Palm Strike vs. Fist Punch

Discussion in 'Boxing' started by lonerider9, Aug 6, 2013.


Palm or fist strike?

  1. Palm Strike

  2. Fist Strike

  1. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    I think there's more concern from TMA practitioners about jamming up their wrist since they often strive to have certain knuckles striking. I've covered this before about simply letting whatever knuckles hit depending on your range and angle and not compromising the wrist. Punches make up the majority of my striking combos and I've never injured my wrists, both gloved up for training and not gloved when it wasn't training. But to be fair, the way I train and the nature of my job certainly has a beneficial effect for my wrist strength.
    A punch is linear as well. Some guys may choose to corkscrew the punch on impact, but the only use I've seen for that is to cut someone open/open them up more for sport boxing. It has nothing to do with the power of the punch itself, but can have a greater effect because of the power of the punch.
    You will have to generate a lot more force when hitting with the softer weapon (palm heel) than I would with my solid weapon (fist) to have the same amount of force transmitted to the target. The fist has the immediate destructive force (changing the motion and shape of a body): knocking out teeth, breaking jaws, smashing facial bones, etc. Perhaps you may be able to generate extra pressure (force per unit of contact area) due to the follow-up or drive with the palm heel, but that's more of a secondary push and different than what we're talking about...
    MattCMMA and SifuPhil like this.
  2. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    There you go - wrist strength. If I trained properly and sufficiently for it I could do back-of-wrist strikes all day.

    The standard TMA punch (reverse punch) has always been taught as a corkscrew, hasn't it? Why do they do that?

    You're overlooking the whip effect, the delivery (in my style) of the palm heel using a whip motion, not brute force. A whip can put a person down just as effectively as a baseball bat, not with the same effects but equally as lethal.

    I understand about the pushing effect, but that isn't what I was referring to. I'm talking about what we call a "point strike" - not the Dim Mak stuff but the delivery of a palm heel on a target just like a punch - it gets delivered and then immediately withdrawn.

    You can also throw roundhouse-style strikes with palm heels, but there I would agree with you that a fist would be a better tool to use.
    Ivor Godley and RJ Clark like this.
  3. lonerider9

    lonerider9 You only live once

    Thanks all! That is some great feedback and awesome perspective. I certainly know there is no one method fits all solution most of the time. Right now my focus would be especially for new people learning to defend themselves on the street rather then competition.

    I have heard a lot about the possibility also of breaking your wrists in more worse case settings. Not sure how often that really happens with the proper amount of training though.
  4. Blade Maker

    Blade Maker Master

    I practice iron hand conditioning so i use both, i prefer open handed cause i can drop a person with a back hand across the dome if i have to. I could see the need for a fist too, either way if you know what you are doing the person getting hit has a hard time getting back up again... ideally
    SifuPhil likes this.
  5. Alice Okasan

    Alice Okasan Disciple

    Maybe it's because I'm "just a girl", but I have a hard time seeing myself punching someone in the mouth without a) hurting myself and b) just pissing off my attacker. Now if throw a palm heel to the nose my fingers are already in a great position to gouge eyes, or grab face and direct his head (forcibly) towards the floor. I'm also unbalancing my attacker which is really my prime directive since chances are pretty good my attacker will be larger and stronger than I am. I'm realistic and know I'm not going to muscle my way out of an attack. And since I know one of my weaknesses is weaker wrists, I'm pulling them out of the equation if I can. I'm all palms, knees, and elbows...with a punch thrown in if the opportunity presents itself and I feel the motivation...but even then it's going to be to a soft target (groin, throat, kidneys, etc.) but not to the mouth. Just my personal preference considering my personal strengths and weaknesses...
    Sherratt, Sabomnim Dan, DeeD and 6 others like this.
  6. Tuan

    Tuan Initiate

    Never yet seen a streetfight continue when someone's face has literally been seized by a trained hand. And sometimes that trained hand I refer to was mine.

