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TMA UnderGround >> The vertical fist


9/5/06 9:49 AM
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Punisher73
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Edited: 05-Sep-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 754
Jack Dempsey advocated the 3 knuckle landing and emphasized the vertical fist for the jab and said NOT to rotate the fist. If you look at some boxers today you will see that the turn the fist past the point of horizontal and the thumb almost points down. The "test" I ALWAYS see for the advocation of the 3 knuckle landing is to put your fist on the wall at head level with the top 2 knuckles and then with the bottom 3 knuckles. Without contorting the wrist/hand it can't be done with the top 2 but can be done with the bottom 3. That's great for punching a wall but the human body does not have a flat surface like that and you can punch to your opponents chin with the top 2 knuckles without bending the wrist down out of alignment.
9/5/06 9:57 AM
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Dimball
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Edited: 05-Sep-06
Member Since: 10/18/2004
Posts: 70
Bruce Lee was a big vertical fist user. I believe he mentioned that it got in faster.
11/29/06 11:55 PM
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dakuan
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Edited: 29-Nov-06
Member Since: 02/07/2005
Posts: 28
Shorinjiryu kenkokan karatedo uses a verticle fist. I don't think they argue there is greater twist at the hip it is stonger for the wrist and reach is better. Personally I think most styles are dogmatic and traditional in their explanations. I don' t think there has been any science done on this. I think this issue is just a result of defending what you were taught.
11/30/06 7:18 AM
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Kolsyrade
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Edited: 30-Nov-06
Member Since: 05/30/2004
Posts: 339
"People that do a lot of bare hand striking (kyokushin/enshin/shidokan) always use the big 2 knuckles and usually a horizontal fist." kyokushin has vertical fist as well (seiken tate tsuki), and uses them in kumite -especialy to the body. Its just that the horizontal fist is a more basic technique, and it gets more training.
12/3/06 11:35 PM
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wsel
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Edited: 03-Dec-06
Member Since: 07/20/2002
Posts: 9
I blew my elbow out a few years ago training muay thai. I now use the vertical fist almost exclusively. I personally don't think that I generate as much hip rotation/power using it, but it is definitely easier on my elbows.
12/4/06 4:25 AM
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Naughty Gorilla
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Edited: 04-Dec-06
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 13521
If WC used a horizontal punch.. it wouldn't be WC.. that extra bit of rotation is slower and mechanically less efficient WC always emphasizes 'sinking' and using the body's own weight as much as possible. So you sink the waist, sink the elbow and sink the wrist, naturally the bottom knuckles protrude. And finally WC has your elbows close together. It is just awkward to rotate like that Not that I prefer WC punching or use it in sparring ! Just my understanding from
12/4/06 4:27 AM
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Naughty Gorilla
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Edited: 04-Dec-06
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Oh and boxing does still use the vertical fist.. for short hooks
12/14/06 6:04 PM
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ottmandus
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Edited: 14-Dec-06
Member Since: 11/19/2002
Posts: 218
I have switched from hitting with just the two knuckles because I started hitting the heavy bag full force bare-handed and the two knucle method hurts more, Hitting with more of the hand probably isn't as powerful but it seems to have less risk of breaking knuckles on a hard target. To me the vertical fist seems to hurt less too
8/3/07 3:35 AM
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fokket
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Edited: 03-Aug-07
Member Since: 10/31/2001
Posts: 7384
interesting concept surely
1/27/09 2:27 AM
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Lord Kancho
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In Jack Dempsey's book he uses the vertical fist for head straight punches using a drop step. Body straight punches and punches using the shoulder whirl instead of blasting ahead use a horizontal fist.

He had a little experiment to outline the structural power of the vertical fist. I was surprised to notice immediately that the vertical fist just feels more secure. No power is going to be lost in bent wrists, etc.
3/9/09 3:12 AM
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laqueus
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Member Since: 11/29/08
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When I started I found my wrist wouldn't collapse as easily with vertical fist compared to horizontal fist. It's not so much a problem anymore and I can use both now, but there probably is something to the structural alighment of the vertical fist. I however would not want to exclusively rely on one or the other. I can see advantages to the vertical fist with jabs/leads, but some punches like diving board punches won't work at all with a vertical fist.
5/27/09 10:27 PM
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jw234
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Member Since: 4/11/05
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Samatikan - I was a huge Bruce Lee fan. I read everything I could about him and obviously I read the Tao of JKD. Nowhere does he mention or make any reference to this kind of punch.


Say what?! Turn to page 66 of his FIGHTING METHOD book, and if the details on his "bottom 3 knuckle" punch in text aren't enough, try looking at the big freakin' picture with a big freakin' circle drawn around those knuckles. I don't mean to be rude, but I've never heard anyone question Lee's use of those knuckles in his straight lead punches, and I can't imagine how you invented the idea that he uses his top two knuckles in his verticle punch.

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