Do NOT Punch In A Street Fight

Discussion in 'Self Defense' started by Kevin, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Blue_Knight

    Blue_Knight Active Member

    LOL - What else is there to do? :) If we don't debate the outlandish, youtube nonsense, we would only have stuff that we all agree on to talk about... and that's no fun! :p

    I remember running a promotion test back in the 70's once where a red belt student of one our organizations branch schools was attempting to break two pine board with a punch. He got all psyched up to do it, and stepped forward with a wild boxer style right cross punch that slightly hooked and ended up breaking the bones in the two outer smaller knuckles (because he impacted wrong). He broke the boards, but failed the test. You can't just swing wild or hard at a target expecting to hit with maximum force without a great risk of injuring yourself. It takes proper instruction and training to punch correctly, but once you learn it, it comes second nature.

    Blue Knight
    GreywulfTKD likes this.
  2. I must say that I advise my younger students and female students that they are better of using palm heel strikes instead of punching to minimise damage to there hands. I also instruct all students that in a self defense situation they should go straight in to a protective stance with hands up and open palm facing threat. This shows the aggressor (and any onlookers) that you do not want any trouble (it is a submissive posture) while still staying protected it also allows you to strike open handed (palm heel). If you are unlucky and end up in court you can use the defence that you were trying to keep them at a safe distance and not being aggresive which may be backed up by any witnesses.
  3. Master Fahy

    Master Fahy Active Member

    To punch or not to punch, that is the question! Most people probably grew up clenching their fist when they tried to hit someone. I think it is safe to assume that. I try not to assume anything normally but in this case I will. It is so natural to ball up your fist to strike anything because we are conditioned to do so, besides we do it to protect our fingers. Think about the new white belt student (mostly children) that starts taking their first class and you tell them to not wrap their fingers over and around their thumb because they will end up hurting or breaking their thumb, right! They do it because of instinct. I can't remember the last time I saw a fight where there was straight punching like karate style technique, come to think of it....never! A punch is just a punch (balled up fist). If you practise punching a lot, you will punch when the time comes in a street fight, it's that simple. If you practise a palm heel strike a lot, you condition yourself to use that technique. Someone in an earlier post talked about a finger jab..."My favorite technique for self-defense!" If you flick instead of stick, (you only need to touch the eye) it will yield the results you want it to which is inflict pain, blurred vision and can give you time to do a follow up technique or get the heck out of the area. Most successful fighters don't train to the extreme everyday because they get injured a lot when they do. You work on technique and repetition of your techniques until they become natural. So, to answer the question... To punch or not to punch? Use what you practised and be aware that you may have to use something that you have not practised because a fight takes on a life of it's own! I do punch a lot, I do use palm heel strikes, knife hand strikes, ridge hand, back hand, and my favorite, finger jab(flick). For someone to say not to punch over punching is simple foolish on their part! Master Fahy
  4. NoBullShitFighting

    NoBullShitFighting Active Member

    I would be carefull with hooks, though. Anyone who has punched bare-knuckles with a heavy bag knows that a sloppy hook can mean one week of no punching.

    RTKDCMB Active Member

    I can attest to that, once I did a hook punch on a punching bag in a Hapkido class, my technique was fine and my fist was held correctly but I hit a bit too far back and sprained my thumb and have since sprained it about 25 times since during sparring.
  6. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Very easy to strain your wrist
  7. Nightwing

    Nightwing Member

    I disagree that our fists are genetically designed to punch with; everything I've ever heard or read suggests the exact opposite. Anyway, to Blue_Knight and your assertion that "our training teaches to be fast, accurate, and skilled at hitting precisely the desired target, and do damage to various bones of the face with the fore-knuckles." I would ask how is this any different than boxing; do they not also train to hit fast and accurate with those exact same knuckles? You tried to block this argument in your post but I'm still going to make it.

