Hock Hochheim's Combat Talk Forum

General Category => Unarmed Combatives => Topic started by: smsybert on April 02, 2006, 09:20:36 PM

Title: Punching
Post by: smsybert on April 02, 2006, 09:20:36 PM
I have heard disturbing rumors/opinions that punching is "becoming a lost art in this country".  Have any of you heard of this? What are the elements of a knockout punch? What can men and women do to increase punching power? Thanks, in advance, for your help.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: TAC on April 03, 2006, 12:43:18 PM
The whole concept of hands being broken from punching has probably lead to a decrease in punches being used for SD.
A contributing factor is that today's RBSD favours palm strikes over straight punching and slapping palms over hooks (as used in the old WW2 hand-to-hand combat manuals)
So ultimately punches are left only to traditional martial arts like karate, TKD and kung fu, and also to sports like boxing and MMA.

Personally, I can't get rid of punching. I understand the risks of breaking/damaging my hand but from years of TMA and boxing i've developed some good punching skills. Also, the bones in my knuckels have calcified to the extent where i can hit solid objects (harder than bone) at high speeds without breaking my knuckles. So... besides using my palms a lot I PUNCH PUNCH PUNCH. Simply because it'll save my ass.

But... I wouldn't recoment using closed fists to people new to martial arts /  self defence. I do it coz I can, but that's all.

If YOU want to develop punching power I could give a huge explanation here on how to use your bodyweight and momentum to give good follow-thru power but that would take too long and would be hard to understand. So here's the simple answer - take up boxing.



ps - Elements of knockout punch? Aim for the jaw.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: smsybert on April 03, 2006, 02:25:12 PM
Thanks, Sharif, for your advice. I, too, have seen punching discouraged in some SD circles. Maybe the fist is not the best weapon on the human body but it's the most convenient. I figure, might as well learn to use it effectively. And, if you bruise your knuckles, you won't feel anything until later,lol. :D Thanks again.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Professor on April 03, 2006, 07:29:40 PM
Thanks, Sharif, for your advice. I, too, have seen punching discouraged in some SD circles. Maybe the fist is not the best weapon on the human body but it's the most convenient. I figure, might as well learn to use it effectively. And, if you bruise your knuckles, you won't feel anything until later,lol. :D Thanks again.



Title: Re: Punching
Post by: TAC on April 04, 2006, 02:19:03 AM




Yep. Love those too.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: raswic on April 05, 2006, 02:09:10 PM
I have noticed this also. As I teach old school BKB, i am only saddened by this. The bare knuckle punch is, IMHO, misunderstood. One thing is conditioning. Sharif is right that after training, the knuckles toughen and calcify. The old timers would actually soak their hands in brine to toughen the skin. Not saying we all should do that, but when working on the heavybag, take the gloves off. This will aid in conditioning. But more importantly, learn how to throw a punch. I feel that the modern sport of boxing has done more to ruin true punching, then almost anything. Because of the gloves that protect your hands, you don't worry so much about fist/wrist positioning. Study any of the old texts and it is the first thing taught. The vertical fist for straight punches (both lead and rear) is used because it promotes proper wrist allignment. I always recomend Championship Boxing by Jack Dempsey. It is the most detailed description of how-to throw a punch. He started off as a BKB in hobo fights, and he carried that over into the ring. But fist allignment and proper mechanics are the "secret" to a KO. That and target. 
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: smsybert on April 14, 2006, 09:54:10 PM
Thanks for the input, raswic. Now,if I can find ol' Jack's book........

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: mleone on April 16, 2006, 07:26:45 AM
Too many people have gotten boxers fractures look at Mike Tyson a once seasoned boxer.
Broke his hand in a street fight.

That does not mean we should discard it. I still use it. The opportunity presents I take it.
But your first strike doesnt have to be a punch.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: raswic on April 16, 2006, 08:18:52 PM
Mario's right. I use that Tyson story all the time. In BKB there were two punches that were used quite frequently that today are almost never mentioned. The Backfist and Chopper. These two punches were what the BKBoxers used to save their hands from damage. Also there are more then a few accounts of open hand strikes. Learn both and used them accordingly. Hell, Bas Rutten shattered a guys cheek with an open hand strike. But he still uses punches.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on April 16, 2006, 11:02:18 PM
Let's not forget that Tyson never trained to punch bare knuckles.  No boxer does.  They wrap their hands when they train, they use bag mitts, and they wear gloves and taping when they fight in the ring.

I trained from day one to punch bare knuckles, used a makiwara and push ups on my two large knuckles to condition them to deal with the bare knuckle punching. I don't wrap them hitting either focus mittls or heavy bags.

In all the fights I've ever had I've broken my right hand twice.  Once hitting a guy wearing a motorcycle helmet (he refused to take it off...I still split the helmet and knocked him out) and the other was when I clipped a guy with the knuckle of the little finger which is the worst knuckled you can hit with.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Kentbob on April 16, 2006, 11:04:19 PM
Just like everything else, punching has its place.  Against soft targets, preferably.  Remember, don't be a headhunter.  Learn how to punch, and I feel that you will learn how to throw a number of other strikes.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: mleone on April 17, 2006, 07:46:10 AM
 I have learned and taught to hit targets that often "present themselves". Combat scenarios are awesome for this or hit based off of a basic reaction.(we all react different). Now I am not talking about some "scars" bullshit.

Im talking about if you web strike the guy in the throat. You have options to his else where when he is choking on his tears. Just capitalizing off some open targets. But what I see with novice students is the lack of committment after the first shot. You must follow up with a flowing attack.

The least expected actions disorients.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Ed Stowers on April 20, 2006, 08:07:00 AM
I've suffered two metacarpal fractures in my time punching things.  One was pretty serious, the other less so.  While I agree that punching does have its place and is sometimes the only option to you have in a given situation, I can't recommend it as the best way to do things retgarding hitting the head.  I should point out, too, that both of my fractures were during training, not during a fight, so there was no adrenline rush, and my experience certainly wasn't anything like Ninor's.  I did all of the karate-style knuckle conditioning, too, withthe makiwara and doing knuckle-pushups. 

The problem with the first incident was that it was a structural misalignment caused by me doing some experimentation during training, in that I was mixing a katate techique for punching with a Wing Chun technique, and it was a bad combo.  The karate style uses the heads of the first two metacarpals for punching with a strong wrist alignment.  The Wing Chun Chung Choy punch uses the smallest two metacarpals with a bullwhip type delivery and no hip movement.  When I added the powerful karate hip twist in with the Wing Chung alignment...ow, it broke, and it broke good.  The second time was an accident and only a minor fracture...however, both hurt a lot and put me in a cast for 6 weeks and have left minor residual effects.

