Bare knuckle for self-defense?

Jared Traveler

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Does anyone have experience hitting someone in the face in self-defense with a closed fist? I'm talking about striking with the knuckles, not a hammer fist or anything.

Have you been witness to this event? Did the striker break his hand?

Do you see closed fist strikes to an opponents face as a viable technique for self-defense? Do you feel confident and plan on using a closed fist?

Does your system teach closed fist strikes? And do they prepare you to strike a real attacker in this manner?
 

Flying Crane

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I see no problem with it.

My own experience consists of me getting punched in the side of the face. The other guy did not break his hand.

Obvious targets to do your best to avoid because of potential damage to the hand include the teeth and forehead, but a solid follow-through to the nose or chin or side of the face shouldnt be a problem. The head wobbles on the neck. The jaw can be dislocated and broken. You can really hurt someone that way.

Consistent training on a heavy bag or makiwara or other robust striking surface, without use of wraps and gloves, should give you the conditioning and education needed to line up the delivery system with minimal risk of injury to the hand and wrist.
 

Steve

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Does anyone have experience hitting someone in the face in self-defense with a closed fist? I'm talking about striking with the knuckles, not a hammer fist or anything.

Have you been witness to this event? Did the striker break his hand?

Do you see closed fist strikes to an opponents face as a viable technique for self-defense? Do you feel confident and plan on using a closed fist?

Does your system teach closed fist strikes? And do they prepare you to strike a real attacker in this manner?
The only time I've ever broken a hand was wrestling in high school. I went for a single leg and jammed my fingers... ended up with spiral fractures in my hand. Never broke a hand punching someone. Maybe I was doing it wrong.
 
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Jared Traveler

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When I was a much younger man I worked as a corrections officer. I "field tested" a lot of martial arts techniques in those days. But I also transported more than a couple inmates to the hospital with broken hands from hitting each other.
 

lklawson

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Does anyone have experience hitting someone in the face in self-defense with a closed fist? I'm talking about striking with the knuckles, not a hammer fist or anything.

Have you been witness to this event? Did the striker break his hand?

Do you see closed fist strikes to an opponents face as a viable technique for self-defense? Do you feel confident and plan on using a closed fist?

Does your system teach closed fist strikes? And do they prepare you to strike a real attacker in this manner?
 

drop bear

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I haven't had a problem. But fighting is risky. And obviously it can happen.

The guys I know who have competed bare knuckle haven't done that much hand conditioning. Preferring to have healthy hands and a larger volume of training instead.
 

drop bear

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I don't know if this will come up. But I have seen a few people break their hands through gloves throwing body punches. Because it can catch an elbow in an awkward spot.
 

Rich Parsons

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Does anyone have experience hitting someone in the face in self-defense with a closed fist? I'm talking about striking with the knuckles, not a hammer fist or anything.

Have you been witness to this event? Did the striker break his hand?

Do you see closed fist strikes to an opponents face as a viable technique for self-defense? Do you feel confident and plan on using a closed fist?

Does your system teach closed fist strikes? And do they prepare you to strike a real attacker in this manner?

All four marks are cuts or piercing from teeth.
Right Hand -

So my experience is not recent as scars are older and smaller.
 

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Buka

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I've witnesses a few street fights where hands were broken on faces/heads. But didn't know that until the fight was well over.

I've never broken a hand, I imagine it sucks.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Does anyone have experience hitting someone in the face in self-defense with a closed fist? I'm talking about striking with the knuckles, not a hammer fist or anything.

Have you been witness to this event? Did the striker break his hand?

Do you see closed fist strikes to an opponents face as a viable technique for self-defense? Do you feel confident and plan on using a closed fist?

Does your system teach closed fist strikes? And do they prepare you to strike a real attacker in this manner?
Yes X 7. I have struck many a face with closed fist in street. I have been struck many times in the face with closed fist. I have assisted in dozens of 5th metacarpal fractures that were received by punching a closed fist on a skull. Likewise, I have assisted in dozens of facial fractures caused the same way. I teach it, I have no doubts that I can do it again if needed. The issue is the structure of the fist and where it contacts the skull. In my experience, people let the distal end of the 5th metacarpal droop by balling up the fist. If you squeeze too tight and ball it up then the 5th is not splinted or supported by the rest of the hand. When someone swings wide(the ghetto whopper punch aka haymaker)and only makes contact with the lateral side of the fist, the 5th metacarpal will not sustain its integrity on impact with the rounded parts of the skull. Boxers avoid this by taping and wrapping to keep that squared shape of the fist. It takes time and training to keep that structure in the fist when striking. I have more on this if you want, just let me know, Im happy to assist if I can.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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All four marks are cuts or piercing from teeth.
Right Hand -

So my experience is not recent as scars are older and smaller.
I have one on my left index knuckle. I thought I was my bone sticking out, I went to the ED and said I hit it on the curb. The Dr. said uh huh, curbs dont have teeth when he removed the broke tooth fragment.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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I've witnesses a few street fights where hands were broken on faces/heads. But didn't know that until the fight was well over.