    I've never had to damage someone's eyes, but I will press on them while my thumb is fishhooking and ask them if they are done. If they're irrational I can turn the shoulder and slide into a reverse choke. I've done it.

    Also, if LEOs get involved, it's "he said, he said" whether I was pulling on his mouth and pushing on his eyeballs, and if your demeanor is calm he looks like the crazy one claiming you were tearing his face off, and no marks to prove it.

    Goes without saying, if multiples or a weapon are involved, you sink your fingertips until you hit what they think with.
    cqcacademy likes this.
  7. Tuan

    Tuan Initiate

    Expounding on the mechanics of palm vs fist:

    Dave76, cqcacademy, Caneman and 2 others like this.
  8. Sneaker

    Sneaker Warrior Monk

    grab the fingers and bend it backward o_O
  9. Sherratt

    Sherratt Disciple

    although the point of the drill was not about combat
  10. RJ Clark

    RJ Clark Tree Ninja Staff Member

    While interesting this doesn't really relate to "Pros and cons of fist or palm heel strikes". It actually has more to do with grappling and joint locks for both offense and defense. I've used this before, and from an unbendable arm demo it's an easy segway into how it's impossible to be "strong" in two planes (of movement or areas of the body) at once for compound and/or rotational joint locks.
  11. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    I agree with RJ's last statement.
    I disagree with statements by some that the palm heel strike has "more structure". What is still clear is that different positions: palm, fist, spear continue to have different strengths applied to different applications.
    So, all in all... what do you train mostly; what feels best to you in your own body mechanics?
    My personal preference (probably) moves down the line like this: fist, knife, backfist, palm, ridge, spear, plier, web...
    Point being... with a continued focus through the years on the 2 knuckle strike point (as a primary), I have zero "structure" concern under "violent usage". That said, I also don't concern myself when other targets appear where a pronation of the wrist to better fit for a "flatter" contact. I will take the opportunity.
    The original question focused solely on a direct strike: fist or palm.
    DeeD likes this.
  12. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    I do like and utilize this effect.
    I have a natural tendency to throw in something you could call a knife/palm hybrid.
    Instead of a straight in palm, or a rotate in knife... I use a thrust/rotate (i.e. -whip) at times.
    So as the hand (palm) is rolling at the strike to bring surface of the palm to bare.
    Think about striking a tree trunk with your palm. If you wanted to hit the maximum surface on the tree, the strike has an arc on contact right along a segment of the radius of the trunk.
    Depending on what you strike, and how you time it (rotation and thrust) you can change it from a full surface strike to a slap to a push, etc.
    Instead of locking the wrist on the strike, it is loose, allowing the movement of the hand to flow into the target, and lock back on rebound.
  13. DeeD

    DeeD Nak Muay

    Same here(y)
    Caneman likes this.
  14. SifuPhil

    SifuPhil Lucky Cat Is Lucky

    That's it exactly. (y)

    As luck would have it I've had some bad experiences from throwing fists while I've never had a single problem with a palm strike, but of course that's just my own personal roll of the dice - everyone else's mileage will vary.
  15. Ivor Godley

    Ivor Godley grasshopper

    i like the palm strikes, palms can be very effective to the side of the face or the floating ribs - i've seen people very effectively dropped from both - and also been dropped myself by a palm strike to the floating ribs, it just depends on how the palm is delivered to the target. if one uses it with a "hooking" tech as you would a right hook punch, it doesnt really work that well, but if you use a whip / slap style of technique with a rotating motion that works its way up through the body to the shoulder whilst making sure the arm stays fully relaxed then it can be devastating!
    SifuPhil and Caneman like this.
  16. Caneman

    Caneman Test all things.

    Has aspects similar to an uppercut... though it is more adaptable than an uppercut.
    SifuPhil likes this.
  17. cqcacademy

    cqcacademy Initiate

    great video Tuan

Share This Page