    However, I will say that a lot of the techniques used in boxing nowadays are SPORT specific and were never used back during BAREKNUCKLE boxings heyday. Hook punches didn't exist back then and the uppercut was actually executed after a straight to the opponents stomach connected, you would then "whip" your hand up in a semi-circle backwards to hit their chin with the back of your hand (knuckles).

    Even with that said, and even after all the hand conditioning found in Karate (TKD? no one does it, if you claim you do upload a pic of your hand as EVIDENCE), punching someone in the face is still a dangerous proposition. Carl Cestari (I hope every one here has at least heard the name) had hands of stone and still cautioned fist to face contact. There are far better options for self-defense with little to no risk, and to use what Bowlie said above "to come out of a fight with your hand UN-broken, (that)'s a pretty good outcome".
  8. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Well in boxing we have gloves, and the emphasis is on hitting HARD and fast instead of focusing on specific areas. I mean people still aim for the jaw, but they dont go in for the pressure point ideas alot of martial artists do. The idea that you only have to tap someone on the temple or along some meridian line and they will fall over dead.

    I mean a relatively small force to the right place, like the jaw, WILL knock most people out. But the idea that you will always be able to hit it is insane, so im going to hit really really hard anyway so if I miss and get your ear, its going to hurt you enough you back up.
  9. John McNally

    John McNally Active Member

  10. Blue_Knight

    Blue_Knight Active Member

    I don't know what you mean by I tried to block this argument. Please explain that.

    No they don't. It would seem by several of your posts that you are more familiar with (and perhaps in support of) boxing methods of punching and not very familiar with Taekwondo punching. First of all, boxers use gloves which spreads the impact out over the entire fist, therefore there is no purpose to aligning the wrist in the same fashion we do for concentrated strikes. Since there is major surface damage or bone breaking because of the gloves, the technical approach has to be different in order to achieve a cerebral hemorrhage or jarring knock out. Typically, the are attempting to abruptly displace the head, or spin it rapidly to cause the sloshing of the brain. That is an entirely different tactic that a Taekwondo punch that seeks to penetrate, smash and destroy the bones, or hit vulnerable pin-point targets with one or two knuckle concentration. I'm surprised you do not already know this, and realize boxing punching is much different.

    There are MANY other factors that differentiate the two. When I mentioned speed, I was not just talking about how fast a punch can be, but it is the acceleration that is a major factor. Even though boxing punches are fast, it is the rapid acceleration of the Taekwondo punch that facilitates the other factors such as the accuracy and concentration of impact force. Boxers might be somewhat "accurate" but that is not typically their specialty. If you watch most professional matches, you will see a great deal of very powerful swings that arc past the target and miss the entire head by inches because they are basically throwing with all their momentum into a pre-defined space in hopes that their opponent will bob-and-weave into the path. Even the more "accurate" jabs and cross punch is a large glove hitting the broad area of the face or head. It is not the same pin-point accuracy that the TKD punch aims for. So, No, they are not the same, and they do not use the same knuckles, but punch more with the flat fist surface, and some with the outer fore-fist of the smaller two knuckles.

    Comments like this lead me to believe that you are speaking of the multitude of kiddy class and family fun Taekwondo clubs that permeate the cities. When you say "no one does it" sounds more like no one YOU know does it. My hands are conditioned enough from years of knuckle push-ups and breaking boards to damage human targets without me feeling a thing. I don't believe in deforming the hands as much as Master Masutatsu Oyama, but I've know many Korean Taekwondo masters and a few Americans who's hands look similar so I wouldn't say "no one." Yet, it does not have to go that far for hands to be conditioned enough to make punching relatively safe.

    Yes it is... for the person getting punched! Personally, I believe the controversy comes due to the fact that too many people are trained to punch like boxers, with an undefined target, and less skill at positioning the wrist in alignment to hit with the proper tool. When trained to do it right - - it is not an more of a risk than any other technique. It depends on the skill, and confidence level of the individual person.

