Conditioning Your Hands

MJS

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There is a thread in the Kenpo section regarding using or not using gloves when hitting bags, focus pads, etc.

I was wondering how many people, if any, do some sort of hand conditioning? This can range from hitting a makiwara board or some sort of iron palm training.

IMO, I think it would be a benefit to do something, even if it was nothing more than knuckle pushups. Of course, there is always the possibility of some long term effects from repeatedly hitting hard objects.

During a training session, we have the luxury of protective gear, but I'm thinking it would be good to do some bag work without gloves to aid in that conditioning process.

Of course, regardless of whatever method we choose, starting off slowly and gradually building up is the best way to go!:ultracool

Mike
 

Xue Sheng

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I use to.

I never used gloves for anything, hitting the heavy bag, sparing, hitting a Makiwawa, hitting walls, knuckle pushups, Etc.

I stopped a few years ago and I cannot believe how much it hurts to hit something these days, I just started training a heavy bag again.
 

Robert Lee

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The idea of M/A training was to condition your hands feet shins ect. You start out at a lighter level and move up. You can get or have themmade. Canvas bags about 12 by 14 fill them witrh dent corn or another harder corn mount them and use themfor hand strikes finger strikes. and such. Haevy bag light bags golves you still get some conditioning . Knuckle pushups train the mucsles in the punching aspect. and strenghen the wrist and a little knuckle condition. mawaiki board helps harden off the bone and build the skin. You can even use 1/2 to 3/4 steelplate to condition with. Or a thick board. you just buid up the strike level over time. Boxers and such do not do as much conditioning but pad the knuckles to prevent injury. The idea of conditioning is less injury on delivery. And it gives somewhat more impact because you do through harder after you notice less pain on hitting.
 

Grenadier

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Some conditioning is good, but it's certainly prudent to not take it to extremes. Hitting a heavy bag is fine, as is a makiwari, but pounding one's fist on a metal barrel (or something similarly extreme) isn't going to be too good.

I've known a few folks who had trained to toughen up their hands throughout the years. As they entered their 50's and beyond, I'd notice that they couldn't hold a cup of coffee without spilling some due to the shakes.

While some people may treat my statement with scorn, I'll tell you right away, that I do value my fine motor coordination, since I do enjoy playing the piano, and that my day job does require the ability to make very fine adjustments. To me, it's simply not worth risking my abilities to carry out such functions just for that extra bit of toughness.
 

dubljay

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I think it is important to know what it feels like to hit a hard target (like a heavy bag) without gloves/ hand protection, its important to know the difference in the feeling. Wearing gloves or wraps provide support for the hand and wrist. But take them off and without that support improper technique will show.

I hit the bag bare knuckled every so often just to keep the feel for it. Ususally though I either wear my bag gloves or use canvas wraps. There are a couple reasons for this. First is that when I was about 12 my right hand was broken. It was basically a boxers fracture on my pinky and ring finger (no I didn't hit someone, my hand was crushed). As a result of this at age 21 I already have arthritis in my hand. The second reason I usually wrap my hands is that I broke my left wrist twice playing soccer. I dont want to do any further damage to my wrist than I already have.


Conditioning has value, but not at the expense of your body.
 

pstarr

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I punch the striking post 800 times a day with each fist and also practice other strikes as well. If it's done properly it won't cause loss of fine motor function - but it does require some measure of discipline.

I feel that "tempering" one's weapons is crucial.
 

still learning

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Hello, Research this alot...people who did lot of condition to there bodies/hands...in the 50's and up are now suffering from pain in the joints.

Doing a reasonable amount, but to the extreme.......Study this...Aloha

(Boxers are known for punch drunk),,as they age
 

Robert Lee

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You never start by just pounding on anything. You start at a rate that slowly conditions the depth of striking power you use later. And you sart hitting less then move the level upas you condition. Yes I am in my 50s. Yes I hav a few problems in my hands. But can still do most any thing I wish. Mostly in the mornings the handsare somewhat stiff then working them makes them loosen up. Conditioning is how far a person wants to take it. But it would not be a smart thing think you start by pounding away on a hard object.
 

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In the cobra style of Bando, we condition our hands by punching into dried maung beans. They are coarse, but they give so that it is akin to low impact aerobics for the hands, but it is very effective - I'd recommend looking into this type of conditioning

for the most part, bare knuckle hitting is not my thing - I used to work a heavy bag bare knuckle, but by 22 I was feeling it - in the negative sense. today my knuckles crack and pop every single time I make a fist
 

Andrew Green

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Did, and regret having done it, and will never reccomend it to anyone.

Handwraps and gloves are great things, why risk damaging your hands long term on the very small chance that it "might" be needed in a "real" fight?

