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Thread: Different styles, different hand positions

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    Default Different styles, different hand positions

    I really should wait to hear back from my instructor on this issue but, I also want to know what the general consensus is on hand position/striking surface for a standard full knuckle punch. This is not regarding half-knuckle, back knuckle or any other types of punch.
    I have always been trained that, regardless of orientation of the strike (horizontal, vertical) that one should strike with only the two knuckles of the index finger and the middle finger (radial side). I've found that in Kenpo, there are times when a knuckle "rake" type punch is employed using the little finger knuckle first...and that makes sense to me.
    The question I really have is how many people throw a standard, full knuckle punch leading with the index finger/middle finger knuckles (radial side) or "boxer style" punches that lead with the ulnar side knuckles to strike with the entire surface of as many knuckles as possible.

    The difference, I think, would be like hitting with a spear head vs. a sledge hammer, respectively. Both have thier benefits and drawbacks, I know. But, in what situations would you want deep contact penetration vs. blunt force, heavy ft-lbs type damage?

    Just fodder for discussion and trying to determine if my previous system is complimenting or impeding my current Kenpo training.

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    We teach to strike with the two big knuckles. They're much less likely to break plus the anatomical alignment is better. A "raking" type strike can be different in that the force applied to the knuckles isn't straight on. It would still be better to use the first two knuckles as much as possible, imho.
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    I trained in Kenpo and tained to kickbox when I was training when i was younger. In boxing they do teach to strike with the pinky side of the knucles first. It feels more natural and I feel you can produce more power with that punch.

    The difference is that in boxing your hand is protected. It is wrapped and put into a padded glove. I think if you strike that way with a bare knuckle, you are more likely to break your hand without the protection that boxers have. further, by learning to dig the knuckles in you have a weapon that boxers do not. Their fist is padded so causing more damage by the knuckles is impossible in that scenario.

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by jjpregler View Post
    I trained in Kenpo and tained to kickbox when I was training when i was younger. In boxing they do teach to strike with the pinky side of the knucles first. It feels more natural and I feel you can produce more power with that punch.

    The difference is that in boxing your hand is protected. It is wrapped and put into a padded glove. I think if you strike that way with a bare knuckle, you are more likely to break your hand without the protection that boxers have. further, by learning to dig the knuckles in you have a weapon that boxers do not. Their fist is padded so causing more damage by the knuckles is impossible in that scenario.
    I have broken the metacarpal of my small finger with 14 oz glove on during a sparring session...granted, I didn't have my hands "wrapped" but, I was still swolen and sore after a minor fracture...that's one thing that makes me reluctant to strike strait and hard with anything but the first two knuckles...
    Just my thoughts.
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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    I'm definitely an evangelist of using the first two knuckles for a standard punch. They are bigger, more sturdy knuckles than the other two, and when thrown properly, have the full support of your forearm. There is not as much support behind the last two knuckles, which is why you can still hurt your pinky even with gloves on.

    You can look at your arm right now, and starting from each knuckle, follow the bone back to your wrist. You will see that the first two knuckles are more centered with the wrist, while the last two knuckles lean more to one side of your wrist. Even boxers should be taught this so that they don't get lazy just because their hands are wrapped up.
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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by toejoe2k View Post
    I have broken the metacarpal of my small finger with 14 oz glove on during a sparring session...granted, I didn't have my hands "wrapped" but, I was still swolen and sore after a minor fracture...that's one thing that makes me reluctant to strike strait and hard with anything but the first two knuckles...
    Just my thoughts.
    Happy Friday, all
    I too have broken bones in my hand,if we start naming all the bones that we all have broken over the years, people may stop taking the martial arts.
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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    I too have broken bones in my hand,if we start naming all the bones that we all have broken over the years, people may stop taking the martial arts.
    But...bones heal. That people aren't willing to sweat and bleed a little in a dojo is what makes them such easy pickin's for the rare but violent attacks that you read about in the news paper and hear about in the news.
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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by toejoe2k View Post
    But...bones heal. That people aren't willing to sweat and bleed a little in a dojo is what makes them such easy pickin's for the rare but violent attacks that you read about in the news paper and hear about in the news.
    It is a physical art, it happens.
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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    If you throw a punch that ends with the palm down, then you should strike with the knuckles of the first two fingers. If you hit with the bottom fingers, the angle at impact is funky and you can break the carpals and metacarpals.

    If you strike with a straight thrust and the palm to the side, often called a "side punch", or a "Sun Punch" in the Chinese arts, then you should hit with the bottom three knuckles. It lines up differently, and if you try to extend your first two knuckles into an exclusive position to impact, then you put your wrist into a weird position and it's not stable. Depending on the circumstances you can actually strike with the entire face of the fist, but it should not be concentrated on just the knuckles of the first two fingers.

