Home Science Education Military Combat: Marine Mid Ranged Techniques

Military Combat: Marine Mid Ranged Techniques


Mid range military combat techniques can be vital skills when in the streets and while most effective when used by trained soldiers they can be learned by almost anyone. An added benefit is these techniques can help prevent your hands from being fractured during a confrontation.

As your opponent draws closer to you in combat there are a few techniques you can use that causes little damage to yourself and plenty to your opponent.

Judo Chop

This is something you see played out in Hollywood Kung Fu movies, it’s even made out to be a joke. Austin Powers uses it for his go to move and his opponent always seems to pass out. This can actually be a very useful skill and will save your hand from getting broken. Rex Applegate, author of Kill or Get Killed, says, “The most effective of all hand blows is that using the edge of the hand.”

From the Marine Corps:

The knife hand is one of the most versatile and devastating strikes.The striking surface is the cutting edge of the hand, which is themeaty portion of the hand below the little finger extending to the top of the wrist. The striking surface is narrow, allowing strikes onthe neck between the opponent’s body armor and helmet.

When throwing a Judo Chop, you want to aim for the neck with the carotid artery as the main target. A blow here could cause sudden blood pressure to spike then fall suddenly. At times this leads to unconsciousness in seconds. If you don’t know exactly where the carotid artery is, don’t worry a good blow anywhere on the side of the neck will stun your opponent.

Two ways to attack with a Judo Chop.

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First from the inside, right hand against the right side of their neck.

The Marine Corps instructions for the inside Judo Chop go like this:

Bring the right hand over the left shoulder. At the same time, rotate the right shoulder forward and the left hip forward. Thrust the knife hand forward (horizontally) onto the opponent while rotating the right hip and shoulder forward and the left shoulder backward.

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Second from the outside, right hand against the left side of the neck. The main difference in this is the palm will be up not down.

Marine Corp instructions for outside Judo Chop:

Execute a knife hand by extending and joining the fingers of the right hand and placing the thumb next to the forefinger (like saluting). Retract the right hand. At the same time, rotate the right hip and right shoulder backward. Thrust the knife hand forward (horizon-tally) onto the opponent while rotating the right hip and shoulder forward.

The outside Judo Chop is a bit harder to learn. But if practiced enough it will give a fighter more angles to strike.

Tiger Claw 

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Another affective technique used by the Marines and Army is the Palm Heel Chin Jab or Tiger Claw. This comes when your opponent lunges towards you trying to surprise. This quick counter to the chin can cause immediate unconsciousness.

Cause extensive damage to the neck and spine. The striking surface is the heel of the palm of the hand.

Here’s a step by step instruction on how to do this strike:

Keep the right arm bent and close to the body. Extend the hand into a concave position with the fingers slightly spread apart.


Step forward with the left foot toward the opponent, keeping the feet approximately shoulder width apart and the knees bent. This is done close to the opponent.


Keep the right arm bent and close to the side. Thrust the palm of the hand directly up under the opponent’s chin. At the same time,rotate the right hip forward to drive the body weight into the attack to increase the power of the strike.The attack should travel up the centerline of the opponent’s chest to his chin.

Make the movements as quickly as possible, drive full force into the blow with the weight of your body behind it aiming at your opponent’s chin.

If you want to practice this by yourself, hold your hand at the height of  your own chin and jab up quickly with the other.

You may notice that there wasn’t anything about closed fist striking. Author of 12 U.S. Military Combat TechniquesI Craig Mutton says during his time at the ER, “I don’t remember any broken jaws or cracked skulls. Invariably, though, the one who punched his opponent in the face or head incurred a broken bone in his hand.”

MMA fighters will wrap their hands and wear gloves because it is so easy to break your hand in a fight. Pro boxer Mike Tyson even broke his hand punching somebody outside the ring.

Try using these two strikes in combat and your hands will thank you in the end.