I think the problem is two-fold.  One is the ever-mentioned muscle memory.  You do what you train to do when you're not thinking.  The other is that people are--men in particular--by social conditioning, head-hunters.

I believe the first one is the real problem, which is exacerbated by the second.  The head is simply harder than your hands will ever be.  You can hit it okay under the right conditions, and get away with it, but in my opinion if you do this a lot a broken hand is a matter of when, not if.  In the swirl of a slugfest, getting the proper alignment and execution may be problematical.  I think conditioning an auto-response of punching the head into your muscle memory is setting yourself up for a self-imposed injury.  A target of opportunity, like a heart shot or a bladder shot, may indeed be an appropriate target for a punch.  But most people fire them off automatically and almost always aim for the head.  I think that is a bad idea, strategy-wise.  At least my own experience seems to back that up.  One of the objectives of delivering any blow is to hurt the enemy, not yourself. 

The most important aspect of this is that punching usually isn't necessary.  There are other ways to hit that are just as powerful and risk your hands far less.  The problem is our social conditioning: we're all taught that punching is how you fight like a man.  That's the way Pa did it.  That's the way movie stars do it.  That's the way boxers do it.  This bleeds into your psyche over time.  Then you lock that into your muscle memory and as soon as a fight's on, that's what you do without thinking.  Pow!  Potential broken knuckle or wrist.

I'm not so sure that punching becoming a lost art is a bad thing in terms of self-defense.  It might well be so in TMA, where it is the core of some arts.  I do know I can hit much harder with a palm or elbow than I can ever hit with a punch...at least at power levels that would seriously hurt my fist.  It may or may not deliever as much damage potential to my target, but it delivers an equivalent amount with far less risk to me.  But I also know that when the scatalogy hits the oscillating turbine, you will do exactly what you trained to do if the need is fast and furious, because you won't have time to think.  Because of that. I think it's best to load your auto-responses with things that don't poentially hurt yourself if you can.  I've really de-emphasized punching in my own toolkit for that reason.  But that's me, and we each have to find our own way along the path.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: raswic on April 21, 2006, 02:11:13 PM
The major problem I believe is that punching is not being properly taught. Dempsey makes a great case in his book. Damage to the hand is decreased significantly when the hand, wrist and arm are in proper alignment. The use of the two lead knuckles (index and middle) leads to a weak, improperly aligned punch. When using the three lower knuckles the hand wrist and arm, all the way to the shoulder, is in alignment. This makes for a stronger, harder punch, causing less damage to the hand. There is a simple experiment Dempsey has in his book. Stand in front of a wall about 3 feet away. Extend the arm and lean forward. Let the fist land against the wall on the first two knuckles with a horizontal fist. Look at the bend in the wrist. Now do it and land with the three lower knuckles with a vertical fist. The hand, wrist, and arm make one strong solid line. Take the time to learn proper technique, and you will have less damage.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on April 21, 2006, 04:51:20 PM

I never did agree with Dempsey and his 3 knuckle method.  The japanese and Okinawans came up with the 2 BIG knuckles.  I've been hitting with them forever and only had two problems, once when hitting a motorcycle helmet and the second when I clipped a guy with the little finger knuckle and broke it.

All the karate mates I had who worked doors only ever broke the small knuckles of the hand.  Goes to reason, small is not going to stand up to impact as well as BIG.


Wing chun get away with it because they don't use hips in their punch.  Rotate the hips violently and punch with the bottom three and they'll shatter.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: mleone on April 21, 2006, 06:21:08 PM
I have always been into top 2 knuckles due to many "boxers fracture".

Ninor whats your view mate?
(I got a civil ware saber for ya)
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: raswic on April 21, 2006, 07:32:29 PM
 I had the opposite experiences. When I was doing the Asian way of using the two first knuckles I was constantly hurting my wrist. After I was introduced to the BKB way of the three knuckles, I was fine. I found I was hitting harder and more sure, and not hurting. The thing with the BKB three knuckle method, you aren't just using the knuckles, but the whole pad. If using just the knuckles then the danger of breaking them is there. But use the whole area and the energy is over a larger area not concentrated in just the knuckles. But I'm not here to try and change anyones minds or how they do things. I respect what and how you do things. Obviously it has worked well for you. Just stating what I have observed and experienced.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on April 21, 2006, 08:18:57 PM
Not a problem mate...that's what forums are for.

My problem with the whole pad deal is that you're spreading out the force over a larger area which means less penetration.

The principle behind breakfalls is, rather than fall and land all your weight on say your hand, you aim to land with as much asyour body hitting the ground at once as you can which spreads the shock around.

Same with a broomstick and a spear.  I poke you hard with the broomstick and you'll get a bruise.  Poke you hard with the spear and it'll go through you and come out the other side.

Re the wrist injury..that's what the knuckle pushups were for..not so much to condition the knuckle as to build up and strengthen the wrist.

Still, as you say, each to their own. I'm sure people have been knocked out with both methods.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Ed Stowers on April 25, 2006, 02:42:46 PM
Ninor, you must be awesome, shattering a motorcycle helmet with a punch!  What do they feed you guys down-under?   :o

Yep, I added the twist of the hips to the Wing Chun technique and that's what broke my hand (the first time).  The break itself wasn't nearly as bad as the "treatment" for it was.

I believe Bruce Lee came to this same assessment about punching heads--to a degree-- when he fought (sport dueled) Wong Jack Man in his kwoon in California.  From what I've read, he had to chase the guy around the room and he kept shooting punches into the back of Man's head, and it wasn't very effective, which was supposedly one reason he decided to modify his style.

Raswic, I don't think the problem is so much that punching isn't correctly taught or practiced.  Certainly every karate class I've ever been in spent days and days on it.  In my opinion, it's just that you can't set it up consistently in a real fight when things like punches are flying fast.  Sometimes you can, but sometimes you can't.  So, you end up with an automatic way of striking that risks your hands as much as the opponent's body.  It can and often does work.  But I still don't think it's the best strategy to follow relative to hitting the head.

