The Hammer Fist Knockout Self Defense Technique

Imagine having the ability to knock somebody out using a single strike. Not an easy task under the stress and chaos of a real street fight, right? I mean by now you should know that when your adrenaline is jacked up, your fine motor skills, the ones needed to pull off complicated martial arts moves, goes flying out the window. The truth is that the only things available to you to defend yourself are gross motor skills — those techniques that don’t require a lot of practice to master and are so basic and powerful that they’re easy to employ even under the most violent conditions.

Here’s one of the most powerful self defense strikes you can use in a real street fight that packs the power to knock out your attacker with a single blow…

How You Can Knock Somebody Out With A Single Strike — The Hammer Fist

The actual hammer fist punch is amongst the strongest self defense strategies because it’s firmly based on gross motor skills. It takes advantage of utilizing the underside of the closed fist rather than the actual knuckles to avoid damaging your hand as is common with a regular punch. The contact point for this self defense strike is right next to the wrist where the hands and arms tend to be most rigid for the striking surface. Basically, you use the hammer fist blow just like you’re hammering a nail into a piece of wood. Should you strike the correct spot using a hammer fist, you can most definitely knock somebody out.

Hammer Fist Targeting For A Knockout Blow

To knock someone out with the hammer fist self defense technique, it’s critical to get your targeting dodwn. One of the best targets for a knockout is surprisingly the jaw. In fact, you may have heard of boxers having a “glass jaw.” The reason being the actual jaw, which moves sideways as well as forwards and backwards, is actually attached to nerves exactly where the jaw connects to the skull, just beneath the base of the ear. These nerves send out signals to the body’s nervous system, making them perfect target in order to induce an instantaneous knockout when struck properly. Here’s how you can strike this particular target in order to accomplish a knockout.

How To “Hammer” The Jaw To Get A One Punch Knockout

You basically now have two targets you are able to hit with a hammer fist to get a knockout. You can hit the jaw exactly where it attaches to the skull, striking right where all these nerve fibers intersect. An additional choice would be to hit the bottom part of the chin using a hammer fist, striking horizontally, giving you much more leverage This helps to create much more of a jolt to the nervous system. Just make sure that when you throw the hammer fist, you’re near enough to hit powerfully. Keep the elbow near to your own body so that you have the total power of your overall weight behind the strike, and don’t forget to keep your hand and wrist as rigid as you can.

Superior Self Defense “Sneak Attack” For A One Punch Knockout

When you find yourself locked in a real street fight, you’ll find that individuals instinctively tuck their chins down in order to safeguard their throat. In addition, when trading punches, it’s natural to for them to clench their teeth intuitively when they believe they may get hit. Consequently, the optimum time for you to hit the jaw or the chin happens when your attacker is actually speaking, which means his mouth will at least be partially open and more susceptable to jarring the nerves. Therefore, when you know that an attack is imminent because of the way your aggressor is talking smack, the ideal time to use your hammer fist knockout blow is when he’s talking. When he states how he’s about to kick your ass, this is your justified opportunity to strike first in self defense. In addition, since his jaw will be moving, it will be in the ideal placement for your hammer fist strike to knock him out with a single blow!



  1. JOSEPH DIGGS says:

    Good info. for everyone especially Widowers and the Elderly who are often left alone.

  2. Retired Green Beret says:

    Excellent technique and explanation. There is, however, a caveat. School teachers, as a group, are often targetted and attacked by adolescents and young adults who have issues with their authority. The dominant attitude insofar as many supervisory and administrative individuals are concerned is that the teacher should and must be able to handle the situations in such a manner as to not have to contend with an escalation to self-​​defense (color that “violence”) to begin with. This latter group is clueless as to the reality of today’s society. Kids are more prone to violent acts against adults and often times emulate the same disdain towards teachers that their parents and other self-​​serving idiots do.
    I had to defend myself several years ago against a student who announced that he was “going to kick yo ass, #@%$!” at the very moment that he turned and swung on me. I sustained a slight discoloration to the left underside of my nose because I stepped in before his punch reached its full force while also delivering a suto-​​haito in response. I only had one hand free. He and his cronies never saw it coming. I knocked him out with one blow and his buddies, who were beginning to crowd me, quickly backed off.
    Although I defended myself (as is my right), certain members of the school district’s office sought my dismissal. I am still a teacher more than ten years after. Even though I was consequently “censured” with an unjust and insulting letter of reprimand, if I had it to do all over again, I would still defend myself and, as you stress, with the least amount of effective force and effort necessary.

  3. R Taylor says:

    Big ups to the teacher who defended himself. I taught in New Zealand for 16 years, at a few rough schools (as well as some very nice ones) and had to break up a lot of fights (I remember having to disarm a child trying to stab another with scissors) , as well as protect myself on occasion — it’s such a fine line you walk in that profession, be too cautious and get beaten up, be too bold and get fired, good on you for sticking with it. Luckily I had martial arts experience (karate and judo) from very good instructors before I started teaching. Otherwise I think it would have been impossible. How teachers who don’t have competent self-​​defence skills cope, I don’t know ? (which is a sad comment on education today)

    Anyway, about the hammerfist, great video Jeff. It’s such an under utilized technique ( I’ve worked on this one in SD sparring situations) unless it’s a preemptive first strike, it’s quite hard to land without setting it up. I reckon that the Karate block (uchi/​soto) uke is really just a hammer fist, where the chamber hand is actually meant to clear a path by wiping away/​grabbing any hands that are in the way –and should be taught as such (either that or an arm bar, but that’s another story). How do you feel about targeting the temple, or side of the head ? The jaw can be a tricky target, but the side of the head is much easier to strike, and I know how much force this strike generates (having had to smash a car windshield with it). Anyway, great video thanks for sharing this resource.

  4. Jason says:

    the problem with this strike and why its ineffective is the positioning of the arm. It’s force is reliant upon hip rotation. The hammerfist strikes with the side of the hand. If his opponent were to simply dart back he would have a total oppourtunity to strike with essentially no risk of being blocked or avoided. Not to mention if the hammerfist arm were to be entrapped somehow the angle of the elbow that it is thrown at puts the attacker in a vulnerable position.

  5. Agustin Bernal says:

    I like the hammer fist as an immediate follow up to a open handed face smash, or straight palm strike to the face._As son as you deliver either the palm strike or open handed face smash, grab something like the opponent’s hair or shirt collar and then rain down one hammer fist after another on his face and head until he’s out.

  6. thetruth says:

    A right cross sucker punch can be delivered much quicker than the hammer punch & has a much better chance of landing clean. Even if it doesn’t have as much force as the hammer blow it should at least knock your opponent down and daze him. After that you’re limited by your imagination only. But only use it when you absolutely have to.

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Jeff Anderson

Jeff Anderson is a 10 year veteran of the U.S. Army, a Master Fitness Trainer, and Master Instructor of Close Quarters Combat self defense. A full time fitness and self defense author, Jeff has trained thousands of men and women in the practical application of advanced military fitness methods as well as close combat tactics for "real life" self defense.

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