fist vs palm strik

It's true about the the risks of hurting your wrist when executing a punch. But remember that the punch shouldn't be eliminated, just supplement them with palm strikes.
Both the fist and the palm have there place in martial arts, and neither should be eliminated. As they say, "Fit your weapon to your target."

I prefer the palm strike rather then the fist for two reasons. It is more safer then a fist and you can utilize economy of motion and turn the palm strike into a grab. I'm not saying I would'nt punch if the need arises but I prefer not to
We talk about these things in Systema quite a bit. Typically to "hard" targets of the body, we use open handed strikes to prevent self-injury. In military arts, this is often the case. Nothing like getting a broken hand while on a mission..

The article made very good points. If I'm a police officer and my hand gets broken in a confrontation...what good am I going to be handling the person I'm dealing with?

But of course...bravado typically wins over common sense :D Punch em in the grill hard! :rolleyes:
i prefer to use palm strikes as the primary striking method and fist for body shots. do you guys agree that would be safe?
you have longer range with a punch than a palm strike by a couple inches, that's a factor.. most soft targets I would go with the punch because the force is more localised and is transmited through a harder tool. also some techs are hard with the palm, ever try throwing a tight hook with a palm? puts weird strain on your arm, saps alot of power from me. so most of my palm strikes would be close in, a ranged palm strike would be more like a slap if I were to be executing one.
how is the hand supposed to look when readying for a palm strike
well in my JKD class in a ready stance we keep our hands relaxed with our fingers slightly curled, kinda like how grapplers keep them (depends form person to person) and genneraly we don't change that form untill just before we strike. But than again we don't practice palm strikes much at all so my guess is there is a whole lot I'm missing
Alot of the problem with the punch is the way people punch. The way boxers punch (and most people punch like boxers) puts a lot of stress on the hands. Also using a boxing style puch it is easy to hit with the last knuckle only, while it is in a position of weakness. That is why I prefer a vertical fist. If you study material on bare knuckle boxing you will see that they did not punch like modern boxers either.

This is a good one from 1867

it explains the good old "fighting irish" pose, with the lead hand 3/4 extended with the palm turned up, lined the knuckles up with the opponent, and the rear hand held on the chest did likewise. If you practice throwing straight punches from this stance you will notice two things:
the vertical fist is easier to throw and;

the knuckles form a wedge like this: ^

This I imagine would penetrate deep and would hold up fairly well. From what I can gather the original aim of bare knuckle boxing was to make you opponent unable to continue. In other words they couldn't "toe the line", not because they where unconcious but because they were to beat up. This lead to cutting blows to the face as opposed to the pure power brain rattlers of today.

Originally posted by hand2handCombat

how is the hand supposed to look when readying for a palm strike
The way that i was taught palm striking was to conceal the intent. So, if trapping a punch or thrust for control with one hand; the free hand will always be in a circling check to either palm block and/or strike with the blocking palm (closed or vertical half-fist) to break the controlled natural weapon. If controlling to contour, the free palm would be pushing/pulling the trapped arm's shoulder either forward or backward to contour to the vital joint and use a pull/push angling, upward, or downward motion to break/dislocate the joint. If the situation permits trapping of the arm while forward stepping of the free side, will catapult the free checking trailing palm to break the trapped arm's joint, etc,!
Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
Both have their place as previously mentioned.
And those two are not enough...
i would say that distance would be a factor. if i was in real close i would use a palm strike. i feel that they are very powerful and can cause alot of damage to your opponent.

punches are great when you are in too close to use your kicks, ut too far for elbows and such.

although there will always be risks of injury that you take with any technique you throw.