Once and a while, ok, but that much repetitive stress on some very small bones is not going to give you healthy hands in the long run. And can anyone name one practical, day to day benefit of having well conditioned hands from striking things?
 

tradrockrat

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Andrew Green said:
And can anyone name one practical, day to day benefit of having well conditioned hands from striking things?

being the ultimate killing machine and a babe magnet??????:idunno: lol
 

pstarr

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Done properly, it doesn't harm the hands. Many people do it improperly and end up hurting themselves, sometimes permanently. It should be learned under the eye of a qualified teacher and practiced regularly.
 

Cirdan

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Rather than destroy the nerve endings, I prefer to employ the full sense of touch the hands have.
 

Franc0

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pstarr said:
Done properly, it doesn't harm the hands. Many people do it improperly and end up hurting themselves, sometimes permanently. It should be learned under the eye of a qualified teacher and practiced regularly.
This is the best reply I've heard so far and I agree wholeheartedly.
I've been doing Iron Palm conditioning for over ten years now and I can honestly say I have full dexterity with no problems whatsoever. It's important to start light and stay consistent, starting under the supervision of a qualified instructor. After my 2nd year, I progressed up to using steel shot in canvas bags, but after a few months I went back to mung beans and I've stuck with them ever since. My students tell me my open hand slaps/strikes feels like getting hit with lead filled blackjacks.
When hitting the heavy bag I like to use light bag gloves. When I work on the BOB I like to use bare hands.
 

fightingfat

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Part of training in Wing Chun should be conditioning your hands, once you have learned to strike correctly, i.e. with correct alignment.

We use a wallbag, mine is three section with the top section filled with chick peas to replicate the bony areas of the face, the second two sections filled with sand to replicate the body and help build penetrating power. It aims to build strength in the wrists and conditions the striking areas of the hand. Students of Wing Chun Kuen should have been training for at least 3 months before starting wallbag sessions to ensure the centre line punch (lin wan kuen) is correctly aligned and executed. The power in each punch will have increased and the need to build strength and condition the hand will be important. Many students may be more willing than able to undertake this step and it is, therefore, very important to proceed carefully.

An important part of training on a wall bag is the use of Dit Da Jow to aleviate bruising after a session and massage your hands thoroughly before and after training. Essentially, you are damaging your hands when you undertake this form of training. the conditioning process is your body compensating for this regular damage.
 
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MJS

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masterfinger said:
This is the best reply I've heard so far and I agree wholeheartedly.
I've been doing Iron Palm conditioning for over ten years now and I can honestly say I have full dexterity with no problems whatsoever. It's important to start light and stay consistent, starting under the supervision of a qualified instructor. After my 2nd year, I progressed up to using steel shot in canvas bags, but after a few months I went back to mung beans and I've stuck with them ever since. My students tell me my open hand slaps/strikes feels like getting hit with lead filled blackjacks.
When hitting the heavy bag I like to use light bag gloves. When I work on the BOB I like to use bare hands.

Great post and I agree with what you're saying here! I think that many times not enough time is spent learning the basics and also starting off with a softer material to strike gradually building up to something that you said above, such as steel shot.

And like anything, having a qualified person to show the proper way to do this is very important.

Mike
 

Franc0

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Thanks MJS. Too many times have I seen both students and advanced practitioners injure their hands unnecessarily, due to improper conditioning and simple lack of common sense. Hand conditioning has been seen in various levels of severity in the martial arts. Anyone remember the Martial Arts Documentary (one of many) on the Discovery Channel where they did a piece on Chan Poi (I think it was him) who conditioned his knuckles by hitting iron plates several hundred times a day? Though they never focused directly on his hands, if you looked carefully, you could see how his specific type of conditioning made the knuckles on the right hand (which he focused his conditioning on solely for some reason) grossly deformed his knuckles. Footage of him walking around in public showed him wearing a glove over that hand, which IMO, was to hide the deformity.
Fightingfat & Kensai both brought up was I consider a majorly essential part of proper hand conditioning, and that is the practice of massaging the hands with Dit Da Jow in conditioning sessions.
Here's some what I follow concerning the application of DDJ w/ hand conditioning, and hopefully it'll help others that are interested;
1st, get some good quality Dit Da Jow. From what I've gathered the better quality uses a rice wine base instead of alcohol base, but it really doesn't matter. A search on the internet will find a multitude of sites that offer DDJ. Personally I recommend and use DDJ from Wing Lam Enterprises & VDT Academy out of California, and Arthur Sennott's (New England RMA) personal brew.
2nd, using enough amounts of DDJ to keep the hands slightly wet, massage the hands thoroughly for at least 5 minutes before conditioning.
3rd, after conditioning, again massage the hands with enough DDJ to keep the hands wet for the same amount of time you conditioned, massaging from the palms to the fingertips.
Some diciplines of Iron Palm training require specific warmups before conditioning sessions, as well as certain training environments & conditions, but basically consistency and dedication is the deal.
 
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