directly in front of your sternum, but slightly to the side to allow your elbow to stay at your side. The elbow is down and tucked gently at your side. The foot forward has the hand on the hip.

Now step forward with the back foot staying in stance with your center properly placed in the cradle. As your palm reaches the opponent, let your forward momentum start to push the other person forward. The goal is to have your center moving forward and use the kinetic energy of your body to start to move the opponent.

Now that the opponent is moving backwards press your palm forward with a constant pressure until your arm is mostly extended. Keep the elbow down because it allows you to keep the forward energy you generated by moving your center forward pressing your arm forward. If you roll the elbow up and use the shoulder you will use the shoulder muscles instead of the core muscles and lose a lot of the benefit of your core.

Repeat with the next step by moving the palm up as you step to engage the opponent. Lower the previously used palm as the new one rises.

To use this skill to move by an opponent, simply step into the opponent off their center and press your palm forward through the target so that the opponent rotates or slides out of your way. You can also let your palm pass the target, roll your elbow slightly up but keep it down enough to not engage your shoulder muscles and then press the forearm and then the elbow along the opponent. This technique will act as a wedge and force the opponent’s body to move to the side.