One of the problems with using traditional Bujutsu methods of hitting (in my opinion) is that traditional Japanese warriors were willing to take a lot more physical punishment just to deliver thier shot than the average modern person is.  In a society that revered seppuku (ritual disemboweling) merely for honor's sake, taking a few bone-breaking shots would not have been considered a very stiff price.  Compared to dying, it's probably not.  But I'd rather avoid it.  The point is that samurai didn't really care if they lived or died as long as they did their duty and got their opponent.  Most of us are simply not... like that.  I guess there is a certain sense of western manliness in feeling good about knocking the guy out even though it broke your hand...on the other hand (pun intended) fighting is something I do as a last resort; it's not my primary occupation and certainly not my hobby.  Having broken my hanhd twice--despite LOTS of training--I prefer not to do it anymore if possible.  I think there are simpler ways to hit as hard without risking your hands to the same degree.

Then again, I'm only a mere mortal.   ;D
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on April 30, 2006, 09:28:33 PM

I didn't have much of a choice...he wouldn't take it off during the fight.  I had no intention of breaking it...figured if I hit him hard enough it would still cause "brain splash" and he'd go down.  As it happened it split in two but I have no idea as to the condition of it beforehand.  In other words, for all I know, it was fifteen years old and had been through several accidents.  I've never been tempted to try it again with a new one because my hand was fooked up for a LOOOOONg time.

I did see Dave Arnold in England break a US football helmet belonging to a crew member at the Cowes Yachting Festival with a hammerfist.  They were working out in his gym and said something disparaging about karate.  Dave grabbed the helmet out of the guys bag  and smashed it wich put an end to the coments ;D

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: raswic on May 01, 2006, 05:50:06 PM
 I look at it from multilpe angles. One is that for centuries professional BKBoxers fought this way and had minimal hand breakage. The use of the three knuckle pad and the vertical fist are proven through hundreds of years of actual fighting. The Chopper or Hammer was one of the most common punches used in BKB. Also the head as a target was saved until you wore the opponent down or created an opening for the KO. The majority of the strikes in BKB are to the body. These are all part of what I ment by improper teaching. Even though most karate schools spend days on it, is that really enough time? Most people I know who took karate can not punch at all. In BKB everything we do concerns safety to the hands as they are your tools. Break em and your out of work. I do believe you can set up punches in a real fight. I see it all the time. It comes with practice. Most people don't practice enough. Granted they aren't training for a pro fight, I understand, but they still don't go over it enough to have it ingrained. I firmly believe if you want to learn the proper, safe way to punch, look to those that did just that.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Trainer on May 01, 2006, 06:34:43 PM
Ninor! I know who you are now! I remember reading an article you wrote a looooooooonnnnnggggg time ago. It made good sense to me as a teenager, in a martial arst mag whos name I no longer remember, it was a veerrry long time ago (not to suggest that you are old ;D). It actually helped to put me on the path that im on now, so thanks mate!

"Goes to reason, small is not going to stand up to impact as well as BIG."

I call this the small bone, big bone theory which basically states that a small bone will break/dislocate etc before a big bone will IE knuckle (small bone) to jaw (big bone) in comparision that is
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on May 03, 2006, 03:17:05 PM
I call this the small bone, big bone theory which basically states that a small bone will break/dislocate etc before a big bone will IE knuckle (small bone) to jaw (big bone) in comparision that is

I do think that is true. I think this, that you can look at person's hands and predict whether they should primarily be punchers or not. If the hands look "fine," if the knuckles and joints are boney? As compared to the those hulk, meaty hands we see people have.

I have always had problems with my hands, wrists, (and ankles) in this regard, but there are some folks who won't that much. A good instructor should oversee this when a student starts to build their own 6 to 12 survival tricks.

But if the student wants to start teaching? he has to work on and know the meaty hand material too!

I try to teach both ways in the big picture.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on May 03, 2006, 05:03:28 PM

Glad I had some impact :D  That would have been Fighting Arts International where you read the piece.  Yep, it was a loooonng time ago :) and yes, I'm not old - yet.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Trainer on May 04, 2006, 06:25:06 AM
Ya I think that was it, you were dressed in DPMs and squared off against another guy with a blade. From memory, i think you were talking about what "normal" is is someparts of the world, then gave an example of some people who killed some guy in a bar and then tried to play soccer with his head all th ewhile laughing. I believe that he made a fairly decent attempt at removing the head. I think that was it anyway!

The upshot was it had a real impact for the future with respect to gaining and keeping real world skills and thus far has kept me alive in the various shit holes i have worked in.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Irishtacticts on May 22, 2006, 01:12:55 PM
The bottom three knuckles are the best due to the wrist bing hurt. as long as make the punches act like punches not wrecking balls then they shouldnt get hurt. and if you practice punching they wont break. on rule about striking weapons soft to hard, hard to soft. like palms to fore head and fist to nose, that way you can get the most out of your tools.

also develop callaces so as to keep them from dammage.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Ed Stowers on June 05, 2006, 08:49:07 AM
I can't agree with the lower knuckle theory.  I've have hurt myself seriously twice using the bottom three knuckles with power blows.  That is, using the Wing Chun-style Chung Choy punch with a lot of body power against a non-yeilding target.  Something as solid as a skull bone has proven harder than my hand more than once.  And the metacarpals of the lower handbones are especially unforgiving in this regard.  Oh, it worked fine in Wing Chun practice where you punched focus mitts or aimed at the opponent's rather soft nose, but if you crank in a lot of twisting body power (admittedly NOT a Wing Chun tactic) you can definitely hurt yourself.  I know; I've done it.  I don't recommend it for anyone else.

Besides, I always kind of wanted my punches to be "wrecking balls."  Otherwise, why am I using them? Unfortunately, they also possessed the potential to wreck my hands as much as the other guy's head.  Callus helps with not breaking the skin, guys.  It has nothing to do with not breaking bones.  It's like wrapping leather around a club; sure , it gives you a little more protection, but if the blow is strong ienough the club will still break.  If you use your knuckles a certain way and you hit hard enough, it's a matter of how strong the bones are and the angle the force is applied at.  At some point in power or angle, the metacarpal--particularly the "neck" of the metacarpal bone--will break.  This is why I believe if you must punch, then you should punch softer (body) targets, not hard ones, and you'd best use the first two metacarpals, not the bottom three, especially if they are power shots (as opposed to whipping, backfist-type shots).

