There used to be a time, back in the good old days, where traditional karate and kung fu schools would have their students be conservative with the closed fist punches in the sense that you didn’t see…
1) This rapid-fire flurry of multiple reverse punches thrown at the “jaw”( air) that you see in Krav Maga and numerous other “reality-based self defense systems”
What good is a (his)gun(that you luckily managed to wrestle out) in your (shattered)hand if your operational fingers are NONFUNCTIONAL from all that punching?
2) Boxing and sporting type punches thrown at PADS, heavy-bags, sparing w/ a partner etc. all WHILE WEARING GLOVES and HANDWRAPS(there’s so many self-defense systems that are guilty of this, it’s hard for me to simply choose one video off of Youtube…)
3) This slow motion non-sense that Target Focus Training uses. Sure, on a willing (dance) partner, every strike will hit with pinpoint accuracy a SOFT target that of YOUR CHOOSING, but let’s GET REAL when you’re being attacked and going full speed and your life is on the line, you WILL MISS, and you will MISS A LOT. YOU, ME, and everyone else.
Stop. Enough of this non-sense. Back than, you were to practice a reverse punches on a makiwara (Module 6) and a BRICK about 1,000 times a day (yes, several THOUSAND, that’s not’s a typo) and even than STILL, the reverse punch was recommended to be thrown to the BODY and a lot of systems advised against punching the head. And after about a decade or two, not only would you basically stop feeling “pain” in general, you would be able to throw a brutal, vicious reverse punch that COULD DEFINITELY take someone’s head off their shoulders.
BUT, especially when you factor in the fact that warriors to soldiers would be wearing helmets and armor out on the battlefield, it really didn’t make a lot of sense to be teaching punching as a PRIMARY method of self-defense. Also, keep in mind that there was a CULTURE about the TIME spent developing the reverse punch as a means of developing MENTAL TOUGHNESS(something that’s lacking in a lot of the pussified modern “men” of today, and it was more about the JOURNEY than the end result. So if that type of thing appeals to you(congrats, you’re one amongst VERY FEW people, check out the makiwara training in Module 6 of the SDTS.)
But the reason the liberal McDojos don’t do all this is simple…
Follow the money.
When your selling memberships like fitness centers/gyms do, you actually want your students to be getting in their cars and driving on down and coming back week after week, month after month, year after year to your studio. It’s very simple, students (customers) don’t like to hit their hands on hard things. It hurts, it’s not comfortable, and people would much rather hit air and pads because it’s more “fun” and they “feel it more” in that they get a “much better cardio workout at their target heart rate” or some other liberal BS like that. It’s simply a matter of meeting consumer demand and “please, everybody knows that calluses are so not attractive.”
And to that, I say, as someone who’s sincerely and honestly concerned for you and your family’s safety and well-being, you should learn to be using TOOLS and TECHNOLOGY(pepper spray, personal alarms, tactical flashlights- see my youtube video here) to ESCAPE as Damian Ross will teach you in the drills found in 60 Minute Self Defense and to disregard the FANTASY being sold to you of being able to CONQUER your assailant.
“But, nobody wears helmets and armor today. And yeah just the other day I punched this guy and KNOCKED him the F#CK out, blah, blah, blah…”
Ok, let’s forget the fact that he might be wearing a motorcycle helmet, and look at the fact that people today still wear heavy clothing and jackets, especially in cold areas, that are going to absorb a lot of the impact that a punch to the body would have. In other words, chances are you’re not going to be able to pull off a Bas Rutten liver/spleen shot or god forbid a Target Focus Training(Theory) two-knuckle punch to “drive a cracked rib into his internal organs to cause internal bleeding…, blah, blah, blah” more human anatomy/sports injury science that’s TMI that you don’t need to know.
And while I’m not the type of guy that likes to criticize something that “worked,” if we’re going to look at what’s optimal/ideal/ the BEST SELF DEFENSE for the AVERAGE person, it’s heel of hand/palm strike and edge of hand. Plus, just think about how much MORE effective your punch would be with the added MASS/ WEIGHT and STRUCTURE if you used a roll of quarters(see my youtube video here) or SAP gloves(Module 11).
So now that you know this, there’s two choices you can make.
1) You can choose to disregard the unpleasant reality brought up in this video/article, maybe leave an insulting and derogatory comment to make yourself feel better about yourself and this unpleasant reality, and go back to “your system” where you will continue to hit JUST pads and to train with HAND-WRAPS and GLOVES and to continue to live in your make-believe, fantasy world that your hands are actually the WEAPONS of mass destruction you want to PRETEND them to be…
2) You can drive on down to Home Depot or Lowes and buy a brick, some heavy-duty sandpaper, and get to work TODAY. Now the first time you hit your brick wrapped in sand paper, let me tell you something, it will be uncomfortable and it will be humbling. There will be pain. There is likely to be bleeding. But just like anything in life worth having, over TIME, you will forge your hands into something you can actually USE to save your life. Some methods faster than others(again, edge of hand, heel of hand), some methods a little or a lot slower than others(elbows, reverse punch, etc.)
Until next time,
Hit the Weights. Hit with Hate. Seize the Day.