The Importance of Keeping Your Hands Up

Keeping your hands up in self-defense is crucial for effectively protecting yourself and responding to attacks. Scientific evidence shows that the speed of a punch can reach up to 9.14 meters per second, leaving minimal reaction time. When hands are kept up, they form a protective barrier, allowing for quicker blocks, deflections and counterattacks. In contrast, keeping hands down significantly delays your defensive response, as the time taken to raise them can be the difference between deflecting a blow and getting hit. This delayed reaction increases vulnerability and decreases the likelihood of effectively defending oneself against an assailant.

Researchers found that Olympic-level boxers have a hand velocity of 2.14 meters per second. In another study, scientists at the University of Manchester measured former world champion Ricky Hatton’s punching speed at 40 km/h (11.11 meters per second), giving opponents less than one-tenth of a second to evade his punches.
From a tactical perspective, it’s not necessary to reveal your intentions through your hand positioning, but keeping your hands above your waistline significantly increases your chances of success in a self-defense situation.

You can read more about Hatton’s experience here: