Punches vs Open hand to face for self defense.

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Kenlee25, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Kenlee25

    Kenlee25 Green Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Firstly I'd like to apologize for asking so many questions. I seem to have hit a bit of an inquisitive stage this week.

    There are pros and cons to both techniques, for example in the hands of a martial artist who knows how to strike the punch can be quite deadly, but just the same if those fragile knuckles ( assuming one has not endured iron palm training ) collide with the skull, it will cause damage or even break your hand.

    Palm strikes are safer but also slower and have less range. That are also unnatural to most people.

    Obviously there are situations where one is more effective than the other. For example if you were trying to deescalate a conflict but your opponent swung on you anyway, smashing your palm into their face is quite a simple and natural task.

    But what of after? If the fight is prolonged more than those first few seconds of your initial reaction.

    One thing I have noticed is that in most forms/katas I have see/performed, punches are usually aimed towards the imaginary enemies torso area. Some go towards the face yes, but the stance and motion of the punch usually is striking towards the body. Does that mean anything?

    Appreciate your thoughts.
     
  2. Touch Of Death

    Touch Of Death Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    11,610
    Likes Received:
    844
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Spokane Valley WA
    I like the open palm stuff, simply, because it is safer. I would sooner teach a woman to do a step-through elbow to the face, than spend years toughening her hand for a solid right cross. :)
     
  3. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    3,578
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Metro ATL
    Better than some first weeks seen in these parts, but so far nothing that bad... :bangahead:

    Just like those same knuckles/hand will if they collide with anything hard/solid unintentionally or intentionally. And iron palm doesn't do much for the joints themselves. Iron Palm is for the hand "en masse", specifically targeting the palm for ... wait... PALM STRIKES. That's a whole topic by itself.

    Slower & less range... hmmm... how do you figure? Also unnatural... wowser... Do you normally walk around with your hand balled (not clenched) into a fist or is your hand relaxed & opened?

    Yep... just like if not trying to calm things down & just knocking the crap outta somebody, an open hand goes a long ways & has more options than a closed one, for both a starting position & ending position.

    It's over?? One way or the other?

    Yeah it does, but it all depends on your training & background. I mean I could sit & give you a discourse on the use of palms in long fist styled palm usage, but unless you're doing it or have experience with it... you'd have better luck with a Greek menu written in Greek.

    You say that now... bwahahahahaah :s2:
     
  4. Sukerkin

    Sukerkin Have the courage to speak softly

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    15,316
    Likes Received:
    479
    Trophy Points:
    193
    Location:
    Staffordshire, England
    Nothing wrong with asking questions, Kenlee - that's how we learn after all :tup:

    As to the target of punches, that really depends upon the art and what it's kata are trying to impart to the student. In my Lau Gar days, I was trained in punches of various sorts to all manner of target locations. The first punches that you learn are indeed towards the centre of mass of the opponent but they are merely the introduction to the mechanics of punching effectively; after that initial period the methods and targets open up considerably.
     
  5. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Messages:
    16,577
    Likes Received:
    3,929
    Trophy Points:
    308
    Location:
    Pueblo West, CO
    I don't think you'll find anybody here who objects to questions being asked...

    Knuckles are not particularly fragile, when the punch is properly exectuted. If you're worried about your knuckles, I'd suggest spending a lot of time ensuring proper punching technique, primarily on a good heavy bag. In my opinion, a BOB is even better, since punching him feels more like punching a person.

    I disagree with every single thing you say here. Properly executed strikes are properly executed strikes. If I hit you with my fist, I'm no more at risk of injury than if I hit you with the palmheel. Nor will there be any difference in speed. Range? OK, so my fist is about 2-2.5" longer. I really don't see that as significant, since body position and movement during the strike can easily compensate for that. And I don't see them as "unnatural" either. Put a board across a couple cinder blocks and ask people to hit it. I put it to you that as many will use a palmheel as a punch.