    Blue Knight
  11. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    1) Boxers are very much taught to align their wrist. Hitting with specific knuckles is less commonly taught but still done. It still makes a difference through gloves. There is discussion of whether it should be the two or the three knuckles that hit, personally I think the two argument is more convincing but thats neither here or there, You seem equally uninformed about boxing.

    2) You seem to be inferring that Taekwondo punching is miles above boxing punching. I dont understand how you can make that argument.

    3) Yeah boxers try to get that 'rocking' effect on an opponent by twisting the head through a shot to the jaw. I dont understand your point that TKDists go for weak spots. The jaw IS the weak spot, thats why its targetted.

    4) Speed and power are always a trade off. The quicker a muscle contracts, the less force it generates. Thats why noone deadlifts quickly, and noone throws tennis balls with all of their muscular power. Its just the way physics works. The idea that a faster punch is always better is flawed. Not to mention the fact that gloves slow you down significantly. I rekon if you have two equally skilled people. One a boxer and one a TKDist, the boxer will punch harder AND faster due to the fact its all they do. Now the counter point to that is that the TKDist will know how to kick, but still.

    5) I would argue that boxers miss more because boxers have much better passive defense that TKDists. Its not to do with accuracy as much as defense. Boxers have great head movement and positioning. I mean look at mayweather. He is so illusive he MAKES people miss. They could still tag the average TKDist on the chin with ease. Now, thats not to say boxers are better, because alot of the defense wont work outside the context of boxing. Covering up peekabo style wont work without gloves (just look at Bob Sapp and Alistair Overeem. Both came from kickboxing and relied mostly on their size for power, and the fact they can hide behind gloves for defense. Take away those gloves, and they dont have the skill to defend themselves, so in MMA they regularly get beaten, despite their huge size.) Similarly, the head movement wont work outside of boxing, because you open yourself up to kicks. But its all about context.

    Im not saying boxing is the best art for self defense, or that its better than Taekwondo, because it all comes down to context. If you want to win a Taekwondo tornament, go to TKD. if you want to win a boxing match, go to boxing. If you want to lean self defense go to a self defense class (TKD based or not, doesnt matter). But the idea that boxing punches are innacurate, slow, and ineffective is just silly. Put the boxer and the TKD ist in a ring and say just punch and the boxer will come out on top.
  12. Mike Nickson

    Mike Nickson New Member

    I suspect that in a real life situation instinct will take over and this possibly is why hands will be hurt. We train with gloves in sparring and then suspect that in a real occasions if it ever happened you are likely to instinctively use the same power, if not more as a result of panic and adrenaline surely??
  13. Mike Nickson

    Mike Nickson New Member

    Have you had many real life experiences? I am just curious how people have found reality versus training?
  14. Blue_Knight

    Blue_Knight Active Member

    Take a closer look at what I wrote before you attempt to contradict it.

    Do you see the words “in the same fashion.” This means that I did not say that boxers do NOT align their wrists at all.

    Do you see the difference? In Taekwondo - - it is ALWAYS done with specific knuckles.

    Makes a “difference,” but not significantly since the gloves are designed to prevent that kind of concentrated impact and localized damage.

    No - that is EXACTLY ‘here and there.’ Not only weather you strike with two or three, but which ones and the alignment of the wrist is precisely the point about weather or not daily training prepares you to use your bare fists to punch the face in the street and do so without injury to your hand.

    It may ‘seem’ so to you, but is not the case at all. Your confusion comes because of your lack of knowledge and skill in Taekwondo, you don’t understand the explanation I am giving as to the differences between boxing and Taekwondo punches. Apparently, you think all wrist alignment is alike, and all knuckle punches use the same knuckles and that the trajectory on Boxing and Taekwondo punches are the same. By your comments, you apparently think that a punch is a punch and there is no significant difference.

