Which knuckles to punch with?

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by NinjaKilla187, May 7, 2008.

  1. NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North West
    The American Journal of Sports Medicine reports that in one study of 100 consecutive hand injuries caused by boxing that 39% occurred in the area of the thumb, and that 35% arose from forced flexion of the wrist.

    Although the 5th m*tacarpal (little finger) is the one most often broken, this injury occurs far less frequently than wrist and thumb injuries.

    The American Journal of Sports Medicine 15:342-346 (1987)
    Clive Noble, MB, BCh FCS SA

    Flexing the wrist in an attempt to land punches on the two biggest knuckles (2nd and 3rd) does two things; 1) causes wrist injuries from unstable wrist position, 2) causes thumb injuries from landing on the thumb side of the fist.

    Bottom line is that attempting to land punches on the 2nd and 3rd knuckles is not the natural or strongest alignment of your wrist. It causes wrist and thumb injuries and It doesn
     
  2. fightingrabbit Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    13,184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Try to land all your punches with the ring finger knuckle. That keeps the power line going down from your shoulder, arm, to your wrist aligned.

    Try putting your fist against the wall like you punched it. And put each one of your knuckles on the wall. The first and second still allows your wrist to bend. Which breaks the power line going down your arm. Because with punching, you lose power at the joints.

    But place your ring knuckle against the wall, and your pinky, ring and middle knuckle land flat and even against the wall and your wrist is straight and sturdy.

    And its all aligned by your ring knuckle.


    Thats what Jack Dempsey taught me, and thats what i go by.
     
  3. NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North West
    Ex-fucking-actly brother. Preach it!
     
  4. fightingrabbit Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    13,184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Would a face like this steer you wrong?

    [​IMG]
     
  5. NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North West
    Hell no.

    And he even studied wrestling, Judo and Jiu Jitsu and wrote one of the original books on MMA called Fight Tough.
     
  6. Azy Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    0
    It would depend on the type of strike you are making also. For the hook style punch I have found that the first two knuckles are the most effective. For any type of straight punch you want to use the bottom 3. Hand conditioning plays a massive factor too.
     
  7. Pro Killer Black Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    5,408
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Around
    You can hardly ever land a punch with the knuckles you try to especially with gloves on. In a perfect world I'd like my middle and ring finger to land on my target but I'll take a land with any four of the knuckles at the end of the day.

    I've read Jack Dempsey's work and It's decent helped me improve on a few things But I wouldn't listen to it all.
     
  8. Stand-Up! Yellow Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Messages:
    181
    Likes Received:
    0
    Punch with the first two knuckles. Always.
     
  9. NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North West
    This is the way most TMA gyms teach it and the way I first learned it so I understand why most people say this.

    Just for S&G, try this:

    Do a *light* heavy bag or double end bag (but not a makiwara or other flat, immobile target) workout with no gloves or wraps concentrating on keeping your wrists strong and straight and not worrying about which knuckles you land on. Use a variety of punches, jab, cross, hook, etc.

    Now, look at your fists. In 99 punchers out of 100 you will find the most redness on your middle two knuckles (M*tacarpal 3 and 4). This is the just the way the bones in your hand line up naturally. In order to consistanly land on the first two knuckles you either have to change the line of your punches, thereby making them less efficient, or you have to flex your wrist, which causes more wrist and thumb injuries.
     
  10. Ryukyu Damashi Ryukyu Damashi

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jack Dempsey punched with a vertical fist, do you?
     
  11. CFMC04 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Southern California
    So did Bruce Lee....And that's how I do my jab. It works for me.
     
  12. NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North West
    I throw jabs and crosses with horizontal fist and hook with the vertical.

    There are two issues at question:

    1) How to punch to avoid hand injuries?

    I am convinced, as are many others, that using the middle of the fist as the point of impact results in fewer hand injuries than using the first two knuckles. Dempsey believed this as well. I think it is true regardless of whether you throw horizontal or vertical punches.

    2) What is the most effective punch for speed, power and accuracy?

    In Dempsey's time (and pre Queensberry) most fighters believed the most powerful punch to be vertical fist. See this 1891 article in Outing magazine for relevant pictures and text. JManly: A Please for "Style" in Boxing

    Boxers of that era also often threw punches from the waist, or even lower. Check out this Dempsey highlights for examples Jack Dempsey highlight by Liu Jin . They did a lot of other things no modern coach would teach including throwing straight punches with the vertical fist.

    Looping punches such as hooks derive their power from hip and lower body action, what Dempsey called "shoulder whirl". Dempsey had a brawling infighters style and threw a lot a hooks and other looping shots, having notably one of the best left hooks in history.

    Other fighters that throw looping shots use the vertical fist with good effect. Chuck Liddell uses looping hooks and overhand rights that frequently land with the vertical fist. De La Hoya, another notorious hooker, throws looping vertical fist shots including a deadly vertical fist style shovel hook he calls his ".45". Tyson is a classic example, there are others.

    Straight punches, the jab and the cross, benefit from twist and the horizontal fist. Twist creates "snap", can cause cuts in competition, and results in more power because it recruits the muscles in the top of the shoulder that otherwise are unused.

    Orthodox out fighters that rely on jabs and crosses, which is most of us, will get more power and effectiveness out of straight punches thrown with the horizontal fist.

    Boxing moved to this style of punching not long after Dempsey's time. It was the result of having hundreds of fighters hitting things (bags) and people and discovering it was more effective.

    It isn't that vertical fist doesn't work, its just that it isn't the best tool for the job if you are talking about jabs and crosses and the "JKD Lead Punch" is just a muthafuggin (pre-1920) jab by another name.
     
  13. KOnah Red Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Messages:
    7,960
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Wabash&Lake
    the 2 strong ones
     
  14. VALETUDO1 Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    375
    Likes Received:
    0
    I mean in a street fight I don't have time to think what part of my hand I'm gonna hit with, I just wanna KNOCK the other guy out as quick as I can.
     
  15. Tim Turner Blue Belt Professional Fighter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's interesting you do it that way. I've always done it opposite of that.
     
  16. Tim Turner Blue Belt Professional Fighter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    737
    Likes Received:
    0
    You make a good point. When I throw a hook I rarely turn it over. When I throw a straight punch I almost always turn it over so that my fist is horizontal, unless I want to throw the punch a little faster or I'm in really close and there's not enough distance to fully extend my arm and turn over my fist. In those cases it's become natural for me to throw a vertical straight punch.

    I've boxed for Golden Gloves and I've also boxed for the Army and it really depends on your body type and what style of puncher you are. Anyone who trains for a certain amount of time will figure out how to naturally turn over or line up their fist depending on height, distance, angle, body movement or position, type of punch, etc.

    The key really is muscle memory and drilling a variety of punches each way you can think of. If you find it more comfortable to turn over a punch at certain times or line up your knuckles a certain way than stick with it, it's not right or wrong it's just what works best for you, the individual.
     
  17. NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North West
    Nice, Black Knights or All Army?

    I sparred off and on with the All Army guys at Huachuca while I was there for a series of exercises in the early 90s.
     
  18. Ryukyu Damashi Ryukyu Damashi

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Filipino boxing coach I trained with in Okinawa taught me to throw a straight right with a vertical fist.
     
  19. NinjaKilla187 Blue Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    639
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    North West
    That shit's seriously old-skool.

    You were in Oki with the military I take it?
     
  20. Cyclone Mike Amateur Fighter

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Messages:
    1,123
    Likes Received:
    0
    side question: what made the dempsey roll work?
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.