I'm not saying you should never punch.  I can't make a blanket statment like that.  In some situations, that may be what is called for or the target that's available.  You can usually, however, with a little forethought in training, auto-load a better option (provided you have any "fore" thoughts about this subject).  But I, for one, want to de-emphasize it in what I do as much as possible.  It's just too easy to hurt yourself if you start slugging at high speed and with little control, no matter how much callus you have.  It's simple physics, as far as I'm concerned.  I guess we all believe what our experience teaches us, and apparently not everybody's experience is the same.  My experience in this regard has been painful.  Every time that old Templar knight from Indianna Jones and the Last Crusdade appeared by my side and said: "You chose...poorly."

I may be slow, but I get the message eventaully.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: mleone on June 08, 2006, 12:53:40 PM
Recently my opinion is changed in regards to punching.
Body mechanics is crucial top 2 knuckles seem to really cause a metacarpal problem.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Ed Stowers on June 08, 2006, 02:43:09 PM
Care to expound upon that ,Mario?
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: mleone on June 09, 2006, 04:34:10 AM
The only thing I can tell you Ed is Hit a really tight and stiff heavy bag. Something with no resistance. A very very stiff bag. You will feel it if you fall off line...The wrist will bend a bit and effect the metacarpals.
Top two are supposed to align with the straightness of the forearm. So if your off a bit you feel it up in the metacarpals.

Basically if your offline from your target a bit you will feel it in your wrist.

Mccaan showed me a new way.... Something I would have to physically show and share.
Couldnt be explaiined really. So Im working what he showed me!

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: raswic on June 12, 2006, 06:14:01 PM
I agree, Mario, about the bag. We use an old tackling dummy from football. It's alot stiffer and unbending then a regular heavy bag. I'll have to get up to Jim's to have him show me that one.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: kariookami on June 16, 2006, 08:38:20 AM
As I write this, my left thumb is still sore, even though the injury itself occured mid last week. At my dojo we were doing some light contact sparring, just working on movement and broken rhythm. My opponent zoned to my right, spun slightly and threw a back kick, so I moved in, caught his leg and threw him forward. He rolled with the throw, getting back to his feet, but I'd followed closely and as he was rising up and turning toward me, I threw a jab to the side of his face. He instinctively ducked and turned, and the side of my thumb glanced hard off the side of his skull. I couldn't move my thumb at all for the rest of that night, and I didn't even throw the punch hard! It was only a few days later that I could actually bend my thumb. It still hurts to apply direct pressure to it. I'm now quite a convert to Hock's points about the dangers of striking with a closed fist. The only punches I feel any confidence in throwing now are hooks when on the ground, but even then I'm finding slaps work quite well. Just my 2 cents.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: mleone on June 16, 2006, 08:54:41 AM
If you really think about it!

Percentage wise, how much of the human head is actually soft? Logically?

Its basic surface anatomy. Just take a look visually for a second and observe.
Cheek Jaw Nose?

A chin jab is a great shot!



Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on June 16, 2006, 03:05:44 PM
It was only a few days later that I could actually bend my thumb. It still hurts to apply direct pressure to it. I'm now quite a convert to Hock's points about the dangers of striking with a closed fist.

You know, you go along, and go along, and go along, then one day...boom!
It happens to you. And if you are like me you wonder how did I survive this long?

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: ghostrider on June 16, 2006, 05:36:19 PM
It sounds like you learn as you go and that surviving happens because you keep training and learning. After awhile you get smarter and perhaps a little better because you pickup good advice and get rid of the bad. Punching can get tricky because you are using the fist...4 fingers folded into the palm and covered by the thumb which in turn is connected to the arm by way of the wrist. Depending on genetics and conditioning through training, the punch is going to be good or bad. Punching is indeed a method which takes years to perfect, and then anything can go wrong in a situation. But that's like anything...things happen. All you can do is keep training and keep learning, keep learning and keep training.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on June 16, 2006, 06:16:51 PM
And, you can practice your punch.
Perfect your punch.
Count on positon and structure of your punch...

But you can't count on the position of his head. The range of his head. The motion of his head. I think you can count on one thing, though, his head will probably be moving. Less with a sucker punch, more with a mutual battle.

I think punching is important. I have knocked people out punching. And, body punches can rock somebody's world. Just when you get above that cheek bone.... or when he ducks forward or to the side....


Title: Re: Punching
Post by: kariookami on June 16, 2006, 07:47:59 PM
Hock, absolutely. I've been in a couple of fights, but they all started in, or jumped right into, clinch range, so they all ended with knees, elbows, and takedowns. After last week I counted my lucky stars I haven't been in a situation yet where throwing punches happened because that hit took that hand out of the fight. Thinking about the situation on the subway ride home today after work I don't think I have a problem with body shots, but I'm keeping everything above the neck open hand from now on. What an eye opener. I've been doing martial arts for 9 years now, running the gamut from Krav Maga, to Go-Ju ryu karate, to Wing Chun, and JKD, so I think it's safe to say I have some experience with how to throw a punch. It's not my punch which was messed up, it was my opponent's head ducking and turning at the last moment which caused my fist to hit a target I would never have purposely aimed for. Lesson learned. In a fight we can't control where our opponent is going to move (unless you have  him in a lock or hold). We can control where we're going to be and what we're going to do. I can't always account for where his head is going to move, so I'm part of the open hand above the neck camp now.

Side note: I've been sitting on the fence WRT closed hand strikes for the last month now. I chatted with my coach, with Burton Richardson, Mark Hatmaker, and others about it, and I really couldn't get a satisfactory answer either way. I guess experience gives you the most defining answers sometimes...
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on June 16, 2006, 08:23:17 PM
Kario et al,

I understand what your saying (and I feel your pain ;)) but I don't buy the "I'll never punch again because I broke my hand argument"

Have you ever eaten seafood/chicken/meat that was off and got food poisoning?  Was your answer "That's eat I'll never eat seafood/chicken/meat again" or next time are you just a bit more careful?

I have a good mate in Oz - demon streetfighter - one night he came home having palm heeled some buck toothed git and ending up with two big gashes in his palm from the guys teeth.   He went to bed, went to work the next day complaining his hand was getting sore, went to bed that night to be woken up by throbbing pain in his arm and red lines up his forearm.  He went to the emergency room where he was treated for massive infection and there was even talk of something called gas gangrene.  The Dr at the time said "a few more hours and we'd probably be lopping your hand off."

So, following you guy's logic he'd be on a forum saying "I'll never palm heel again"

The bottom line is ALLfighting is risky...you could land a perfect punch/palm heel and the recipient's head hits the curb and you do time for manslaughter (if you're lucky)...you could punch someone who ducks, clip his head and break your hand, you could, as in the case above, end up with teeth in your hands and an infection, you could throw a kick and pull a hamstring, or slip and fall on your arse and crack your tail bone.

