why dont mma fighters use palm strikes more

why dont mma fighters use palm strikes more

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that allows fighters to utilize a variety of striking techniques, including punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. However, one striking technique that is not commonly used in MMA is the palm strike. This article aims to explore the reasons why MMA fighters do not use palm strikes more frequently.

1. Limited Range and Power

Palm strikes typically have a shorter range compared to punches. The physical structure of the hand and the positioning of the fingers make it difficult to generate the same amount of power as a closed fist. This limitation in range and power can make palm strikes less effective in certain situations, such as when trying to knock out an opponent.

2. Risk of Injury

The bones in the hand are more exposed during a palm strike compared to a punch. This increases the risk of hand injuries, such as fractures or sprains. MMA fighters often prioritize protecting their hands to avoid compromising their ability to grapple, clinch, or throw punches effectively. The risk of injury associated with palm strikes may deter fighters from using them frequently.

3. Less Precision and Accuracy

Palm strikes require a larger surface area to make contact with the opponent’s body compared to punches. This reduces the precision and accuracy of the strike, making it more challenging to target specific areas, such as the chin or the liver. Precision and accuracy are crucial in MMA, as fighters aim to exploit their opponent’s weaknesses and maximize the impact of their strikes.

4. Vulnerability to Counterattacks

When executing a palm strike, the hand is open and exposed, leaving the fighter vulnerable to counterattacks. The opponent can easily grab or manipulate the open hand, potentially leading to submissions or takedowns. MMA fighters often prioritize maintaining a defensive posture and minimizing their vulnerability to counterattacks, which may discourage the frequent use of palm strikes.

5. Lack of Training and Familiarity

Traditional martial arts that emphasize palm strikes, such as Wing Chun or Silat, may not be as commonly practiced in MMA training. MMA fighters typically focus on a combination of striking, grappling, and wrestling techniques. The lack of training and familiarity with palm strikes may result in fighters being less confident in their execution and less likely to incorporate them into their fighting style.

6. Rules and Regulations

MMA has specific rules and regulations that govern the sport. Some organizations may have restrictions on certain striking techniques, including palm strikes. Fighters may choose to prioritize techniques that are permitted and widely accepted within the ruleset to avoid potential penalties or disqualification.

7. Adaptation to Different Fighting Styles

why dont mma fighters use palm strikes more

MMA fighters often come from diverse martial arts backgrounds, such as boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or wrestling. Each martial art has its own set of techniques and strategies. Fighters may choose to focus on techniques that align with their specific background and style, which may not prioritize the use of palm strikes. Adapting to different fighting styles and integrating palm strikes effectively can be challenging.

8. Evolution of MMA

MMA has evolved over time, and fighters have adapted their techniques accordingly. The sport has become more dynamic and fast-paced, with a greater emphasis on combinations, footwork, and head movement. Palm strikes may be seen as less effective or less efficient compared to other striking techniques that have been refined and proven in the context of MMA.


While palm strikes have their advantages in certain situations, there are several reasons why MMA fighters do not use them more frequently. The limitations in range and power, risk of injury, reduced precision, vulnerability to counterattacks, lack of training, rules and regulations, adaptation to different fighting styles, and the evolution of MMA all contribute to the infrequent use of palm strikes in the sport. MMA fighters must carefully consider these factors and determine the most effective striking techniques to incorporate into their arsenal.

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