Is it not a good idea to use boxing in a street fight situation do to the risk of breaking bones in

Chrisinmd

Blue Belt
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
277
Reaction score
63
Is it not a good idea to use boxing in a street fight situation do to the risk of breaking bones in your hand? I contacted a self defense instructor and told him I wanted to take boxing lessons for self defense. He responded there are to many small delicate bones in the hand to be punching an assailant in a life or death situation and that it is not uncommon at all for even professional boxers to break there hands during fights even when they are wrapped and gloved. So he said that it be reckless and irresponsible for him to teach me boxing for self defense and put me in a situation where I could lose my life based on what he teaches.

And then he referred me to this youtube video for an alternative to hitting with boxing punches. What do you think?

 

wab25

Master Black Belt
Joined
Sep 22, 2017
Messages
1,241
Reaction score
1,086
I have heard from lots of different sources, that say you will break your hands if you punch someone in the head, with just your hands. And yes, some people do. Even some professional boxers in full hand wraps break their hands. But, many more people don't. I know quite a few people who have gotten into fights, where they hit the other guy in the head... bars, highschool... I know 2 that did break their hands, and a bunch more that didn't. The first UFC was bare knuckle. The french guy broke his hand in his first fight, hitting the sumo fighter in the head. The rest of the fighters did not break their hands. The guy with the broken hand, fought twice more that night, with a broken hand and broken foot... he was far from incapacitated.

I would think that if you trained to box (or punch properly) then your chance of injury would go down. But, it may be that because you can punch harder, the chance of injury goes up. I am not sure. But, bare knuckle fights sanctioned and unsanctioned have been going on for years. They have produced broken hands and not broken hands.

Boxing teaches other targets besides the head. Just because you choose to box, does not mean that you have to punch him in the head. Even if you want to punch his head... a good sharp boxers jab should not break your hand. A few of those should dissuade most folks from wanting more. Boxing would bring you fitness, tune up your vision and teach you to move and react. If you like boxing, go for it.

As to the video... palm strikes are great. However, they are also not without risk. Ever notice how boxers gloves are starting to connect the thumb to the fingers? Thats to stop the thumb from breaking, if it catches. (and to stop the thumb from going into the eye) Using the palm strikes exposes your fingers and thumbs to be caught and broken.

The point I am making is to not let the risks keep you from training what you want. Are there risks? Yes. There are risks for every technique that exists. Instead of going by what someone said... do some research of your own. There are examples of bare knuckle fighting all over youtube and there are some sanctioned bare knuckle fighting organizations... as well as the early UFC stuff and probably quite a bit more to look at.

At the end of the day, the most effective training for you... is the type of training that you are most excited to actually get off the couch and do.
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,762
Reaction score
1,508
Location
Manchester UK
Is it not a good idea to use boxing in a street fight situation do to the risk of breaking bones in your hand? I contacted a self defense instructor and told him I wanted to take boxing lessons for self defense. He responded there are to many small delicate bones in the hand to be punching an assailant in a life or death situation and that it is not uncommon at all for even professional boxers to break there hands during fights even when they are wrapped and gloved. So he said that it be reckless and irresponsible for him to teach me boxing for self defense and put me in a situation where I could lose my life based on what he teaches.

And then he referred me to this youtube video for an alternative to hitting with boxing punches. What do you think?

the harder you punch, the more chance of you damaging yoyr hand, but the harder you punch the less it matters, as its more likely they are spark out, and you can take your time waiting for you hand to heal
 

Gerry Seymour

MT Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2012
Messages
28,853
Reaction score
9,735
Location
Hendersonville, NC
Is it not a good idea to use boxing in a street fight situation do to the risk of breaking bones in your hand? I contacted a self defense instructor and told him I wanted to take boxing lessons for self defense. He responded there are to many small delicate bones in the hand to be punching an assailant in a life or death situation and that it is not uncommon at all for even professional boxers to break there hands during fights even when they are wrapped and gloved. So he said that it be reckless and irresponsible for him to teach me boxing for self defense and put me in a situation where I could lose my life based on what he teaches.

And then he referred me to this youtube video for an alternative to hitting with boxing punches. What do you think?

There is a risk, but it's generally overblown by the self-defense crowd. Personally, I'm only likely to take really juicy shots at the face with closed hands. To the body, I'll gladly use my fists. I know and have spoken with a lot of guys who've used their fists "on the street" (including bouncers and such, as well as just some scrappers). A few injured their hands, but I can't think of any who were taken out of the fight by a debilitating break.
 

