Does punching vertically really decrease the chances of breaking your hands? How do you do so when you hit that way?

Kung Fu Wang

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I would still teach fully horizontal twist,
The fully horizontal twist has advantage that you can change your straight punch into a spiral punch that go over your opponent's arm and still hit him (like an overhand).

IMO, most of the time in MA, there is no right or wrong but trade off.
 

dvcochran

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I read that old bare knuckle boxers rarely suffered hand fractures because they punched vertically instead of the horizontal punches today. In addition many existing martial arts such as Wing Chun punch vertically exactly for the reason to prevent injuries to the hand.

However I tried hitting a punching bag without gloves recently using vertical fists and my hands were sore and hurting by the end of the workout! So I am doubting this. However even Bruce Lee tended to prefer vertical hits irl in contrast to his movies when fighting in the streets without gloves so there must be something I'm missing.

Can anyone clarify? I mean Jack Dempsey even stated when he was a bouncer he preferred vertical punches for safety reasons despite fighting primarily as a boxing battler in the streets and many street boxing systems take a page or two from Jack Dempsey's experiences! Not to mention many Krav strikes are vertical fists in the way bare knuckle boxing before Marquis Queensberry rules and Wing Chun fighters hit!
It is a great question. I think the short answer is it depends primarily on the position of both people.
Think of how the wrist joint moves. There is more range of motion in the horizontal position so for high (or very low) punches it think it is the safer position.
For punches in a more neutral range I dont think one position is any safer that the other, as far as the wrist is concerned.
If you subscribe to using the first two knuckles for a correct punch, then for me, a vertical punch make this harder.
There are so many body position nuances that factor into this question. And they can factor out many of hazards for either punch. If you watch the body of some of the great punchers you can see this.
 

JowGaWolf

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Where do you even come up with this stuff. Like..what do you even base it on? This is patently false. What exactly do you think focus mit's are for? Speed bags?
I'll explain it this way. Maybe I wasn't detailed enough:
If I'm wearing boxing gloves then I'm trying to hit the mit. When I'm not wearing gloves I'm trying to hit specific areas of the mit. Now in regards to striking the actual head.

If I'm wearing boxing gloves then I'm trying to hit wider area of the head. Punch the face, Punch under the chin, Punch the side of the face. When I'm not wearing gloves I'm trying to hit specific area of the head. Punch jaw hinge, Punch bone under eye, Punch temple, Punch ear, Punch back of head, Punch Top of head

Punching mits focus area for people who where gloves is this small dot if the gloves have a dot. The focus mits are about the size of someone's head.
1632585871143.png



When you fight without gloves the areas that you aim for looks like this. I'm no longer trying to strike a general area. If his head was a focus mit then there would be 2 or 3 dots on it and you aim for those dots.
1632585745662.png


Maybe this clears things up as to what I'm talking about when I say training accuracy. I don't wear boxing gloves or gloves when I train train my striking so this is what accuracy will always mean for me. For me focus mitts are more like general accuracy. Like if I want to hit the front or side of the face.
 

JowGaWolf

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Seriously dude.. actually train with people that do combat sports before making bogus claims about it.
I have trained with people who do combat sports. This chart and the concept of accuracy is not part of their training, mainly because the size of the gloves used in combat sports are often too big for this type of accuracy. You aren't going to get this level of accuracy by training with gloves on. It would be a waste of time to train this type of accuracy if you fight with gloves on.
1632587592401.png
 

JowGaWolf

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I agree with this, but I'm not a fan of the logic that people go from here to suggest we should not use horizontal punch. It's basically saying "there's a better way to punch with more power, but it requires more effort to do it correctly, so we will do the less effective way because it's slightly easier".

If there's a structural or a flow reason for it, I'm all for it, but not because you're worried people will flare their elbow.
The biggest problem with elbow flare isn't that someone will use it as an opportunity to crank the elbow. While technically it's possible, it is also technically very difficult. The more the elbow flares out the less effective the punch is and the easier it is to take advantage of it. But it's not something that can be learned in 2 week seminar. The concept is easy but the application is going to take a few years.

I think the real danger is not that the elbow flares, but what position the elbow is in at the end of the punch. "Wave hands like clouds" clouds has an arm break in it that is used against vertical punches. It's at the transition stage where one hand sinks and the other hand rises. This can be used when the elbow is pointing down. Horizontal punches tend to be at higher risk, I've seen examples of this in boxing where a punch gets caught under the opponent arm's arm pit. A simple twist of the body can damage the elbow.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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The biggest problem with elbow flare isn't that someone will use it as an opportunity to crank the elbow. While technically it's possible, it is also technically very difficult. The more the elbow flares out the less effective the punch is and the easier it is to take advantage of it. But it's not something that can be learned in 2 week seminar. The concept is easy but the application is going to take a few years.

I think the real danger is not that the elbow flares, but what position the elbow is in at the end of the punch. "Wave hands like clouds" clouds has an arm break in it that is used against vertical punches. It's at the transition stage where one hand sinks and the other hand rises. This can be used when the elbow is pointing down. Horizontal punches tend to be at higher risk, I've seen examples of this in boxing where a punch gets caught under the opponent arm's arm pit. A simple twist of the body can damage the elbow.
Yup. Biggest issue is that they're damaging their elbow. I equate it to tennis elbow. Which is why whenever I've taught people punching, I have them first learn to throw jab/cross (or front-two-knuckle/reverse punch depending on what I'm teaching), against a wall. This way if their elbow flares, they actually feel it hit their elbow and mimic the actual damage in a tactile way. It does a good job of nipping that habit before it starts.
 

Martial D

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I have trained with people who do combat sports. This chart and the concept of accuracy is not part of their training, mainly because the size of the gloves used in combat sports are often too big for this type of accuracy. You aren't going to get this level of accuracy by training with gloves on. It would be a waste of time to train this type of accuracy if you fight with gloves on.
View attachment 27346
What? You're hilarious.
 

Gerry Seymour

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The major reason that you use the vertical fist instead of the horizontal fist is to prevent your elbow joint to be cracked.

When you use the

- vertical fist, your elbow joint is facing downward.
- horizontal fist, your elbow joint is facing side way.

When your opponent uses one arm to hit on your forearm, and use the other arm to hit on your elbow joint, he can crack you elbow joint when your elbow joint is facing sideway instead of facing downward.
I can punch both vertical fist and horizontal fist with that elbow down. We teach beginners the horizontal fist and require the elbow down.
 

seasoned

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This is how I've learned and taught it as well. Although I have adapted to going from a horizontal to a 45% punch personally when sparring, as I've found that it does a better job of getting through guards.
If I were to go back to teaching, I would still teach fully horizontal twist, under the concept of train big fight small.
And that in Okinawan GoJu is where you begin to learn power distribution and economy of motion. "Big circular moves become small".... As in all blocks are taught large and circular, but end up, as parry or deflects..............or, strikes)
 

seasoned

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If they had fewer fractures then it's probably because they trained accuracy more than today's boxers. Being able to place punches is an over looked skill. Most people don't think about it because they wear gloves.

But like what you learn when you hit the heavy bag. You can't just hit it any ole way you want to.
Gloved hands ko because of shock value. The 2 knuckle fist strike pin points the power for penetration.
 

JowGaWolf

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There's nothing like a well thought out and presented rebuttal to support your opinion over that of another. You've certainly convinced me!
Some people think the approach to punching with Gloves on is the same as punching with gloves off. I've met a lot of people who used to think that too. That perspective lasted as long as the skin on their knuckles, which was about 8 seconds of hard punching
 

JowGaWolf

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Yup. Biggest issue is that they're damaging their elbow. I equate it to tennis elbow. Which is why whenever I've taught people punching, I have them first learn to throw jab/cross (or front-two-knuckle/reverse punch depending on what I'm teaching), against a wall. This way if their elbow flares, they actually feel it hit their elbow and mimic the actual damage in a tactile way. It does a good job of nipping that habit before it starts.
I like this exercise. If there is a good at home training exercise. That one would be my first choice. I still use it today. I stand next to the wall and do light shadow boxing.

I think I've adopted the concept of Wing Chun fighting in a tight alley. Not that I'll be fighting in one of these. lol. The limited size area helps me to understand the limitations and variations of long circular punches.
1632603998694.png
 

Kung Fu Wang

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If you have right side forward and your opponent has left side forward, when your opponent throws a left straight punch, how difficult is it for you to use your right arm to block (to your right) on his left elbow joint, and at the same time to use your left hand to block (to your right) on his left forearm?

If you go into the woods, and use this technique to break 1000 tree branches, you may be able to develop this skill.
 

Gerry Seymour

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And that in Okinawan GoJu is where you begin to learn power distribution and economy of motion. "Big circular moves become small".... As in all blocks are taught large and circular, but end up, as parry or deflects..............or, strikes)
Ive long suspected theres more Goju (autocorrect changes that to agony :D) influence in NGA than is documented.
 

drop bear

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First of all: theye were aiming mostly to the sof part of body (belly) - this is the reason why their stance ( look at old phothos and graphics) was more similar to wing chun than to nowadays boxing..
And probably they were not going for KO as much as modern boxers (less power in punches to avoid hurting hands).

I have seen plenty of boxers break their hands punching the body.

Mostly when the other guy is putting an elbow in the way to defend it.
 

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Vertical vs. Horizontal? I think the weapon should contour the target area and goal of the strike.

For example, if I am punching under the chin the strike will have the palm facing me. If I am punching to the bladder, the palm will still be facing me, but oriented downwards.

There are some boxers that use an inverted vertical fist ( first rotates until the thumb points straight down) while jabbing because they feel it allows the shoulder to more naturally come up to protect the side of their jaw.

It all depends on what you want to do.
 
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