    Apparently there are many things you do not understand. Firstly, I did not say that Taekwondo punches are “miles above” boxing punches, however the methods, tactics, and applications are VASTLY different, and I personally believe that Taekwondo punching method is more effective and destructive for street self defense.

    Again, you say that you don’t “understand” and this is clear by your comment that the “jaw IS the weak spot.” The jaw is weak, and can be injured, but is nowhere near the vulnerability and potential damage that can be done to other WEAKER spots targeted by Taekwondo hand strikes. Many of these targets can end a fight instantly, but can not be attacked properly with a glove.

    False. The exact opposite is true, but it is not just about speed, but acceleration and other factors.

    False. The exact opposite is true. Take a Taekwondo course from a qualified instructor to find out why.

    Making statements presented as FACT without PROOF holds no weight. Nothing is “always better” since it depends on the situation, but what do you find “flawed” about a faster punch - and back it up with scientific research.

    You need to stop ‘reckoning’ and basing opinions on guesswork. There is no proof of what you just said - so why say it. Taekwondo Masters can punch just as fast - if not faster. Also, why would you boast about how much “faster” a boxer could punch if you claim that faster is less powerful?

    Furthermore, when it comes to “harder” you need to learn that Applied Force is different than Net Force. As hard as the best boxers punch on the surface, I have seen very few boxers who, without specialized training in the Martial Art, can punch a bare fist through three or more 12x12 3/4inch pine without breaking the bones in their hand (if they even make it through the boards). We train to break bones beneath the surface. THAT’S what WE do. If I punch the jaw, I don’t just hit to dislocate or knockout. I punch to shatter the bone completely.

    Perhaps no one taught you the definition of the word Taekwondo.

    Tae: “To smash with the foot.”

    Kwon: “To smash with the hand.”

    Do: “The art, way, and path”

    We are not great at kicking, and substandard at punching. We Master both.

    You can argue that all you want, but there is no proof of it. The reality is obvious. The power knockout punches that boxers use all follow a curved or circular trajectory - some more than others. This means the elbow is bent and the fist follows a path closer to the attacker than a straight punch. It passes near the opponent and then curves away when it misses. It is a matter of distance, and choosing to stay safe and punch with strong muscles near the body.

    It is both. Defense helps to protect and evade, but the attacker tends to throw a maximum power punch into a defined space, hoping the opponent will either neglect to move, or just happen to duck, dodge and weave in the path of the attack. Conversely, a Taekwondo Master will find a specific target, and send a technique directly to that point, wherever it moves to.

    Not “great” but it works well for the sport against other boxers.

    What you said above is fine and I agree for the most part, but pertains to sports.

    However, where do boxers get their most advanced knowledge used today, and how much is cross referenced and borrowed from the power of Taekwondo or Karate. One of the best Boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali, gave credit for his fastest punch coming from Taekwondo as taught to him by Grandmaster Jhoon Rhee.


    It does matter, but I certainly would not seek out a boxing “self defense” class over a Martial Art class for self defense.

    Here is why I find discussing topics with you disappointing and frustrating. You read what I write then you twist it and summarize a point that does not exist. PLEASE, find anywhere in my posts where I stated that boxing punches are inaccurate. Where did I state that they are “slow?” And PLEASE, show me were I said they are “ineffective?” You argue against statements that were never made.

    Why do you even make such unfounded statements with no proof. You still focus on “in the ring” which is sport and Taekwondo power is found not in its sport aspect, but outside the ring. However, in the ring with a boxer…. do we both have no gloves? Are we both allowed to throw ANY hand strike, or only ‘boxing style’ punches? If you are seriously going to pit a boxer against a Taekwondoin on hands only, you can’t restrict which hand strikes we can use because that is our expertise. Thus, you have NO IDEA what the outcome would be.

