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JKD UnderGround >> Open Hand vs Closed Fist


12/31/09 4:09 PM
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SidRon
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What is your opinion on strikes to the head/face? When I punch the BOB (Body Opponent Bag) palm strikes feel way more powerful and natural than closed fist punches. Even closed fist punching with mma gloves when I spar feels awkward to me. I don't feel good doing closed fist punches in sparring unless I have 12 ounce or greater boxing gloves on. Is anybody else the same way?
12/31/09 5:32 PM
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Skpotamus
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Punches tend to do more damage, palms are safer for you.

A lot of people tend to follow through and push more with the palms, giving the illusion of more power behind the strike on bags and such. In all honestly, a punch and a palm heel should use the same muscles to generate force for straight shots, so they should be about equal. The harder surface making contact (knuckles) tends to make for more damage though IME.

YMMV
1/1/10 4:02 PM
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Marc1000
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This is a worthwhile topic. I have gone back and forth on this issue and I can see merit to each side.

Some problems I see with palms (These issues might result from my own limitations and lack of skill).

Constantly hitting a bag or focus mitt with palm heels aggravates my 40 year wrists.

Like Skpotamus mentioned palm strikes can become pushes. If striking a focus mitt, my punches have a lot more snap and explosiveness to them. Someone with more experience with palm strikes might have better results.

I like to keep my hands up fairly high like Rodney King's Crazy Monkey stance. With my hands in a high position, I find it very awkward to deliver palm strikes. Palm strikes seem to more effective for me if I keep my hands at shoulder level and shoot them up at a slightly upward projectory.

It doesn't feel natural for me to alternate palm strikes to the head/face area and punches to the body. I really like the shovel hook and I want to retain that strike in my toolbox.

My biggest fear with punches in a self-preservation situation is that I might hit someone's teeth and get an infection.

I read an interesting article from Donnie Baker about adjustments that must be made if you are striking with barenuckeles: http://www.thefightnerd.com/bareknuckle-vs-gloved/

Donnie Baker practices the older, traditional forms of Muay Thai. The thrust of his article is that it is safer to strike the upper chest, neck or clavicles with your barenuckles than striking the head and face region.

I am interested in everyone's opinion about the best place to strike with bareknuckles.

Marc
1/1/10 5:04 PM
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SidRon
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great replies, thanks. I an ggoing to have to convince one of my training partners to do a couple of rounds of sparring with isotoner gloves on to see how it goes.
1/1/10 11:05 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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I've heard the maxim "hit soft targets with hard weapons and hard targets with soft weapons". I don't think it's a bad idea, for the most part, but full disclosure: I got it from people who were basing it on a purely theoretical basis. So I add it to the mix for whatever it's worth to you.
1/2/10 4:01 PM
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nowaydo
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In the heat of action...just hit!
1/4/10 1:19 PM
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Seul
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One EXCELLENT open hand strike to practice until you can lift your hands anymore is the open palm slap; I have a ROdney king DVD (I forget which one) where he briefly covers it while talking about adapting boxing for self-defense.

The mechanics are similar to a short hook, but you can throw it from further out because you don't need to align your wrist behind your knuckles like you do with punches. I found that if I angle it diagonally downwards (keeping your fingers point up) and twist into it like I'm throwing an overhand right you can slap the holy fuck out of somebody's face.

It works surprisingly well; I imagine you could ruin somebody's day by hitting their ear, as well (at the risk of causing permanent damage, though). I don't know about knocking someone completely out, but you can certainly rock them pretty good if you make contact along their jaw.

Palm heel strikes have always seemed a little goofy and stilted (in that they are more awkward to throw, can come from fewer angles, and require the wrist to be put into a weird position), but I have a friend who loves to use ridgehands and has good success with them.

He uses them sometimes when we spar with MMA gloves (Which have no padding on the contact area), it doesn't seem to bother him if he makes contact with my forehead (or another bony spot).
1/4/10 2:18 PM
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Kai Tremeche
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Just hit is absolutely right
1/4/10 7:27 PM
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Ideologic
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Seul - I found that if I angle it diagonally downwards (keeping your fingers point up) and twist into it like I'm throwing an overhand right you can slap the holy fuck out of somebody's face.


When put like this, sounds like a great idea.
1/4/10 10:52 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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1/4/10 11:03 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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1/4/10 11:12 PM
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SidRon
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Seul, I agree, that kind of cupped palm hooking shot is one of the strikes that I can do on a big withoug gloves and it feels like it is transferring one hell of alot of power. I do that punch on the body opponent bag so that the palm hell of my hand contacts right around the ear and my fingers hook slightly around the back of the neck.
1/4/10 11:14 PM
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SidRon
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LOL! I guess that was John Stossel putting in his dues before he made it into the big time as a tv reporter.
1/5/10 2:19 PM
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Skpotamus
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PH, that video almost looks fake, especially with the sound effects.