The list is endless but I'm sure you get the idea...no technique is foolproof, either at working or leaving you immune from injury...Steve had done loads of palm heels (and punches) prior to that one and never got hurt...one night, one wrong move and bingo.

What I would advise is, whatever you opt to do, practice it like buggery, practice being accurate, and practice being fast.


PS:  There's just something satisfying with bone on bone contact that you don't get with slaps and palm heels.  The other thing, and I'm sure a physicist could explain the reason behind it, but the bone on bone of hitting a skull isn't as bad as it would initially seem when you look at the above diagram.  That's because when I hit the head the guy moves...think of the momentum balls on the executive's desktop meaning a lot of the force that would travel back up my arm actually dumps into the recipient of said punch.

The other thing to consider is that most men, when mad, are going to ball their fists up.  May as well teach them the best way to do it.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: ghostrider on June 16, 2006, 11:01:04 PM
Working off instinct...until you train that is! We can plan but then there is reality. Never quit practicing and perfecting the punch, but just don't aim for the mouth. With all that said always train and keep your punches handy. There is indeed something satisfying about the punch when it's done right. Haven't had a time when I couldn't hit with it but I made the choice on how. I do keep my striking variety accessable when needed though. Variety is the spice of life.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on June 17, 2006, 07:28:02 AM
Side note: I've been sitting on the fence WRT closed hand strikes for the last month now. I chatted with my coach, with Burton Richardson, Mark Hatmaker, and others about it, and I really couldn't get a satisfactory answer either way. I guess experience gives you the most defining answers sometimes...

I don't think it is an either/or, "never-do" again issue. It is one worthy of awareness. I just know that somewhere in the 1980s I became more of an open hand fighter than a closed fist fighter, but I still punched the body, but low on the head.

Remember, my friends Hatmaker and Burt are sports and art guys to the deep core. They live and teach in a different world of mats and gear and rules. Myth of the stand-off, duel. Matched weapons. Fighting stances. Such discussion with those guys truly upsets the applecart of a lifetime of their training. I know Hatmaker understands this, but I am not to sure Burt does? I mean really deep down does. Hat teaches the sport of what he teaches. He knows this and that is fine. But taking such that muscle memory to a brawl?

You won't get a good answer because in the abstract, play world of sports pretending-to-be-reality, these issues do not rear its head. (no matter how tough these guys talk). Even the UFC guys bust up their hands with frequency, and they are wearing those tight, support goves that increase tensel strength. Almost anything on and over your hands, dramatically increase the protection. And watch and see how many of their punches land on shoulders and defending arms of their opponent.

Suddenly everyone's focus mitt drills, all their bag drills, all their boxing drills suddenly comes into question. EVERY SYSTEM. karate! Wing Chun! Thai! Sport leakage! Subtle sport cancers! It is sort of like a discovery that your religion is wrong.

It is VERY hard to seperate the sport from the reality. It takes CONSTANT oversight. It seems impossible to get an answer form these people. Mindlessly blasting away at focus mitts and heavy bags and bullet man suits are not accurate representations of punching validity in a street fight...

When we went to one of my old-school, karate teachers complaining about the punch that aims for the nose... our officers were aiming there, many suspects reflexively ducked their head forward and MANY of our gurs were breaking their hands with one punch (this includes my best friend and karate buddy who conducted this questioning...in a cast) We suggested aiming lower, to compensate for the obvious and reflexive head duck. The karate chief had no answer and would not, could not chainge the target point. Also the reflexive, side head drop vs an incoming hook punch has taken out quite a few hook punches.

ONE of the MANY martial arts frustrations in my frustrated martial life.

The possibility of hurting your hand looms large. This is not a small, remote possibility. Also, your fist can also be cut by teeth. So can your elblow!

I wish two things...

1) instructors MUST warn students of the possibilites, and so-called reality folks must increase the striking options and not let punching dominate their strategies.
Jez! At least warn your people! JEZ! This is a high percentage event!

2) evaluate the size and shape of their student's fist. Some people have giant hamhocks for hands and  get away with punching better (This is an important point!)  Others do not have such thick hands. When you help them construct their personalized favorite 10 or 12 survival things? Steer them to strikes with the most endurance.

Rereading this entire thread is good to do also to keep restating things.

You go along, you go along, you go along....and then it happens! And you wonder, how did I get along this far?


Title: Re: Punching
Post by: kariookami on June 17, 2006, 08:58:59 AM
Nick, you make a good point there. Especially about the chicken ;D. I think, however, in that case with your friend getting cut in his palm, I'd rather heel palm and mess the guy up and get cut (then go immediately afterwards to get medical aid to prevent/stop infection), than throw a punch to the face, have him duck, break my hand, and then be in a worse position in the fight. But you're right, I'm sure things will change in my approach in the future. That's one of the great things about martial endeavors, we're constantly evolving :). I know I'm still at the stage where I have a reactionary approach to stimulus. I hurt my hand, thus now I don't want to throw any closed fist shots anywhere above the neck. Still trying to work past that and look at things more objectively.

It is VERY hard to seperate the sport from the reality. It takes CONSTANT oversight.

It feels like a constant up-hill struggle. My training partners keep asking me, "Why do you spend so much time researching this stuff?" Well, because if I don't I'm going to fall into some traps. The sport leakage one being one of them. We've got decent mount escape where I currently train. We bridge and knee our opponent in the back so he falls forward and posts, hold close around the lower back, then foot control, bridge and roll. From the guard hit the guy in the crotch, then guard escape (protecting yourself) and get to your feet. I just read an article this morning from one of the UK combatives guys and his mount escape was even simpler. Bridge so he posts, climb up a bit, bite his nipple off, and the guy scampers right the heck off of you. I was astounded. Why haven't I thought of something that simple before? Why? The reason is simple. Even though we have a street focus where I train, we use MMA methodology, and that seems to curtail my own thought process. Sport leakage. Dangerous stuff.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: mleone on June 17, 2006, 09:45:22 AM
There really is no absolutes.....
Your situation and enviorment and position often dictates the weapon you use...

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on June 17, 2006, 10:50:03 AM
. Bridge so he posts, climb up a bit, bite his nipple off, and the guy scampers right the heck off of you. I was astounded. Why haven't I thought of something that simple before? Why?