I've never broken a hand, I imagine it sucks.
My best buddy charged me from behind in a darkened parking lot. He had his hood up and tight, I had a girlfriend with me, he was not supposed to be within a hundred miles that night. Yes, there was alcohol involved. A fast reaction caused me to grab him by the front and sweep him, hard. Now this training brother of mine had 6 years of Aikido training before he ever started Kung fu training. He twisted in the air while I was still grasping his jacket. My left ring finger got caught in the jacket and spiral fractured my left 4th metacarpal. My ring finger was jutting out far left under my pinkie. I was very unhappy with my best friend in that moment. I was far out from a hospital so I reduced the fracture right then and then put an ace bandage in my fist and wrapped the whole thing into a mit. im about 1/2 inch short on that one now bit it works fine. I still cuss him over it in the winter when it hurts.
 
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Jared Traveler

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Yes X 7. I have struck many a face with closed fist in street. I have been struck many times in the face with closed fist. I have assisted in dozens of 5th metacarpal fractures that were received by punching a closed fist on a skull. Likewise, I have assisted in dozens of facial fractures caused the same way. I teach it, I have no doubts that I can do it again if needed. The issue is the structure of the fist and where it contacts the skull. In my experience, people let the distal end of the 5th metacarpal droop by balling up the fist. If you squeeze too tight and ball it up then the 5th is not splinted or supported by the rest of the hand. When someone swings wide(the ghetto whopper punch aka haymaker)and only makes contact with the lateral side of the fist, the 5th metacarpal will not sustain its integrity on impact with the rounded parts of the skull. Boxers avoid this by taping and wrapping to keep that squared shape of the fist. It takes time and training to keep that structure in the fist when striking. I have more on this if you want, just let me know, Im happy to assist if I can.
Sure! Send me more. I spent the fist 20+ years of training committed to palm strike. Now I'm punching multiple times a week with closed fists and rethinking possibilities.

I used to break a lot of boards probably 25 years ago. But I also broke my knuckle on a small board once.
 

Wing Woo Gar

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Sure! Send me more. I spent the fist 20+ years of training committed to palm strike. Now I'm punching multiple times a week with closed fists and rethinking possibilities.

I used to break a lot of boards probably 25 years ago. But I also broke my knuckle on a small board once.
Sounds like you have as much experience or more than me. I dont want to say my way is best or anything of the sort. I can explain how I was taught and what has worked for me. Spread the back of the hand. Keep the wrist straight. Fold the fingers over the palm. Curl them but leave a space inside that you could hold a piece of chalk in there just tight enough I cant pull it out, but not so tight that you break it. Now lift the fifth metacarpal bone, not the finger! So now the whole ridge of knuckles is a straight line. Now fold the thumb over the index knuckle finger and supinate the thumb. Now pull the the thumb into the wrist to square the torques. Dont choke it to death, form the structure around the space. You can get a similar feel from bag gloves that have the bar built into the palm. When I was a kid I carried a D cell battery to put in my fist. Its the same idea just more advanced. No battery required, haha. Hope that is legible enough. Let me know if you have problems or questions.
 

Alan0354

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I have been punching 6X6 pole for years preparing for that. I did not punch anyone's face, it cannot be harder than the pole!!! It is NOT good enough to just punch heavy bags with bare knuckles, have to be hard surface.

I don't know why people here are so against punching poles, To me, it's essential. I have been doing this for years. I don't punch hard, just twice a week. Notice I practice on elbows and shin, that's very important also.


Something is funny, the video won't start. Just click "Youtube" on the lower right of the window to open new window to see.


You can take my words, punching heavy bags with no gloves are NOT good enough. I even stuffed my bags harder, it's nothing. I have been punching heavy bags for decades, 20 years ago, I was playing with friends breaking boards. I wore the Everlast bag glove that was about 1/4" thick padding(similar to the head). I punched 3 boards with no space in between. I broke the boards, but I broke my knuckle. Took like 5 months to recover. Ever since, I started punching poles, start out very light, took a few months to get there. It was painful first, but it'll go away. I've been doing it once a week every since until last year. I started doing twice a week.

I can only speak for myself: I play guitar, I was a pretty good guitarist long time ago. I do a lot of soldering with micro circuits( we call those SMD) that requires very steady hands working under magnifying glass. I have absolutely no problem. I have very steady and precision hands. Punching pole does not affect my hand coordination a bit. Do it at your own risk, I can only speak for myself.
 
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