    I don't think that is obvious at all. Not in the least.

     
  6. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    Messages:
    6,193
    Likes Received:
    1,221
    Trophy Points:
    248
    Location:
    Australia
    Something else to keep in mind is that prior to the karate going into the Okinawan schools in the early 1900s, karate or Te was mostly open hand. (Hands were closed to protect kids hands and prevent accidents.) Many of the strikes were with the sides of the hands or the tips of the fingers. My preferred strike to the face would have to be teisho (palm heel) as it fits most shapes of the target and doesn't bounce off. Probably equal favourite would be shuto or knife hand. Does a lot of damage with little risk to your own hand.

    Striking to the torso I prefer a knuckle strike. Once again, I would question the origins of the flat punch that you mostly see.
     
  7. David43515

    David43515 Master Black Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    1,383
    Likes Received:
    50
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Sapporo, Japan
    Questions are always welcome. And even the most experienced people here ask more than they sit back and pontificate. It`s by bringing these things up for discussion that we all learn more.

    That being said, Proper punching technique protects the knuckles during a punch....but proper punching isn`t natural and it has to be trained over a long period so that full power can be delivered into an opponant. Lots of people THINK they`re hitting full power. What they`re doing is using their full EFFORT, but because their technique is poor the impact potential is bled off before it transferrs into the opponant. But this talk isn`t about proper punching, it`s about palms vs fists.
    I like both, but I use open hands more often because it`s easier to transission into grabs (which make the next strike more effective) and throws. I`ve never found open hand strikes to be slower than fists, just the opposite. Since my arm is more relaxed with the hand open it travels faster. Yes, the range is slightly less, but not significantly so. And because I`m a bigger guy I usually only use strikes in the first instance of an altercation anyway. After that I close to shorter range and depend on knees, elbows, grappling, and such instead of longe range punching. So the choice of fist or open hand isn`t really an either-or scenario in my opinion.

    I do think that some type of regular hand conditioning is a HUGE help with both types of strikes though. Whether it`s as simple as working your strikes on the heavybag, or more traditional hand conditioning meathods. You need to build muscle memory to strike well, you need to create hand-eye-coordination, and learn to read distance to your target so you can strike properly. Of the 3 , I think the last one is the most important part of bagwork, and one very few people ever talk about.
     
  8. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,827
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Australia
    I prefer Closed Fist. It comes more naturally, and I feel that trying to relearn the archetype of ones Hand would be a bit odd.

     
  9. Kenlee25

    Kenlee25 Green Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Arkansas
     
  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    If you don't throw an Isshin-Ryu punch, you may hurt your hand. The Isshin-Ryu punch is superior to all others and if you execute it properly, you won't hurt your hand. We throw to the body, the head, or anywhere else a punch fits. Hips are nice, as are liver, kidney, and spleen shots. Palm strikes are fine as well, but I would not execute one to avoid hurting my hand because I won't hurt my hand by punching. You also have the ridge hand inside and outside, shuto and haito, not to mention the nukite thrust. Then there's ichi knuckle and various kinds of interesting hand formations that can do incredible damage to your opponent without exposing your hand to injury.

    If you really want to play it safe, you can try the old man fist. You can't hurt your hand with that. Simple to do. Make a fist, vertically oriented. Now, open the fist enough to extend the index finger along the base of the palm/thumb, pointing back at the wrist, instead of curled in like the rest. Then wrap your thumb around that index finger. Notice your index finger knuckle is now considerably set back from the others. Go ahead and hit a few things to get a feel for it. Phone books are good. You should notice you can hit with incredible power and feel nothing in terms of pressure on your knuckles. Good stuff.
     
  11. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10,681
    Likes Received:
    675
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Somewhere out there
    I like the palm heel also. Good close in strike with good power. Once the palm hits the fingers drop right into the eyes.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. onthechin

    onthechin Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2011
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    God this is stupid. If anyone here actually KNEW how to fight and actually got into a fight (heaven forbid) you'd know that the ol palm vs fist thing goes out the window. In a real fight you are trying to hit the other guy and fear for your safety...you dont have the luxury of choosing between palm or fist.
     