Don't feel so badly!
How often are you fighting bare-chested men with their nipple exposed?
Just a few layers of clothing can really intefere with that bite.
That idea is virtually useless to the military and citizens living in countries with a fall, winter and early spring weather.

It is a "myth of the duel" solution, were participants dress or don't dress a certain expected way.

CONSTANT oversight!
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: kariookami on June 17, 2006, 05:02:24 PM
Aye. That whole myth of the duel is really a big problem with the martial training I've done up until this point. I think the whole thing this morning was that biting didn't occur to me at all while I was doing my training. Mindset, mindset...

Hock, I'm pretty darn psyched for your Florida seminar!

Thankfully very rarely have I had to fight a bare chested man with his nipples exposed. As has been said, if you're confronted in a dark alley by a big man wearing nothing but a speedo... run!  ;D
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: ghostrider on June 17, 2006, 09:34:48 PM
And again it gets back to what your training for! Sport or the reality of the street or war zone. What works for one doesn't mean that it works for the other. I have a copy of Haymaker's video of Boxing and chain drills. He does a good job of explaining how your stance should be, how to move and punch, as well as, grappling drills. But I consider that as a part of training, not the whole. It's definitely a part of the MMA arena but it's a useful tool for knowledge. I just wouldn't depend solely on it. Being well rounded requires me to develop from all sides useful to self-defense. It's as much a mind development as a physical. Using drills as a way to develop, but not depending on them for the whole.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Ed Stowers on June 27, 2006, 01:32:42 PM
Yep.  I don't think I advocate "never punch" either.  You just can't do that.  Every situation is unique.  But I do see punching as a tactic...sort of like biting; however, I don't think it's a good approach to build a whole fighting strategy around, it's simply one tactic of many.

As a strategy, however, I think anyone who has had any fight/combat time or even general life experience will generally agree (though I am sure there is at least one exception who will claim otherwise somewhere) that Murphy's Law [Everything that can go wrong will go wrong and usually at the worst possible moment] is pretty much a constant.  No matter how well you train or plan or try to do things right, reality has a way of changing the conditions so that you just can't get it perfect or the way you planned very often, at least not when the rubber meets the road.  Mr. Murphy always seems to raise his ugly head at the worst moment in combat.  I think this needs to be acknowledged and planned for in training.  Accepting Murphy's Law as part of the natural "environment" of fighting, I think a better stragegy is to program your responses in such a way that you minimize the risk of injury to yourself as much as possible.  Not automatically resorting to "metacarpal-on" fist punching as your basic striking method seems like a better strategy to me (although, with two previous broken hand injuires, I am admittedly biased).

But, as Nick pointed out earlier, combat is a dangerous thing.  You can't make it safe.  Nothing works every time.  I think your overall strategy should assume a worst-case type of thing, where your blows will not often land correctly.  They hit at weird angles, glances off, or arrive mis-aligned.  If it hits perfectly, well goodie for you.  But in the real dynamics of body movement, fear, and violence you get in a real fight, trying to do things like properly guage distances and align perfectly for fist-punching shots may be dicey at best.  Opponents don't just stand there.  I have decided that punching with a fist is not going to be my basic striking strategy...though a target of opportunity may allow it to be a tactic, depending on the situation.  But you have to weigh the risk versus the benefit in that situation--and usually it's happening too fast to even realize what's happening, much less think about it, during a slugfest.  At least, that's been my limited experience.  And my experience has made me choose poorly in the past.  Yeah, it's a wonder we survive at all.

We talk about punching as part of combat, and it goes back to this whole silly idea that combat is, or should be, settled with your hands and feet.  This is an undue influence from sport-fighting, and is is VERY HARD to get rid of in our thinking.  True combat is about survival and should be settled with the best weapon you have available at the time.  This often means using weapons first, and the hands and feet not at all.  Hands should be a last resort in combat.  In less-than-lethal fighting this may not be the case, but I think it helps to clarify the type of combat we're talking about when we discuss these issues.  But I think an over-reliance on sport-fighting strategy often leads people in combat situations to try to fight with their hands first, i.e., punching, when they ought to be grabbing a weapon instead, if it's available.  Our habit patterns often get us into lots of trouble in real life.  But that is a subject for another thread.

That said, in terms of hitting, with Murphy's Law and the physical dynamics involved, I think it's safe to say that if you (a) get into a lot of fights, (b) don't have Hurculean hands and wrists, and (c) cannot control the situation (almost never can in real life) and (d) you punch as your primary H2H tactic, then it's not a matter of if you will break your hand, but when.  Change any of those factors and you change the specifics of the situation.

I look at punching much like using a Ramset gun in construction work.  Think of a punch like the Ramset.  Is a Ramset ever needed?  You bet.  But how often?  Only when bolting stuff to concrete.  Most of the work is done with hammers, saws, drills, concrete mixers, etc.  But sometimes you need that Ramset.  You need to know when to choose the right tool for the right job.  Relying on punching as your primary strike tactic is like trying to be a general contractor who only has expertise in using a Ramset.  (It's a rough analogy, but bear with me).  It's like the old saying that if you only have a hammer, pretty soon every problem looks like a nail.  The problem with this approach is that most students don't have the experience to know when to choose one tool over another...they simply do what they trained to do...and they don't really want to have to gain the experience necessary to learn it (at least, not the hard way with broken hands, and rightfully so).  Instructors need to pass along strategires that have the best chances of working well under the worst conditions with minimal chance of student injury.  Even though nothing you choose will always work every time.

On the other hand, no matter what someone says, someone else will disagree with it.  You can only pass on the best advice you know at the time.  Past a point, others will either accept it or not, based on their own experience.  That doesn't break the obligation of the instructor to try to pass it along, however.  None of us know everything.  Our experiences are all different to some degree.  I like to think that such on-going discussions, however, help us all to re-examine our beliefs and strageties, and try to find a better way.  This thread has been valuable for that, if nothing else.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Kentbob on June 27, 2006, 02:47:02 PM
To put it briefly, punching should be a tactic, not the strategy.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Ed Stowers on June 28, 2006, 09:35:42 AM

Wow, thanks, Kent.  You condensed 7 paragrapghs into one sentence.  Need a job as a copyeditor? ;D
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on June 14, 2007, 06:32:24 AM
Lots of good punching talk here!