    Blue Knight
    RTKDCMB likes this.
  15. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    You do talk some rubbish blue. Get this idea that you have any facts out of your head. You dont, you have conclusions you have come to from real life experience and from what you have seen as others. Same as me. If you want to give me studies and figures, then they are facts. So dont you use the argument that my points are invalid because they are speculative based on experience, because yours are the same. Only I have the decency to be honest about that.

    your statements are equally as unfounded, only mine are based in reality and yours are in magic fantasy land. You twist my words just as much as you accuse me of doing so. I cant tell if this is because you dont understand the points, or are purposely-interpreting them, but im going to stop wasting my time trying to discuss things with you reasonably.
  16. Blue_Knight

    Blue_Knight Active Member

    This is exactly why you won't learn anything of value, or get anyone with any genuine knowledge to help you find the answers. You have a closed mind and poor attitude.

    Same process as you and everyone else. The significant difference is that my "real life experience" has been longer than yours with more reliable sources. There are experts in any field that you can go to college and study from, or work side-by-side with in their profession. I would venture to say that I have met and trained with more of those top experts, and have put that knowledge to the test which is why I don't have the same questions and doubts about these things that you keep bringing up on the threads here.

    Good luck with that line of thinking! Take a look around you bowlie. Where do you train and with whom? How many experts have passed on knowledge directly to you (not books, videos and youtube)? How many people here on this forum would agree with you that your statements are based in "reality" and mine are in a "magic fantasy land?" If you REALLY believe that, at least take a glance around and see if other experts are supporting your belief.

    Note that when I point out that you have twisted my words or 'made up' statements that I never said, I quote your post where you make the false claim and then ask you to find ANY post where I have said that. You NEVER do, because you can't. However, you claim that I twist your words - - again, please post an example and show where there is difference between what you say, and how I interpret it. It MIGHT happen, and I would rather you point it out so that I can be made aware of it instead of just making a blanket accusation with no examples for proof.

    YOU are wasting YOUR time with ME? That's rich! I have honestly been trying to help you and TRYING to keep my patience in the face of your repeated rudeness and insults. I have better things to do with my time, and more grateful people to share my knowledge with.

    I'm off to my Dojang right now to teach classes this evening, so I think I have put forth more than enough effort for you. I'm going to go do my career now. Have a good life finding what you are looking for.

    Chief Master D.J. Eisenhart
  17. bowlie

    bowlie Well-Known Member

    Well for one im training under the Judo instructor that trained Craig Fallon, and soon to be training at Braulio Estima's gym. Catch you later Master Chief.
  18. The Dreadnought

    The Dreadnought New Member

    I had to register an account just to reply to this thread because the level of stupidity on display is quite frankly astonishing and genuinely offends me. It is clear to me that Kevin has never been in a street fight in his life and that's why he's quoting 'self defense books' and 10th Dan Blackbelt Bullshido Master Jeff Anderson. Fighting is fighting. Get off the internet and go and do it for real and you'll see for yourself just how effective 'knife chops' and 'palm heels' really are. 'It's worth drilling into your head' that they're much more effective than punching? Someone must have drilled into your head quite literally making stupid comments like that. You must be brain damaged from all the 'palm heels' and 'knife chops' you've taken.

    A good straight punch is easily one of the single most effective strikes there is. Unlike some of the theory junkies in this thread, I've actually been in street fights before. Plenty of them. Not proud of it now, but I used to go out drinking and brawling on the regular. Every single time I used a punch or an elbow to end it or was taken out by punches the times when I lost. This is back when the only training I had was a couple years karate and just had the straight right. That's all I needed most of the time and when it connected with someones chin most of the time they were done.

    Now, after a couple of years training seriously in Muay Thai, Dutch Kickboxing and Boxing I would be reluctant to hit someone for fear of seriously hurting them and getting myself put away. Not that I wouldn't do it in the heat of the moment. But I'd pull the shot a bit unless they were a major threat.

