toughen hands

Is there any real way to toughen the hands so they are less likely to fracture with a hard punch?

Wrap them properly.

What about traditional training ( in martial arts ), as using the makiwara, hand conditioning, etc? If done excessively, yes, it can make the hands kind of rough looking, and you may lose some of the dexterity, but for those who compete in breaking, this is a choice they make.

Hit things. A lot. That's pretty much it.

chadk is correct.

No. That isnt conditioning the hands thats padding.

You can toughen your hands a la kyokushin style, and you'll have hands like rocks...literally. I know a couple of old school kyokushin guys (one from the fighting black kings oyama flick) who have developed severe calcium deposits in their hands. Years of hitting makiwara, trees, etc.

If it's bone on bone, something's gotta give. Even mike tyson's bare hand got fractured after hitting mitch green in the face (on the streets).

If you're punching for a KO, go for the chin. Avoid hard targets like the skull, the cheeks, the brows, etc.

Hand toughening is a myth.

If there was a legitimate way to toughen hands, dont you all think that brittle handed boxers like Roy Jones, Floyd Mayweather,and Oscar DLH would've been doing them already???

These guys make their living (and damn good ones I might add) with their hands. Surely if there were any legitimate hand "toughening" excercises, these guys would've paid top dollar to get access to them.

I've known some traditional MA guys who are excellent breakers too. A couple of things I notice is that many of them are fairly big boned to begin with. Thicker bone structure will usually translate to fewer hand problems.

Also, there is a huge difference between breaking bricks, boards, ice blocks, etc... when you are allowed time to focus on a stationary object, and ensure that you hand impacts in the optimal position, versus sparring or fighting when you aren't allowed any of these advantages.

Some one's moving towards you and throwing punches at you too, makes all the difference in the world. No time to focus your ki, chi, or whatever. Nor can you guarantee that your punches will land with your hand in perfect position.

Gene Tunney had brittle hands.

He squeezed stress balls to toughen his hands. He also worked on his punching fundamentals so he'd land his punches properly more often.

A very scientific boxer.

Thank you for good answer. Why aim for chin and not nose?

Because the chin is where the KO nerves are. You can certainly hurt someone by breaking their nose, but you won't ko them.

I was under the impression that quite a few of hand breaks, in boxing, are from hitting right on the chin?

I thought that if you break someones nose that that will take the fight out of them and mess up their vision. Comments


nope. Often hand breaks occur from hitting the skull (i.e. Hearns vs. Hagler, w/ Hearns breaking his right hand in the first round after throwing a cross to Hagler's ducked head). Of strikes to the chin, I've often heard of resulting KO's or broken jaws. I've never heard of someone's hand breaking because he hit someone flush on the chin.


in a streetfight, you will take the fight out of them and mess up their vision if you hit them in the nose. But you can also break your hand.

"Because the chin is where the KO nerves are. You can certainly hurt someone by breaking their nose, but you won't ko them."

KO nerves? Or is it that the jaw is the perfect fulcrum point so that the brain rapidly accelerates and decelerates against the skull causing a momentary loss of brain function. In other words, a concussion?

The nose is a good point for amateurs, but most seasoned fighters have been hit there so many times that the eye-watering reflex doesn't happen anymore.


tap your jaw right under where your lip line ends. There should be a slight buzzing sensation that goes right up to your eyes. Those are the nerves that get short-wired when you get hit with a cross or hook.

there's also a set of nerves between your jaw and skull that gets pinched and short-circuited with the jaw is hit with an uppercut. The result of this one is interesting, because you're totally awake from the waist up, but your legs are gone. Best example of this is jones/griffin 2.

but the fulcrum point concept is true as well. that's 2 reasons why the jaw or chin is the primo target, when striking the head and keeping your hands relatively safe.

LMAO @ Jones/Griffin 2... That reminds me of Nunn/Kalambay as well. I may have to dig that one out!!!

I remember reading an article about this a few years
ago. From what I recall, the way it works is the
"switch" has to do with the gap in the synapse that
connects the brain to the spine. If it shifts or
rotates more than a certain amount it short circuits
the system.

Thus a shot on the chin causes rotation beyond a
certain point and the body shuts down. Or from a
cross it'll shift the skull back far enough to have
that happen too. That's why more hooks cause KO's,
it's easier to get that sort of movement through
rotation than a straight punch.

It doesn't quite hold to say that if there were proven hand-toughening techniques then boxers who make their living punching things would utilize them. Why should they? It's not fun training, and with gauze, padding, handwraps, and ten ounce gloves available, why would they do it?

Hand bones, like MT shin bones, can be toughened enormously, but SLOWLY. How does a year sound? If you can't put in at least a year before you try anything bareknuckled, don't bother.

And don't count on it working in every circumstance. Sure, Cal Worsham bounced punch after punch bareknuckled off Paul Varelans' big head, but bareknucklers from the 1800s continued to break their hands even after they started using "mufflers." It depends on how hard you hit, your fundamental bone-structure, and how immovable is the object you punch as much as it depends on the conditioning of your hands.

Unless you have legitimate reasons to prepare to hit things with your bareknuckles, stick to good wrapping and gloves.