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Rube-Goldberg Hand Anatomy
Crackpot Mailbox: Reveiwing a Sensible Open Hand Boxing Doctrine with Koanic
Koanic commented on Vertical Fist or Horizontal? Nov-19-2019 5:14 AM UTC
I work out on kickboxing bags heavy and light, with no gloves or just bicycle gloves. Almost all my punches are extension with palm heel as strike surface. My straight and hard jab are knifehand. Head hook is either a clothesline or a slap. Overhand right is palmheel either pronated or thumb down.
These are all excellent options, especially the knifehand jab. I would add finger jabs against paper targets and the speed bag in case you are dealing with a knife-armed foe.
Normally my body hook is a palmheel with thumb up, but sounds like I shouldn't risk my thumb catching an elbow. I was never happy with it anyway.
Okay, the one place this works, two actually, is doing a pass-hook slap to the solar plexus, thumb safe on his breast bone, as you pass to his side and then slapping the upper back behind the shoulder, which would feed into grappling or ramming his head into the wall he was trying to back you into. Worked on this today with Oliver. He dropped me with a slap to my two bottom back ribs, would have broke them if he was punching.
Your wrists and knuckles are conditioned from boxing. I've no such conditioning, and I'm skeptical of knuckle strikes.
Knuckle strikes require wrist conditioning and we get that by wrapping our wrists and working bags with that bracing to develop form and stability. Punching heavy bags is something bare knuckle guys never did in training. Their heaviest bag was 10 pounds!
Recently I tried them a bit. I started cobra punching off a kick, and found the angle necessitated striking with knuckles. Now I've got a sprained left wrist and feel a bit disarmed. Normally I don't get hand injuries despite striking full-power.
Punching off that kick increased your power and the wrist strain. That combo works great open hand. I would not practice any punches without wraps for a year. The light bag is where you want to play with accessory punches since you have primary skills in other areas. Slapping the heavy bag will develop all the mechanical power you need for punching.
The right straight to the body with knuckles is an easier angle and a soft target, but the wrist is still apt to bend, especially with misjudged distance. The knuckles do add some range, but I can't get nearly the power of a palm heel, much less a knee.
Worked this all morning with Oliver today. You want to turn your man as you get to his side and slam the right hand in behind his left elbow. For MMA I don't like punching from the pocket unless moving. Besides, any punching from the front invites a stab. I always assume a knife.
Considering how important they are for grappling, I doubt it's worthwhile to risk one's Rube-Goldberg hand anatomy on delivering underpowered strikes. That's what impervious bone slabs such as elbows, shins and femurs are for. Instead of punching the body, why not clinch and knee? It's not a pro fight, there's no need for variety. If it's life and death, conserving hands for defending and delivering eye gouges seems better than knuckle punching the head.
Correct in a one-on-one. But kicking and throwing knees against a group means you get swarmed unless you score a one strike KO. Against a knife you get eviscerated and if its a group one of these guys does have a knife. Upward punching against a group has worked better than all other methods except for giant men throwing normal men ten feet with one hand. The best reason to use punching is as a way to travel and hit at the same time against a group. Throwing knees, shins and elbows commits at least one leg to a position for long enough for a tackle attempt. Note that martial arts punching does not involve movement, so in martial arts I would default to other weapons. But if you can box, that means you can throw power shots while moving off, around and away. On one-on-one and against the knife you want open hand strikes.
Alright, I got the front lowkick to cobra punch working on the light bag with thumbs-down palmheel. The angle's harder on the heavy bag since it doesn't budge, but that's not a realistic problem. A brawler will drop his hand on the third lowkick, so I wanted to get that working.
Sounds good! Thanks, your approach to empty hand striking is very well thought out. Good luck.
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KoanicNovember 20, 2019 3:58 PM UTC

Cool, can do. I don't want to get confused selecting open vs closed hand and break a knuckle on some forehead, so I'll make a rule to only knuckle punch moving away. That should limit wrist injury, and develop the habit of punching while moving backwards. If wrist injury recurs I'll do wraps for a year. I only use teep kicks on the light bag anyway, so it'll simulate crowd control. It's base-fixed so the top oscillates wildly, good for changing range and punching up.

My attempt to condition my shins on the heavy bags padless resulted in perma-bruises that inhibited kicking, but with leg guards you still feel it, so I reckon that's the right approach.
responds:November 20, 2019 7:36 PM UTC

That sounds prudent. To train and stay fit being conservative helps keep us ready.
KoanicNovember 20, 2019 5:30 AM UTC

> I would add finger jabs against paper targets and the speed bag in case you are dealing with a knife-armed foe.

Yeah I do finger jabs naturally on the bags with right and left. If it's long range or a low-power feint, i'll just make eye contact with fingers slightly bent so that range misjudgement only curls them instead of jamming them. That turns naturally into a facepalm push if the range shortens. Knifehand if it's thrown with power.

> Knuckle strikes require wrist conditioning and we get that by wrapping our wrists and working bags with that bracing to develop form and stability. Punching heavy bags is something bare knuckle guys never did in training. Their heaviest bag was 10 pounds!

I suspect that the reason to do this is not because knuckle strikes are better. The goal is to have a bareknuckle brawling sport that doesn't result in everyone going blind from eye gouges, which could happen with openhand strikes. Closed fists and no nutshots are the earliest rules of chivalrous combat.

>Upward punching against a group has worked better than all other methods except for giant men throwing normal men ten feet with one hand.

Ok. Sometimes teeps might work for that too, since it moves one backwards and can cause enemy collisions.

Do I need knuckles to do that, though? One can strike upwards with the palmheel.
responds:November 20, 2019 2:36 PM UTC

Upward pam strikes develop more static tension than punches. Yes, they work, but punches whip and flow better, especially when precision is not an option. Remember, when we slap or palm strike are thumb is more exposed. In one perspective, the fist is a thumb protection gambit, not perfect, just an improvement. Also, punches have more impact simply due to the weapon being longer, albeit by a small margin. But against a group you want the edge. I would just practice punching on the light bag while moving and develop the power mechanics on the heavy with the open hand.