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on November 26, 2007, 12:06:57 PM
Nonsense and Punching

Ordinarily, I make it a point to politely ignore Black Belt Magazine columnist Jim Wagner, the self-proclaimed, young inventor of reality fighting in the late 1990s, oh, say 1997 (my God, where would we all be without this savior?). But, this Black Belt Magazine December 2006 issue I read his remarks on “Closed Fist vs. Open Hand, and I simply could not bite my lip yet yet again from these Wagnerisms.
Former Sky Marshal Wagner makes his main points:
- “Men tend to close their fist under pressure.”

- “Advocates of the open hand techniques say that a person runs a higher risk of breaking his hand if he strikes an opponent with a closed fist. This is nonsense.”

- “When I hit someone with my fist, the last thing I worry about is injury. I can get it fixed later at the hospital.” (if its such nonsense bubba, why even mention a trip to the hospital?)

To suggest that humans are genetically predisposed to fighting with balled-up fists is one thing, but to say that we therefore should be stuck fighting with fists is something else. Wouldn't this “punching gene” also mean we should also de-emphasize grabbing and grappling and have natural troubles striking with eye attacks, hammer fists, forearms and elbows? Somehow, with a little very training, people do these other things.

The open palm strike or palm heel strike was placed into military and police doctrines for a some good reason. Whenever the closed fist accidentally hits the ducking forehead/skull, there is an increased chance for injuries. Even some classical oriental systems prefer strikes with the so-called “knife” edge of the hand. Otherwise they spend decades "toughening" the fist to counter-attack the harsh reality of injuries.

Ducking skulls? The human head has a predisposition to duck down versus incoming attacks. The so-called slap or palm heel was emphasized to keep the soldiers from debilitating or incapacitating their hands in the middle of a fight for their life. One such modern, recognized source for the heel palm strike is the British military during World War II. The program called for restricting punches to the jaw-line and below to avoid striking the dense, ducking, bobbing and weaving bowling ball called the skull.

All this in an effort to avoid the several levels of hand injuries which may result:

- First, your hand could be injured and still function. This has happened to me, and many others I know.

- Second, your hand could be injured and somewhat incapacitated. This also has happened to me, and others I know. You can still use your hand somewhat but it becomes swollen and only partially dexterous. In the middle of a fight, I could not grab the suspect in any way. Nor cuff him. My hand became a dull, heavy slab. Plus, a second or third punch with this partially wounded fist might finish your hand.

- And lastly, you may suffer an injury with such electric pain that it shuts the fighter right down. This has not happened to me but has happened to co-workers right before my eyes, as well as numerous assault cases I have worked on.

In three decades of police work, I can hardly think of a time, I didn't have a friend or complainant with a hand cast from punching someone.

In terms of sport fighting, it is not uncommon for NHB, UFC rage-cagers, even when wearing some thin gloves and wraps, to damage their hands on the ocular cavity, forehead and skull of an opponent. Mounted ground-pounders sometimes break their hands punching heads pinned on the ground. Least we forget that Mike Tyson punched a mugger one night and broke his hand. Sadly some of the biggest names in modern martial arts have broken their hands doing their vertical fist battle punches and closed fist strikes in real encounters, against the cursed ducking skull.

The U.S. Department of Justice advises us that we (citizens and police) are attacked by two or more people, some 40% of all encounters. In dissecting this information, the stat holds up better versus the police, but could be even worse for citizens. Incapacitating your hand on the skull of one opponent could leave you in serious danger when in the midst of finishing off one person, and then fighting the others. Plus and even worse, some 40% of the time, the opponent is armed with an edged weapon or firearms. Common sense strategy calls for fully functional hands for as long as possible, to deal with these and other problems, such as disarming, grappling, handcuffing, operating your weapons, telephones and radio equipment. It is under these real-world problems that the palm-heel strikes were introduced.

I want to make three last notes;

Note One) you can develop a wicked, wicked palm heel strike and/or slap with little work. Plus/secondly, keep in mind there are Neanderthal fighters out there with thick fists the size and density of sledgehammers. Instructors refusing to recognize the frailties of the hand, often use these cavemen as anecdotal examples to maintain the their status quo;

Note Two) “Billy punches people in the skull!”
Well…Billy ain't you. Nor is he most of the student population. These monster hands can punch titanium and laugh out loud. Don't let them teach you their way of fighting and punching. If they can do it, doesn't mean you can do it. However, should you, as a professional instructor get such a caveman in your class? Maximize his uniqueness and let him punch away as his personal, primary tool. It is hard to imagine that Hulk Hogan would break his hand punching anywhere on Pee-Wee Herman. But this is an extreme example.

I have met a black belt and then several others who have thrown a hook punch at guys' heads in fights. Typical example - the guy reflexively ducked his head sideways. The punch glanced off the skull, separating the black belt's pinky knuckle from the hand, split to the wrist. His hand was ruined for the rest of the fight. He said it was crippling pain and to this day he cannot put his fingers together.

Note Three) Testing has shown that men (and women) do NOT ALWAYS clench their fists. Stress and adrenaline blood flow causes the hands to open and close your hands, not always clench them in fists.

Nothing is perfect, and nothing is imperfect. Everything is situational and positional. The smarter systems have embraced this reality advice “hit something hard with something soft. Hit something soft with something hard.” I don't think anyone suggests that fighters should give up punching completely. I also don't think reality fighting systems should suggest you should punch anywhere, all the time as if you were a gloved boxer, and then report to the hospital later for a cast. You might not make it to the hospital. Strategic survival fighting also means surviving the fight, with as many body parts intact as possible, to keep on fighting.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on November 27, 2007, 08:44:43 AM

I know, I know, nothing is perfect but, I get the impression from a lot of martial artists - especially those who follow the RBSD doctrine that your hand will break if you punch and you cannot injure yourself if you palm heel someone.

In defense of punching my mate Steve F in Australia nearly had his hand cut off by doctors after experimenting with a palm heel and hitting a guy with buck teeth.  The teeth end up cutting his palm which over the weekend rapidly became infected.  By the time he got to the emergency room the doctors said another few hours we'd be amputating.

On a more personal note, last Sat while working on the door I got into it with a gangsta who'd just threatened to come back and kill us.  My personal take on that is I will give you a few digs just in case you carry out your threat, so I body slammed him into a garden bed and, not wanting to mark him or damage him too badly began to punctuate my demands for an apology with palm heels.  (it was funny too because as I did so I thought Hock should see this ;D)

Anyway, to cut a long story short, after about eight to ten of them, I switched to a carotid squeeze with a C clamp.  He complained he couldn't breathe and I told him that was because I was killing him for no apology.  At that point he said sorry, I dragged him and threw him on the sidewalk and went back inside.  (He had shit himself during the festivities by the way)

Anyway, about thirty min later my wrist starts aching like you know what.  The next morning I awaken with a semi serious sprain of the wrist due to the angle of hitting down on to his bowling ball head.  I should have stuck with a closed fist and I'd be nursing bugger all right now.