Headhunter

Senior Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
4,765
Reaction score
1,595
A self defence instructor told you boxing isnt good for hands? And let me guess he told you his way was good lol. End of the day could you break your hand? Sure but if you do then you use elbows or palms or any other weapon. Fact is its very unlikely youll lose your life over it with the adrenaline flowing. Rich franklin the former ufc middleweight champ fought 4 rounds with a broken hand and punched with it, he also broke his arm in another fight and knocked his opponent out with his broken arm. If it worries you that much get a bag or a pad and practice hitting it bare knuckle to strengthen your hands. I do most of my bag work with no gloves and Im no street fighter far from it but Ive never broken my hand in the ring or hitting the bag bare knuckle
 

drop bear

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
22,471
Reaction score
7,225
It is far more complicated than he suggests. And he probably doesn't understand the subject.

And you can also hurt your hands, break your fingers and damage your wrists hitting with an open palm.

Especially if the target is moving and not perfectly flat. E.g.. like a person attacking you.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,594
Reaction score
4,889
nd then he referred me to this youtube video for an alternative to hitting with boxing punches. What do you think?
Totally nuts. Here's why

In boxing or any sport that uses gloves, the person is often punching harder than what their hand can actually withstand. That's the first reality.
The second reality is that you can target your punch fairly well without breaking your hand but only if you aren't punching like you do when you wear gloves.

Martial arts have different types of fists used to strike different areas of the body.
1. Single knuckle strikes to attack soft areas
2. Knuckle areas to strike the body and facial areas except the skull
3. Using the flat areas of the fist to strike the skull. Hammer fists

If I punch you under your jaw where it hinges, your jaw will break or dislocate before I break my hand. If I punch you in the heart, I have a better chance of causing your heart to beat irregularly than I have of me breaking my hands.

Conditioning of the hands is also important That means heating bags without the glove will strengthen your fist and will teach you how you should punch without gloves.

Here are bare knuckle fighters, some with hand wraps, but if you take a look at the KO's you'll see that they aren't landing on the skull. They are aiming eye level and lower. Traditional Martial Art techniques always punch at a certain level and I have yet to see a TMA of quality instruction have punches aim at the skull. In addition to that there are other techniques that allow people to relatively be able to punch skulls without breaking their hands.

My theory about broken knuckles and hands is probably due to people not making a proper fist. A more common way of breaking your hand in a street fight is probably because of bad fist structure. People not making a tight fist and people targeting the skull and not the softer areas of the face.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,594
Reaction score
4,889
It is far more complicated than he suggests. And he probably doesn't understand the subject.

And you can also hurt your hands, break your fingers and damage your wrists hitting with an open palm.

Especially if the target is moving and not perfectly flat. E.g.. like a person attacking you.
open palm strikes require a different mechanic to drive the necessary force to be any good. Anyone who has thrown an open hand strike for the first time realizes just how weak it feels, but once you learn how to correctly drive that force, you can make good use of it. I don't think it's something that anyone can safely do in a fight on the first try. If that persons fingers aren't position a certain way, then that person is going to risk getting those fingers caught on clothing. That person would also be at risk for fingers getting caught on incoming punches.

This will actually put a person at more risk of damaging their fingers. Thumb is sticking out to the side and fingers are pointing forward. They think punching the skull hurts, wait until they jam their fingers on a person's skull. If anyone has jammed their finger on a basketball then you know just how painful that is. Striking edges of a bad like this creates bad habits and bad structure for palm strikes.

upload_2020-9-1_18-51-37.png


I'm not a fan of his hammer fist using the inside of his hand like that. That type of fist runs a high risk of damaging the thumb because there's nothing to brace it against the impact. Make a fist like that and then press on the joints and you can feel how easily the thumb gives. There's a long fist technique that's much safer and will actually the user to strike the skull with minimum damage to the hand.

I watched some of his other videos and I would be skeptical. I'm personally not feeling comfortable with it. Sounds negative but There are just some things that I pick up really quick. Like him trying to cut an angle and not being able to mirror the same cut he did on his right when he moved left. things like that. stand out to me.
 

punisher73

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
3,850
Reaction score
900
ANY technique has a risk to reward equation to it.

Yes, wildly swinging to the head and you stand a good chance to break your hand. Working in LE/Corrections for almost 25 years and I have seen many "streetfights" with wild haymakers to the head and it was very rare that anyone broke their hand. Mostly, just very sore and swollen afterwards from hitting something hard.

Know the risk, train harder and apply as you see fit. Many a fight ended just because someone took a hard punch the face and it opened up a cut. Can't do that too well with an open hand.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,594
Reaction score
4,889
Is it not a good idea to use boxing in a street fight situation do to the risk of breaking bones in your hand? I contacted a self defense instructor and told him I wanted to take boxing lessons for self defense. He responded there are to many small delicate bones in the hand to be punching an assailant in a life or death situation and that it is not uncommon at all for even professional boxers to break there hands during fights even when they are wrapped and gloved. So he said that it be reckless and irresponsible for him to teach me boxing for self defense and put me in a situation where I could lose my life based on what he teaches.