The power slap as a sucker "punch" seems to work well, but what about once a fight has started?

I was thinking about Pancrase who used to allow only open had strikes to the head. Very few KO's really. When they went to closed fist and gloves, the KO rate went up to every other org's.

I think just hit is the best answer though.
1/5/10 3:31 PM
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Seul
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"The power slap as a sucker "punch" seems to work well, but what about once a fight has started? "


It's hard to find people who are willing to spar open hand (I think you're better off gloving up and sparring hard, in any case), but I found it to be pretty much the same as a short hook from in close (I'm short, but strong, and I like to wrestle; I'm always trying to get inside on people).

I never thought about it as a sucker punch, to be honest, and I think you will virtually always be able to hit harder with a fist (the mechanics are better, imo). This type of slap is the hardest open-hand strike I can manage, but it's still not up to par with the punches I can throw with power.

On that subject, I think hitting a heavy bag from time to time without gloves is a good way to build up your hands/wrists for un-gloved fisticuffs.

Have any of you ever legitimately karate-chopped anyone in the neck (or been chopped yourself)? That is actually bizarrely painful and unpleasant, I can almost give credence to some of the stuff I heard about people dying from it.
1/5/10 7:29 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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Seul - 
Have any of you ever legitimately karate-chopped anyone in the neck (or been chopped yourself)? That is actually bizarrely painful and unpleasant, I can almost give credence to some of the stuff I heard about people dying from it.

 I think a karate chop to the neck is better than a headbutt for self defense.
1/5/10 7:31 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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1/5/10 7:33 PM
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Paul Hopkins
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1/5/10 9:06 PM
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Skpotamus
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They used to teach a knife hand strike to the side of the neck for the PPCT police defense program (brachial plexus origin stun). They found out that there were a large number of serious injuries from it though, so they took it out (IE, it worked to well on the bad guys). I guess there were a lot of vertebrae fractures. They changed it from a knife hand (karate chop) to a forearm strike, which is what that pimp KO was (supposed back story is that the guy teaching was a LEO instructor and got into deep shit for the KO without arresting the guy).
1/5/10 11:27 PM
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Seul
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My first exposure training was with Kenpo Karate; we learned "knife hands" as white belts. One of my friends used to heckle me constantly about my "karate junk" as soon as he heard I started (the usual "look at the big karate man, how's your karate tough guy? think you can take me?" etc etc).

I karate chopped him in the neck (lightly, I thought) and he went all "fuck fuck fuck fuck! that hurts!". I was a scrawny weakling at the time, so I don't doubt that a heavy chop from a strong, full-grown man could impair somebody.

One of the other basic techniques we learned was to block a punch off to one side and fire off a front kick at their solar plexus. I (quite naturally) convinced my friend to try to punch me, blocked his attack, then tried to kick him in the stomach. I was still really sore from class the night before and generally inflexible, though, so I wound up slamming my foot into his nuts. He went down like I shot him in the gut, and for several months (until I tried sparring for the first time) I was embarrassingly convinced I could take down just about everyone with the same move.
1/5/10 11:42 PM
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twinkletoesCT
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For Seul
1/6/10 11:56 PM
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Ideologic
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After the karate and bobby hill videos, I have quit boxing and grappling. What's the point?
1/15/10 8:06 PM
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laqueus
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"It doesn't feel natural for me to alternate palm strikes to the head/face area and punches to the body. I really like the shovel hook and I want to retain that strike in my toolbox."

What about Bas Rutten with open hand strikes to the body? He doesn't hit with the palm, more the wrist bone, but that's still something to look at.

Also, I figure if you're going to really mix it up you'll be doing grappling as well as striking, so your hands will be open sometimes anyway. Might as well be good at both so whichever state your hands are in you can just hit when you see an opening.
1/15/10 11:57 PM
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keseki
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Risk of self-inflicted damaged of several kinds (bones broken, infection, legal and other consequences) is higher with closed-fist. Open hand permits smoother transition to grappling, if grappling is what you decide to do.

Explained in more details below:

www.global-training-report.com/punch.htm

Personally I wouldn't strike with any part of my hands, I'd apply for knees.
1/17/10 7:29 AM
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Skpotamus
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laqueus - "It doesn't feel natural for me to alternate palm strikes to the head/face area and punches to the body. I really like the shovel hook and I want to retain that strike in my toolbox."

What about Bas Rutten with open hand strikes to the body? He doesn't hit with the palm, more the wrist bone, but that's still something to look at.

Also, I figure if you're going to really mix it up you'll be doing grappling as well as striking, so your hands will be open sometimes anyway. Might as well be good at both so whichever state your hands are in you can just hit when you see an opening.


Rutten punched to the body. He didn't mix them up too much though, he tended to flurry on the head with palms and throw one or two big shots at the body.

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