    Chinese arts like Wing Chun use the sun punch quite extensively. If you look at a wing chun guy's hands, and he has done extensive conditioning on the sand bags, you will see callouses on the bottom knuckles, and none, or at least less pronounced, on the first knuckle.
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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    If you throw a punch that ends with the palm down, then you should strike with the knuckles of the first two fingers. If you hit with the bottom fingers, the angle at impact is funky and you can break the carpals and metacarpals.

    If you strike with a straight thrust and the palm to the side, often called a "side punch", or a "Sun Punch" in the Chinese arts, then you should hit with the bottom three knuckles. It lines up differently, and if you try to extend your first two knuckles into an exclusive position to impact, then you put your wrist into a weird position and it's not stable. Depending on the circumstances you can actually strike with the entire face of the fist, but it should not be concentrated on just the knuckles of the first two fingers.

    Chinese arts like Wing Chun use the sun punch quite extensively. If you look at a wing chun guy's hands, and he has done extensive conditioning on the sand bags, you will see callouses on the bottom knuckles, and none, or at least less pronounced, on the first knuckle.
    Is it used for hard targets, as well as soft?
    Be careful what you say, some may take it the wrong way.

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    I too have broken bones in my hand,if we start naming all the bones that we all have broken over the years, people may stop taking the martial arts.
    Hand conditioning is a necessary.

    And there are many different levels of hand conditioning.

    The bones of the knuckles are NOT big in comparison to the skull.

    So proper targeting practice is also necessary.

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by flying crane View Post
    If you throw a punch that ends with the palm down, then you should strike with the knuckles of the first two fingers. If you hit with the bottom fingers, the angle at impact is funky and you can break the carpals and metacarpals.

    If you strike with a straight thrust and the palm to the side, often called a "side punch", or a "Sun Punch" in the Chinese arts, then you should hit with the bottom three knuckles. It lines up differently, and if you try to extend your first two knuckles into an exclusive position to impact, then you put your wrist into a weird position and it's not stable. Depending on the circumstances you can actually strike with the entire face of the fist, but it should not be concentrated on just the knuckles of the first two fingers.

    Chinese arts like Wing Chun use the sun punch quite extensively. If you look at a wing chun guy's hands, and he has done extensive conditioning on the sand bags, you will see callouses on the bottom knuckles, and none, or at least less pronounced, on the first knuckle.
    Correct.\
    The tactics of different arts do differ.
    Nice informative post.

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by jjpregler View Post
    I trained in Kenpo and tained to kickbox when I was training when i was younger. In boxing they do teach to strike with the pinky side of the knucles first. It feels more natural and I feel you can produce more power with that punch.

    The difference is that in boxing your hand is protected. It is wrapped and put into a padded glove. I think if you strike that way with a bare knuckle, you are more likely to break your hand without the protection that boxers have. further, by learning to dig the knuckles in you have a weapon that boxers do not. Their fist is padded so causing more damage by the knuckles is impossible in that scenario.
    Very good points, and "reason whys".

    Thank you.

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by jdinca View Post
    Is it used for hard targets, as well as soft?

    well, from my experience the Wing Chun straight punch often goes to places like the nose or chin, as well as softer body targets. I guess that's sort of "semi-soft". I wouldn't deliberately aim at a hard target like the skull, but maybe the temple where it's a bit softer. But if you have done proper conditioning on the sand bags and wooden dummy, then the hands can take it.

    I have also seen the side punch used in kenpo where you might actually end up hitting more evenly with the first knuckles. I guess it's in how everything lines up and makes it happen. I think the main point I was trying to make was that if you throw a side punch and try to deliberately extend the first two knuckles to be the main impact point, you are screwing up your wrist in a way that won't do it any good.
    Michael


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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Hand conditioning is a necessary.

    And there are many different levels of hand conditioning.

    The bones of the knuckles are NOT big in comparison to the skull.

    So proper targeting practice is also necessary.

    True so is the mental trainig, not to use the hands, but the brain.
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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Quote Originally Posted by MARSHALLS KENPO View Post
    True so is the mental trainig, not to use the hands, but the brain.
    Haha!

    Proper hand conditioning IS "MENTAL TRAINING".

    That real conditioning installs confidence and self-esteem in the practitioner that they can hit someone (transference from the conditioning drills) and be very effective.

    Because of that "realization" they also develop a "sense of adultness" and of "responsibility".

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    Default Re: Different styles, different hand positions

    Hand position is relative to to the linked wrist position.
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