And then he referred me to this youtube video for an alternative to hitting with boxing punches. What do you think?

 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,594
Reaction score
4,889
not sure what happened with the double punch. I don't think I missed a video,
 
Last edited:

Tony Dismukes

MT Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Nov 11, 2005
Messages
7,021
Reaction score
6,541
Location
Lexington, KY
I agree with what everybody else has said, but I wanted to add that the "self-defense instructor" is very likely not qualified to teach boxing even if he was willing.
 

JowGaWolf

Sr. Grandmaster
MT Mentor
Joined
Aug 3, 2015
Messages
12,594
Reaction score
4,889
This talks about how he broke his hand when he punched someone's head. It's in line with what I was saying about not making a good /correct fist. He also shows a fore arm strike which is not the same as using the hammer fist like in the original video.

One thing I would like to say about his comment about no one squeezes their fist at the beginning. This isn't exactly true for circular punches, with circular punches you can squeeze that hand a lot sooner then you can with jabs, without affecting speed. I actually train to specifically squeeze my fist without tensing up my forearm. It's sounds impossible but it's not. The thumb over fingers structures doesn't allow you to do this, but the thumb pressing down into the finger. What I call a "knocking fist" which looks similar to this. Allows you to get a tight fist without tensing up the forearm. when use in a circular motion, the flat side of the fist (the side that is visible in the picture) can be used to strike the skull because it gives a larger striking surface. But your fist structure has to be good, because a loose fist here will result in a broken hand. So it just depends on the type of fist that you make. In the picture below the thumb pushes downwards and helps make the tight fist. So you pushing down instead of squeezing. The squeezing motion of the hand used a lot of the forearm muscles which is why those hand squeezing exercises are good for building up the forearm.
fist-normal-examination-cure-ibm.jpg


I also talked about how one of the Jow Ga techniques naturally makes the strike land behind the ear. Kugn Fu Wang also covered this about circular punches vs straight punches.
 

EdwardA

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
176
Reaction score
34
Knuckle push-ups and punching technique makes the difference, and you can change technique and striking type depending on the target.
 

jobo

Grandmaster
Joined
Apr 3, 2017
Messages
9,762
Reaction score
1,508
Location
Manchester UK
Knuckle push-ups and punching technique makes the difference, and you can change technique and striking type depending on the target.
knuckle push ups wont do any good at all,

what is it you think they achieve?
 
OP
C

Chrisinmd

Blue Belt
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
277
Reaction score
63
ANY technique has a risk to reward equation to it.

Yes, wildly swinging to the head and you stand a good chance to break your hand. Working in LE/Corrections for almost 25 years and I have seen many "streetfights" with wild haymakers to the head and it was very rare that anyone broke their hand. Mostly, just very sore and swollen afterwards from hitting something hard.

Know the risk, train harder and apply as you see fit. Many a fight ended just because someone took a hard punch the face and it opened up a cut. Can't do that too well with an open hand.

I agree with your post. Seems to me your better off taking the risk of breaking your hand by punching someone with your fist and ending the fight quickly. If you use a palm strike not likely to end the fight right there and the longer the fight goes on so does your risk of injury.
 
OP
C

Chrisinmd

Blue Belt
Joined
Oct 30, 2018
Messages
277
Reaction score
63
I agree with what everybody else has said, but I wanted to add that the "self-defense instructor" is very likely not qualified to teach boxing even if he was willing.

You appear to be correct. His Profile listing his experience and what he teaches dosent include Boxing. He does teach kickboxing so he should know how to teach punches from that I would think?

"All lessons taught by Master Michael Tull, 5th Degree Black Belt in American Tae Kwon Do, sport martial arts and kickboxing. Nationally rated in tournament competition for 35 years."
 

EdwardA

Green Belt
Joined
Aug 22, 2020
Messages
176
Reaction score
34
knuckle push ups wont do any good at all,

what is it you think they achieve?

They've helped me a lot. For one thing strengthening your wrist (which is very important), flattening your hand, and after zillions of them you get used to hard contact on your fist. Do them on wood or cement floor.....but I did a lot of things.

It's fairly lengthy process with 1 by lumber, ceramics like pots and saltillo tile. I did a lot of breaking, but was NOT trying to punch thru the target, but only slightly. I practices on painted cindar block walls and tilt wall to learn how to make heavy contact without damaging my hand. I also had to stop increasing the pressure at the right time. I was fortunate, I worked for for a company (at that specific time) that made ceramic transducers for missiles. Fairly large cylinders up to an inch thick. They had plenty of rejects I could use for breaking, inch thick pots are expensive. I hit flat mostly, but I'll roll my fist onto the first and second knuckles depending on what kind of damage I want to do. I did this in a four year period in the '70s and it's never caused me problems.

knuckles.jpg


Before I hear it, no my hand's not flat. I'm trying to take a photo.
 
Last edited:
Top