Why are your hands low instead of one of the three hand positions? – The Self Defense Company

Why are your hands low instead of one of the three hand positions?

Home Forums Tactics and Training Questions SDTS Module 2: Advanced Methods of Striking Why are your hands low instead of one of the three hand positions?

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    • #10647

      I noticed in module 2, when you drop back to establish distance into the interview stance, the hands are low instead of the the 3 hand positions.Is that just another option for deception?Or because that is a more natural way to do the advance striking? John Hanson.

      Good catch John and you’re instinct is correct.

      If your hands are in the low position, they really don;t need to be holding each other like they are in position 1.

      The Interview Stance is exactly that – you’re interviewing a subject and taking a position of advantage.

      But having your hands just by your side (as long as you’re at the proper distance) is more natural ins some instances and does enable you to get your target to let down his guard.


    • #12784
      James Goolsby

      Also puts you that much closer to the ol’ “speed bag” strike! Laugh

    • #13101

      I usually get my distance and keep my hands up, and as a strike I tend to cover with the other hand. I noticed in the Module that it seems it is not that important to cover with the none striking hand. Since I have one eye, and even though it does not work well would like to keep it Laugh Any thoughts on this. I do always when confronted with folks I do not know tend to keep my hands high they there but this comes from my Father who was Law enforcement for years and he drilled this into our heads.

    • #13105
      James Goolsby


      Just do what comes natural. If you had cover drilled into you then run with it; it’s not a bad habit, so there’s really no point in trying to change. The important thing is to not get caught up in trying to “block” an attack, but to launch your own attack as quickly as possible. If all you do is block and cover, eventually you will lose ground; his attack will simply be too overwhelming. The quicker you can flip the tables on who’s the predator and who’s the prey, the better off you will be. Defense is important, but offense is more important (as noted by Damian’s quote below.)

    • #13118

      Thanks James and that is what I kind of thought, when I used to teach Kung Fu I told many of my students that many times you have to attack first when you know it is coming, when you see the shoulder drop or the hips start to move then you need to hit hard and fast and keep it up until you have the change to break contact, and get the hell out of dodge, or finish it so it does not continue. I do cover up after I move in. The good part is tht I have not had to fight in years, which is my goal to avoid what I can, but when I have to do what I need too I can. Again thanks brother.

    • #13120
      James Goolsby

      No, problem, brother. That’s what we’re all here for. You’ve got excellent instincts. Now you just gotta let SDTS hone them into a lean, mean, fighting machine! Laugh

      Stay safe.

    • #13146

      Will do but the learn part is going to take some time Smile

    • #13173
      Young Wang

      I always thought that the rule was to always try to have your hands at least a little or a lot above wherever your attacker’s hands are, whenever POSSIBLE. 1st hand position with the hands folded at the waist was only to set up the drop step short edge of hand where the elbow leads the hand so it comes up in an upwards direction, UNDER your attacker’s line of sight so as to MINIMIZE telegraphing and can lead straight into the wind pipe before his ARMS FLINCH and get in the way. The 2nd hand position, likewise, really only makes sense to set up the drop step short of edge hand that travels straight to the chest than rides up in an upwards direction for the same purpose as well. Any other hand position, the 3rd jack benny, hands up, or if you are CAUGHT flat-footed with your hands down, you would be better off using a shoulder stop, tiger claw, a kicking technique, etc. but not the edge of hand since it’s the easiest strike to accidentally telegraph. If you watch the way Fairbairn taught the edge of hand, even he telegraphed the blow slightly. It was Carl who emphasized the interview stance to set up the lead horizontal edge of hand coming in an upwards direction.

    • #13181

      [Young Wang] – that’s right. simply put the hands are the first line of defense. So you need to get past them and keeping your hands slightly above his will give you the best chance. when you go first he will NOT be able to cover. He may move his head a bit, but the next few shots will be lights out.

    • #13188

      Hand position was always drilled into me by my dad growing up. He would always tell me to have them slightly higher no matter the situation because you never know when shtf. So to me it’s just natural to keep them a little higher. Plus if your a little off guard and need to cover in a hurry you would just throw your hands up real quick and bring your chin down similar to the startle flinch taught by Tony Blauer with the SPEAR system. He even states when ever possible have your hands a little higher. I’m not sure if it’s just a general rule of thumb but it does help you react quicker.

