Reverse Knife Hand Strike - Marine Corps Martial Arts Technique

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Reverse Knife Hand Strike - Marine Corps Martial Arts Technique

This page examines the reverse knife hand strike used in the Marine Corps martial arts program. Overall, this section focuses on gray belt techniques used by the Marine Corps martial arts program. Information from Public Domain Document, MCRP 3-02B, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP).

For more Marine Corps techniques, please visit the main Marine Corps Martial Arts Program section. If you are searching for hand techniques used by other martial arts styles, please visit the main Punches & Hand Strikes section.

Inside/Reverse Knife Hand Strike

The inside/reverse knife hand strike is primarily used after performing the outside forward knife strike to attack soft target areas of the body. Results of the attack can stun the aggressor, allowing you to conduct follow-on techniques. The striking surface is narrow, allowing strikes on the neck between the body armor and the helmet.

Striking Surface

The striking surface is the cutting edge of the hand, which is the meaty portion of the hand below the little finger extending to the top of the wrist.

Target Area of the Body

The primary target area for the knife hand strike is the neck.


~ Assume the basic warrior stance.
~ Execute a knife hand by extending and joining the fingers of your right hand placing your thumb next to your forefinger (like saluting).
~ Bring your right hand over your left shoulder. At the same time, rotate your right shoulder and hip forward.
~ Thrust your knife hand forward (horizontally) onto the aggressor while rotating your right hip and shoulder backwards.
~ Rotate your wrist so that your palm is down. Contact should be made on the aggressor with the knife-edge of the hand.
~ Follow through the primary target area with your hand and rapidly return to the basic warrior stance. See figure 3-7.


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  1. Information from Public Domain Document, MCRP 3-02B, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP),, Added - 06/16/15

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