    And this should go without saying, but you should aim for the chin or the nose. These are soft points and if your form is good then you will NOT injure yourself. Punch THROUGH the target and pull your hands back to your own chin as if they were a high powered magnet or lever.

    Palm strikes can be real effective, as Bas Rutten often demonstrated in Pancrase. They're actually preferable to throw if you're throwing a hook because in that case, yes you might break your hand/knuckles throwing wildly to the head especially if they're blocking with their elbows. I've mangled my own thumb on a guys elbow doing this and that wasn't fun.

    As for palm jabs, I think they're ineffective as there's no range and unless you're going for an eye rake then a fist is MUCH better. Same with the right cross, short hook or uppercut. A 'palm uppercut' as 10th Dan Bullshido Master Anderson demonstrates will leave you with a broken wrist. Use your knuckles. That's what evolution and genetics gifted you when you need to smash an opponent senseless.

    If it comes to real close range, use KNEES and ELBOWS. I broke two guys jaws with elbows on separate occasions when I was younger with close range Thai cross elbows and these are a million times better than a knife chop/standing hammerfist/whatever nonsense Kevin is a 'huge fan' of. Knife chops are wack techniques that are MUCH more likely to land you with broken fingers, hands and knuckles than a good punch to the chin.

    Yes there are other good strikes to be used in a street fight. Knees, kicks, grounded hammerfists, eye rakes, elbows and the good olde Glasgow kiss can all be devastating. However, they should never REPLACE the punch! Why the hell would you take out one of the best weapons in your arsenal just because some moron on youtube tells you that you might break your hand? Place your shots, use good form and condition your knuckles and you'll hurt your opponent a hell of a lot more than they'll hurt you.

    I don't have 10 posts yet so I can't post youtube links but once I do I'll edit this because I compiled a nice list of videos of boxers smashing street thugs in 'real life situations.'

    Just type in Kimbo Slice or Boxer Street Fight and you'll see a whole bunch of them.

    RTKDCMB Active Member

    You should see some of his other videos - they are quite ridiculous.

    It would be more accurate to say one of not "the".

    I've done the same on a punching bag, and about 25 times since. Twisting your wrist at the last minute, after your hand has passed through their guard, helps prevent thumb mangling, as sometimes the opponent will block a little bit too soon.

    A good palm strike underneath the jaw, especially if the jaw is open slightly, can be very effective, so can a downward hammerfist to the bridge of the nose or chin.The alternative strikes shown by 10th Dan Bullshido Master Anderson are done without any real skill at all.


    When done by someone like 10th Dan Bullshido Master Anderson they are, when use correctly, against the right targets and with skill and experience a knife hand strike can be very devastating (they are wack techniques because that is the sound they make - Whack).

    Couldn't agree more.
  20. The Dreadnought

    The Dreadnought New Member

    F'real I agree with you. I edited it to say 'one of' because you're right, there are other techniques even more effective in different ranges. I love the elbows and knees in close, from a distance a good kick to the groin and from mid-long range jabs and straight. A headbutt to the nose is great too if you're in real close.

    And you're right about knife chops actually. I only say they're a 'wack technique' because the average person doesn't know how to throw them properly. I wouldn't throw one because I don't really train them. Plus I think they're a lot easier to block and evade than a straight punch because of the looping overhand motion involved; same principle as a haymaker. I suppose if you're really well practiced then you wouldn't need much distance to snap one down on the collar bone/neck but if you're in that close I'd still much prefer an elbow, knee or headbutt.

    One of my 'best' street fights was against a goju ryu blakcbelt. Both of us tall guys, me 6.3 and him 6.2. He landed a horrid knife chop on my collar bone and it left a dirty black streak. I still dropped and concussed him with punches though so he came out much worse. Both of us got got suspended from college for 1 week and ironically became friends afterwards lol.

    But either way: DO PUNCH IN A STREET FIGHT!!!

    Just gotta make sure you practice good form and condition your knuckles.
    RTKDCMB likes this.

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