Explosive Hands

Excerpt from Vol. 3 — Page 110
(Updated Slightly)

As it regards the hands, it can often be difficult to learn to attack explosively. It is normal for practitioners to want to utilize power when attacking with the hands, which often leads us to an over-emphasis on power. The over-emphasis on power typically manifests itself in a pre-strike drawing of the hand back or coiling. (This is also one of the main issues with only striking on a heavy bag.)

Sometimes it will even manifest itself in ways that are not directly relevant to power development such as a grimace or change in facial expression. We’ve even heard some MMA fighters who begin to make their “Kiai” before they actually make contact. Additionally, other elements such as weight shifting are also usually visible when trying to strike with power.

Here are some simple methods that will improve the explosiveness of your hand attacks:


1. Put emphasis on knowing what range is required for the tool you want to use.
2. Be patient – only strike when the target is in range and vulnerable.
3. Spend time understanding angles and utilizing the hands in efficient and typically direct ways.
4. Utilize “masking” to hide your hand attacks. One way to mask, for instance, is to strike with one hand to draw a defense, but actually intend to strike with the second or follow-up attack. You can also mask footwork the same way.
5. Let your hands lead your body and then follow with your feet.
6. Keep loose and relaxed, relying on “fast” twitch muscles to make your attacks explosive.
7. To add additional power to your attack, make whip-like energy using the wrist and waist.


1. Don’t wind up for power generation. Use your hands to “zone” areas of the attacker so they are ready to attack when openings become available. “Winding up” will just let the attacker know you’re about to attack.
2. Don’t grimace or make facial expressions.
3. Don’t shift your weight to prepare for the attack. Try to move from good position to good position so you are ready more often.
4. If possible, don’t utilize your feet as a means of propelling your hands. Let your hands be the first to leave and feet propel forward to keep your hands moving.
5. It’s not good to put all of your hope in a single strike. Think “langkah dari batu ke batu,” which translates as “stepping from stone to stone.”

Sean Stark
Founder of Pencak Silat Pertempuran. In looking for a martial art that was practical and artistic I found Pencak Silat. In silat I found an art that's organic nature allowed me to change it to make it culturally realistic and still allowed me to have the benefit of art and body culture.


  • Gus
    August 14, 2018

    Guru Stark,

    It has been a while. I wish that you were close to Indianapolis.

    Miss your teachings.



    • User Avatar
      Sean Stark
      August 15, 2018

      Good to hear from you Gus! Thanks for the kudos. I hope you’re well!

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