    • #19464

      You know, my favorite part of the whole SDTS “system” is still, and will always be, the drop step.

      When I first saw that described, a light went on, because it was something I already understood instinctively, but seeing it described made it a conscious realization.

      It is also the real “secret” behind SDTS.

      It also makes the debate of hand position irrelevant.

      Why is the drop step the most important thing?

      Well, first, in a high stress, violent situation, if you don’t run away, your instinctive response will be to close distance with your opponent. This is why, for example, guys end up wrestling on the ground, a lot of times.

      In such a situation, you instinctively realize that to maximize the probability of damage to your opponent, you need to be as close to him as possible, for greatest leverage, and to displace his center of gravity with your own.

      Movie fights, or sport fights, at distance aren’t going to happen in life or death situations.

      Very much like sex. You want to be on them hardcore, as soon as possible. You can’t do a whole lot of meaningful damage from a distance.

      The drop step just naturally flows right along with this instinct.

      Second, I would say that when you violently close distance as soon as possible, you will jam and neutralize your opponent’s attacks, even if he’s already in the process of throwing a punch, kick, whatever.

      In other words, if a guy begins to throw a punch, and you simply immediately run into his ass, his punch is useless.

      So, for example, the idea of a “flinch” response is useful if surprised, but you can also “flinch” by stepping INTO whatever is coming at you. If a weapon is involved, then the flinch merely involves a minor deflection enroute to the opponent.

      But, the drop step IS the flinch. It IS the most important thing.

      Thirdly, the drop step is most important, because it delivers to the opponent your most dangerous tool of violence, which is that of YOUR OWN BODYWEIGHT.

      Because, whatever appendage you decide to crush him with, it is your BODYWEIGHT that is doing the real damage. It is your bodyweight that also makes it so much easier.

      Further, if the opponent is already moving to you when you drop step your bodyweight into, say, his throat, then that piece of trash is going down real hard.

      If a guy swings a bat, and you violently charge into it, you’re going to neutralize it.

      And, how hard is it to learn the damn drop step?

      SO simple. So vicious. So easy. Solves SO many problems simultaneously.

      Try to charge a fortune in classes to learn the simple “defense” tactic of running into a guy attacking you.

      The only reason it may seem strange at first, is because you’ll naturally freeze, wanting to run away.

      So, you condition to react INTO the opponent, rather than away.

      You don’t condition a “flinch” response of a static forearm shield. That’s a defensive, losing mindset. Better to combine the dropstep with forearm to the throat. Same movement, except…it’s MOVING INTO the opponent.

      Your mind is the weapon, and your ENTIRE BODY is the tool.

      It’s important to remember that you are smashing your opponent with your ENTIRE BODY. Whatever extension of it happens to hit him is merely a question of convenience and targeting.

      Just a shoulder into his solar plexus, with your ENTIRE BODY, as he’s unloading something will be far from pleasant. And, how hard is that?

      Hell, a 90 lb chick could put me down with that, if I was dumb enough to do that.

      Fourth, the drop step just naturally allows you to crush ankles, insteps, and feet, etc, in that same natural forward movement of your ENTIRE BODY. These are often overlooked, but generally easy to get to when you are MOVING INTO THE OPPONENT.

      The important lesson of the drop step is to MOVE INTO the opponent at all times. INTO, INTO, INTO, INTO, INTO.

      Until he’s dead or you decide to be merciful, because he’s now writhing in pain beneath you, dreading his imminent delivery to the devil.

      If I was training people, we would do nothing but the drop step for an entire day. They’d drop step like five miles, shoving a BOB on a cart all over the place. Because THAT is the foundation.

      Not just physically, but mentally.

    • #19465

      As an addendum, I would add that the philosophical construct of the drop step is equally effective psychologically and emotionally.

      That is, the natural inclination of the individual is to flinch away, or run away, from unpleasant realities, or truths, or realizations, or problems.

      But if you charge into them, you will find them much easier to deal with.

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