As I said at the start, I'm sure we could flood the airwaves with war stories of examples of both punches and palms doing wonders and screwing up, but, as I said, I think too many people think you just can't damage yourself using a palm heel.

In defense of fists

Yer Uncle Nicky
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on November 27, 2007, 09:01:12 AM
Its funny because I think I can look around at the hands of my students at any seminar and almost guess who might have trouble.

Tom (the Arnold) Barhnhart could punch a tank and laugh.
Meanwhile, his daughter would be in a cast.
Or many guy's hands.

Remember the 98 pound Krav Maga girl in that MSNBC newsclip we were talking about awhile back? I think it dangerous for system doctrine not to warn her that all her cool, fast, sporty, really awesome focus mitt work might well lead her minature hands to a shattering in a real fight. Lets just at least warn her. Once?

I see so many martial artists just blindly punching away without an iota of warning. And not an iota of an idea this could happen...at all?

I am really comfortable with a system that teaches both punches AND palm strikes, providing the system doctrine calls for an advice-and-warning.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Nick Hughes on November 27, 2007, 12:22:28 PM
Absolutely agree...I've always taught both, and I always warn them of (all) the risks of fighting.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Joe Hubbard on November 27, 2007, 12:35:45 PM
Wait a minute...You mean the same Officer Jim Wagner who advocates people keeping their head planted n the ground when on your back?  Well, that just goes to show you just how much a Bozo that guy really is.



PS Hey, what the hell, he gives a killer power point session (not)!
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Hock on November 27, 2007, 01:48:24 PM
So...what you are saying is there a new term in the industry?

A "Wagnerism?"

 example - brace head against ground to receive punches (wait - isn't this supposed to
               hurt the puncher's hand? I thought, punching hands never get hurt?)
 example - 240 sky marshal flights become 240 Jack Baur counter-terrorism missions
 example - You'll never hurt your hand when punching
 example - "I invented reality-based-self defense!"
 example - Him showing up to do regular seminars in a full SWAT uniform and...a helmet.

(awww, I'll probably take this post down...)
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Ed Stowers on December 05, 2007, 02:59:18 PM
LOL, now Hock, you can claim "I invented the Wagnerism."

I'll try to restain myself here and not post multiple paragraphs as I am wont to do, simply because I've already done so.  I think punching is one tactic of many, a tool in the toolbox perhaps, but not the primary one.  The primary tool is your mind.  As always, tactics and tool choices are a very individual choice.  I've already proven to my own painful satisfaction that punching is not the best first string choice for ME.  And my primary concern here is an instructor teaching a student an automatic reaction tactic based on a questionable assumption that because Billy the Caveman--no offense Nick  ;D-- can punch a tank unharmed everyone else can too.

Wagner is crazy if he thinks injuries don't matter.  They may not matter at the moment...or they damned well may.  It all depends on the situation.  I'd rather optimize the chances of hurting the other guy if I could rather than myself.

Now, Nick did bring up a subject I have NOT seen covered anywhere, which is interesting: the potential dangers of striking with an open hand.  While I feel certain that the dangers of permament damage to bones is MUCH greater with the closed fist, I have never really seen a detailed clinical discussion of the percentage and types of injuries incurred from palm heel or knife hand type attacks to the hand.  That would be an intereting thing to look at from an academic perspective.

As far as infection of the hand when striking teeth, well, that injury could have happened with open hand or with a fist--or foot or elbow, for that matter (it probably wouldn't have happened if he'd used a chair, however).  Human oral cavities are particularly septic to any open body wound they come in contact with (makes you wonder why some people hit their fingers with a hammer and immediately pu tthem in their mouths, LOL).  The dangers from infection are very real, however, and one reason why many police wear gloves nowadays when making physical contact.

This isn't going to make me change my strategy to a punch-first strategy, of course, but I still would like to see the numbers and types of injuries for open hand versus closed percentage-wise.  Not sure anyone's collecting it scientifically, but it would sure make for an interesting discussion.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: michael on December 05, 2007, 05:59:36 PM
For me personally, particularly in my role as a Deputy, I prefer the open hand in most situations. I always liked the old adage, "Hard to soft, soft to hard", and that is typically what I will do, using the fist to strike the softer areas of the body and the open hand for the head/bony areas. I train to use both, and might punch with a fist to the head based on the situation at hand, but my preference is for the open hand to the head.

One area where a damaged hand would really matter would be having to access your firearm/knife/improvised weapon and not being able to do so with your injured hand. Of course, you should train to use both hands well, but this could come into play in a bad way.
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: Trainer on December 07, 2007, 11:36:07 AM
Open handed injuries that i have seen/encounted were called "FOOSH" which stands for "Fall On Out Stretched Hand" this is, as presented when someone has used the out stretchd hand to brace from a forward impact with the ground. I have seena few fractures at the wrist due to hyperextension but mostly strains and sprains. I have a degree in human and sports science which is what makes me such a ninja/SF/miliatry/cop most kick ass fighter the universe as ever, or will ever see!

Stay safe folks
Title: Re: Punching
Post by: cfadeftac on December 07, 2007, 01:04:29 PM
Stealing from Hock's potential injury list one of the best reasons to avoid punching with un conditioned hands would be to avoid injury #2

- Second, your hand could be injured and somewhat incapacitated. This also has happened to me, and others I know. You can still use your hand somewhat but it becomes swollen and only partially dexterous. In the middle of a fight, I could not grab the suspect in any way. Nor cuff him. My hand became a dull, heavy slab. Plus, a second or third punch with this partially wounded fist might finish your hand.

Because after this how do you get your keys out to start your car and get out of dodge.

Title: Re: Punching
Post by: whitewolf on December 07, 2007, 11:36:55 PM
An and all-some comments- 1-An is right when he mentioned unconditioned hands-so start conditioning them 2-Sounds correct to me- open palm and closed fist  if you get cut on teeth you can get a infection-3-start wearing brass knuckles-that will solve the problem--4-how about hammer fist strikes? outside to  inside,inside to  outside,over hand down to nose area?uppercuts while close in to face then stab  eyes?and lastly as one said elbows elbows elbows-stay  safe whitewolf..