Monday, December 19, 2005

Practical Hand Techniques

Mr. Sam and I trained on Saturday, 12/17, and had to use the gym area because of Toys for Tots. I think the tots have too many toys, don't you? Back in my day we first had to make our hands and digits, then we could construct our own toys. But that's for another day...

I was showing Sam the hand techniques that I'd demonstrated to Mike last week on the paddle. Here are some thoughts:

Hook punch - a very practical punch. It generates most of the force from a turn of the trunk (hips), then a decreasing-radius arc, or snap at the end. It's most effective when fired close-in, with no more than a 90-degree angle on the punching arm. It can be used to fire at that range into a variety of targets, and is best applied to the soft areas of the opponent's body. Disadvantages are that, the further out from the body you go, the easier to counter (it's too wide), and the less power you have. Countered by a straight technique such as the jab, straight, or cross. It can be countered by a backfist also, though that's risky.

Topfist punch - Sam didn't remember this one, thought I've used it in sparring when I was feeling very creative. Fired from the normal guard position, and then turns over like an overhand, and whipped in like a ridgehand. It starts where the hook punch ends, as far as optimal range, so it looks like one starting out, and then comes around behind the guard of the opponent. It also uses the knuckles, but only generates power from the 9-o'clock or 3-o'clock angles, so is only applied to the head. It's just not strong to the body. Nice and sneaky. Countered the same way as the hook, but harder to see coming, so it's pretty good.

Ridgehand strike - open hand striking with the fleshy part of the hand behind the index finger. This is a quick and sneaky technique, but, in my humble opinion, very impractical. I'd recommend sacrificing the range for an inside forearm strike and reducing the chance of injury to the hand. Countered with any straight technique.

Knifehand strike - excellent technique. Striking with the fleshy part behind the small finger, and performed while tensing the hand to make it hard. You also want to stagger your finger position so that when you make contact your fingers don't smack together - it hurts, try it. The payoff in using this is massive power without worrying too much about hitting that hard skull with your hand (unlike a punch). You can fire from any angle between 9 and 3-o'clock, and it has the same power development as the hook without the same joints ending up at the finish. I don't want to ever get hit with this full-power. I don't recommend you do, either. This has about the same effective range as a hook, and is more practical. It can be thrown to the head, neck, or body.

Open-hand strike (slap) - awesome. Why did they outlaw the slap, elbows, and forearms in boxing? Why do they penalize you for using anything but the knuckle area in Olympic boxing? Because it works! There was a fighter named "Slapsie" Maxie Rosenbloom, for whom the rule about not using an open glove was created. He was a force to be reckoned with, and literally slapped his opponents around. The open-hand strike can be used to the trunk and head, and is excellent at delivering “blunt-force trauma”. Use with control!

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1 comment:

Sam Guthrie said...

SPeaking of the slap, there used to be a Youtube video of Bas Rutten highlights (can't find it anymore), and it's amazing how he just WASTED opponents with palm strikes, slaps, etc. All this open hand stuff. Wild.

Also interesting to me how the rear overhead wasn't much of a factor in the boxing days, but when the 4 oz gloves of MMA got on the scene, suddenly you saw all these KOs from overheads (eg, Chuck Liddell).