  13. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,827
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    158
    Location:
    Australia
    Well, if someone trains the living crap out of using Palms, they probably will.

    ...Once the Adrenalin wears off. And the Engagement slows down.
    I think its important to be able to do Palms, but the circumstance in which Youd be able to actually tell Yourself to do it is a different story.
    What was it during WW2? Chin Jabbing or something?
     
  14. simplewc101

    simplewc101 Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2011
    Messages:
    48
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    California
    by your logic, why train martial arts at all since it just goes out the window and you dont have the luxury of choosing?
    you train so it's instinct. and so you can JUST DO IT.
    Any fist to the hard part of the skull can cause injury to your fist. You might hurt him bad, but you might hurt yourself as well. You might not, and you also might hit him in the face where you intended and do maximum damage.
    What you train is what you do.
     
  15. seasoned

    seasoned MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2007
    Messages:
    10,681
    Likes Received:
    675
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Somewhere out there
    There is a time and a place for every technique, if not, take up boxing and just punch.

    Long Distance: legs
    Mid Range: Low kicks, punches
    close Range: knees, elbows, grabs, open hand strikes, take downs.

    You are correct, there is no choosing, your training will dictate the techniques which you will use, and in the heat of battle, they just happen.
     
  16. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    3,578
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Metro ATL
    BWAHAHAHAHAHAA.... you so funneh.... *ahem*
     
  17. clfsean

    clfsean Senior Master

    • MartialTalk Mentor
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Messages:
    3,578
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Metro ATL
    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmkkkkkkkkkkaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy... So you're going to enlighten those of us who haven't been in a fight in the last week or so what we're doing wrong? Just checking... the few couple times I have been, I've come out pretty ok.
     
  18. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    30,187
    Likes Received:
    426
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Cromwell,CT
    The usual thought is to hit a soft target with a hard one, and a hard target with a soft strike. IMHO, I think that both open and closed hand strikes, have their place. Blasting someone in the face with a palm strike or a an open hand strike to the groin is also very effective. From a SD point of view, I like the use of open hands, especially during the initial attempt at defusing the situation verbally. Hands up, palms open, in a non-threatening manner, is an excellent pre-emptive strike. It doesnt look threatening, yet its still defensive, should you need to fire off a shot or block an incoming one. Having hands up, fists clenched isn't giving that impression to the other guy.

    But a nice hard body shot with a closed fist is also pretty effective. Of course, while its not necessarily a punch, the use of a hammerfist is also another option to a punch.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

    • LifeTime Supporting Member
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Messages:
    30,187
    Likes Received:
    426
    Trophy Points:
    208
    Location:
    Cromwell,CT
    So the thread should be closed because you, the expert says so? If its stupid, why are you here posting, if you don't have anything useful to add? Reading your post, implies that people aren't going to be thinking or be capable of thinking clearly, which means they're just going to be swinging wildly. IMO, that isn't wise. Personally, environment and target availability will dictate what we can/can't do. Of course, if we were seriously training, we'd be putting ourselves thru some scenario training.
     
  20. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2009
    Messages:
    14,587
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    Trophy Points:
    263
    Location:
    Michigan
    Good one. And now that I think about it, let's not forget the basic slap. Very useful for a variety of things, not least of which is ending a fight through humiliation.123
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
heel of an open hand
,
hitting someone closed fosts open hand
,
how to hit with an open hand
,

how to master open hand defense for punches

,
iron palm strike to kidney
,
iron punch for self defence
,

is iron palm more deadly than punches

,
knife hand strike vs punch
,
open hand strike vs punch
,
palm punch to face
,
palm vs fist punch
,
punch vs palm strike
,
self defence perth palm strikes
,
teisho iron palm