I need a new fist

Buka

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I spent about twenty years working bags with gloves, and another fifteen years without. The bags didn't seem to care.

@gpseymour, do you know an acupuncturist? Might want to give him a shot.
 

drop bear

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Yeah, and that's why I'm asking folks for alternatives in how I use the hand. I've already said the gloves are an alternative, as is working open-handed on that side. Your reaction was a bit much, man.

I am Australian.

Thats how we talk.
 

CB Jones

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Do you really need that thumb?

I'm a shade tree surgeon if you want it amputated.
 

JP3

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I'm running into a problem in my own training, and hoping someone here has some suggestions. This only shows up working on the heavy bag with bare hands (my personal preference). I have some arthritis in the base of my left thumb (the knuckle where it meets the hand). Because of this, my left thumb doesn't fold in quite as far as the right. Until recently, this has been irrelevant. Lately, though, it seems to have reached a point where the thumb doesn't fold down far enough. When I hit a heavy bag (bare-handed) with even moderate force, I sometimes feel the bent point of the thumb making contact with the bag as the bag compresses around the fist. In and of itself, it's not a problem during training. The next day, however, the knuckle is very tender from the repeated pushing in.

So, I'm wondering if there's another way to make a fist that would be better suited to that arthritic knuckle. I make what I'd consider the most common fist - the thumb wraps around, folds across the first two fingers, like this:
View attachment 20836

I've seen other fists; I think I remember someone in Ryukyu Kempo using one with the thumb compressed on top (on the side of the first finger). I'm wondering if any of them will alleviate the problem (knowing which one would let me look for someone to teach it to me), or if I just need to settle for open-hand strikes on that side.
I was going to start a new thread myself on this topic. I put away punching with a closed fist about 10 years ago, after a nifty little training thing that had my base knuckle of my right forefinger swollen and unable to move for almost two months. I need to be able to key, so that didn't work for me at all. So, when I went back, I just started using all open-hand strikes. Surprisingly easy and straightforward. You give up a couple inches reach going from punch to palm strikes, but you can make up for it with a bit of power.
 
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Gerry Seymour

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I was going to start a new thread myself on this topic. I put away punching with a closed fist about 10 years ago, after a nifty little training thing that had my base knuckle of my right forefinger swollen and unable to move for almost two months. I need to be able to key, so that didn't work for me at all. So, when I went back, I just started using all open-hand strikes. Surprisingly easy and straightforward. You give up a couple inches reach going from punch to palm strikes, but you can make up for it with a bit of power.
I've been working more with open-hand strikes. I just can't find one I like nearly as well as a good set of knuckles for taking a shot at ribs when they are available, or for a liver punch, or a kidney punch. Up around the head, I'm pretty happy with open hands, but I get all "fisty" (well, that sounds dirty) when striking below the chest.
 

Touch Of Death

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I've been working more with open-hand strikes. I just can't find one I like nearly as well as a good set of knuckles for taking a shot at ribs when they are available, or for a liver punch, or a kidney punch. Up around the head, I'm pretty happy with open hands, but I get all "fisty" (well, that sounds dirty) when striking below the chest.
Fistivics. o_O
 

Bill Mattocks

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Yes thumb on top is isshinryu fist.

I also use old man fist when I hit the bag. Fingers don't curl under.
 

Ironbear24

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I meant to say Bill Mattocks, for some reason the edit button won't work for me.
 

Bill Mattocks

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This is what I mean by Old Man Fist. Forgive the quality; I was eating dinner with the wife and reading MT on my tablet.

I won't presume to tell you how to punch; I know you have far more experience than I do. I mention for the sake of others who might read this that I tend to keep my hand semi-relaxed when punching, and to let the impact form the fist. I try to strike with the top two knuckles, wrist straight, fist angled ever so slightly downwards. I believe the fist JowGaWolf posted looks very much like the fist we use in Isshinryu.
 

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oftheherd1

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Straighten your thumb somewhat (mine doesn't bend reliably anymore), and you'll find it starts to protrude just past the surface of the fist. That tip of the thumb is what's transmitting impact into the arthritic knuckle.

Besides that, I do have super-human punches. I hit like a steam engine. No, really. It's like getting punched by the Hulk. That's my story and I'm sticking to it...until someone makes me prove it, then I'll have to come up with a new one.

Ah, now I see, you are sticking your thumb out. Don't do that. Oh, that is what you are complaining about.

I guess it depends on how far your thumb sticks out. And I don't have a photo of what I am talking about. But when I do what I mentioned to you, the thumb is protected no only by the part of the fingers closest to the knuckle, but the knuckles themselves. The knuckles are protected by the straight line back to the wrist, and up the radius. Is it possible your thumb isn't so much hitting the bag as the sudden stop is jarring the joint and causing the pain?

As to JowGaWolf's video, I would be worried that it would not protect the thumb, especially one that is already incapable of full movement and then might be required to compress more. Even the pointing of the index finger seems more dangerous to me that the way I was taught to use what we called the Dragon's Head Punch. We used the middle finger which didn't so much involve the thumb as it was curled under in a different way.

But JowGaWolf, I realize that often it has more to do with how one learns to make something work than endless bickering on a forum about what is best. If a technique works for the one using it, that is all that is necessary.
 
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Gerry Seymour

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That picture's considered the safest fist to make for striking. Ever considered open-palm or slapping?
As I said in the OP, I do use open-hand strikes, and may have to retire that hand from bare-knuckle strikes on the bag. Just looking for alternatives, because bare-knuckle work is how I prefer to play on the bag, just working whatever feels right.
 

oftheherd1

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That picture's considered the safest fist to make for striking. Ever considered open-palm or slapping?

First I would ask by whom? Then I would remind that gpseymore's thumb is already lacking in flexibility due to arthritis. Depending on how much flexibility has been lost, and how much pain occurs when striking, there may be nothing that will mitigate the problem.

EDIT: Have you tried any medical intervention?
 
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Gerry Seymour

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Ah, now I see, you are sticking your thumb out. Don't do that.
Well, now you tell me. :p

Oh, that is what you are complaining about.

I guess it depends on how far your thumb sticks out. And I don't have a photo of what I am talking about. But when I do what I mentioned to you, the thumb is protected no only by the part of the fingers closest to the knuckle, but the knuckles themselves. The knuckles are protected by the straight line back to the wrist, and up the radius. Is it possible your thumb isn't so much hitting the bag as the sudden stop is jarring the joint and causing the pain?

It doesn't hurt in the moment - that comes later. When I'm at the bag, I just feel the tip make contact on harder punches in the top half of the bag (the bottom half doesn't compress enough to make contact). It's more noticeable in the moment than I'd have thought, because it's a contact point that's just unusual.
 
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Gerry Seymour

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First I would ask by whom? Then I would remind that gpseymore's thumb is already lacking in flexibility due to arthritis. Depending on how much flexibility has been lost, and how much pain occurs when striking, there may be nothing that will mitigate the problem.

EDIT: Have you tried any medical intervention?
I haven't made it to the doc yet. It'll take a couple of weeks to get in, so I'm trying to find some improvement before then. I'm probably also stalling about spending the money. It'll be $40 for the visit, plus $40 per session with a PT, which is the likely course of action.
 

oftheherd1

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I haven't made it to the doc yet. It'll take a couple of weeks to get in, so I'm trying to find some improvement before then. I'm probably also stalling about spending the money. It'll be $40 for the visit, plus $40 per session with a PT, which is the likely course of action.

Not only pain in an arthritic thumb, but pain in the wallet. Ouch and Ouch. I hope they can do you some good. I still think a hand position change might help as well, but maybe not.
 
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