Vote: Open hands for street boxing

I brought up BAS because I was showing the effectiveness of a palm strike. I know closed fist aren't allowed in Pancrase. I have had a couple of skirmishess since I started training and opted to use a palm strike instead. I have broken many fingers and damanged many tendons in my hand by punching a face. That so called shock can be enough to distract to through something just as damaging to the stomach, groin, or a kick to the knee. When you train, you fight smarter. And a closed fist to the head isn't smart. The guy I dropped at Club Nation last year with a palm strike to the temple must have been a complete pussy. Ohh...and he punched me in the head, which didn't really hurt, but hurt his own hand.

Come name's just friendly discussion.

Punch now, ice your busted knuckles later.


I know plenty of guys who busted their hands punching with a closed fist in a streetfight.  Here are the three KEY things nobody has talked about:


jonpall, if your student is a VERY good boxer with excellent timing and strike placement WHILE ADRENALIZED UNDER STRESS, then he can probably get away with punching to the jaw for the KO.  However, most guys with less experience in the ring, and even those who are ring savvy - but are suddenly faced with a weapon, multiple opponents, or something else "out of the ordinary" from their training - will lose a lot of precision from the ensuing adrenaline dump.

It's really no different than when some of the guys go into the UFC Octagon for the first time....... they "choke," their game is "off," whatever you want to call it........ the bottom line is that they are getting a larger than normal release of adrenaline, the confidence falters at the same time because their mind has to process information and variables that aren't there in training, and complex motor skills go out the window.  It is complex motor skills that give you "timing" and "precision."

So, IF a person has the base skills AND can stay "in control" of their phsyiology and emotions, then by all means use the fist to the jaw or nose.  If not, stick to knees (anywhere), fists to the body, elbows to the head/torso, and maybe hammerfists or palmstrikes if it necessary (mostly ground work, imo).  The skull is WAY harder than the knuckles will ever be.  Know anyone that broke their hand punching a wall?  Same thing if you connect with the top or upper-side portion of the skull.  (The "cap").

Knees, low kicks, elbows, and grabbing them by the balls usually works better in the street than punches, in my experiences and observations, however.  The only other thing I will add is that a good cross punch done with a palmstrike instead of a fist hurts like HELL when done to the nose.  It can NOT send the nose bone into the brain (just a myth, physiologically impossible), but it CAN break their nose, make their eyes water severely, and even take away a bit of their eagerness to keep fighting.  Great stun and run tactic, or works well as a setup, then follow up with kness and elbows, takedown, whatever your pleasure. 


"Also, they say once you resort to cheap insults then you've already lost the discussion."

Anyone who believes that is a fucking moron.  

If you are worried about breaking your hand then use your elbows and knees. Using open hand strikes in a street fight is a good way to get your ass beat.

"Also, they say once you resort to cheap insults then you've already lost the discussion."

"Anyone who believes that is a fucking moron."

LMAO! Dude,that is gold. F-ing GOLD!

I hope to hell you file that if it's yours. If not, who?

"Also, they say once you resort to cheap insults then you've already lost the discussion."

"Anyone who believes that is a fucking moron."

I love the direction this thread has taken!

A friend of mine just got his hand broken punching a guy. The guy ducked and he struck him on the dome. He would have won the fight either way. Now he is off work for a few weeks.

Closed fist punches leads to broken skin on your hand and his blood in your cuts. Hep C or aids is on the way.

It's hard to tell which ones of you guys are the ones people should believe...

Having trained with both Tony Blauer and Roy Harris, I can say that they both are advocates of open-hand strikes to the head on the street. 

Tony has shared the story with us more than once about the time he himself  broke his hand in a street fight from a single punch to the guy's face.



"3. The purpose of striking and grappling training is to come as close as possible to that adrenalin dump you get when you are involved in a streetfight."

Must be you've never been in a streetfight.  The end result of training is that you become "comfortable" with your environment, and no longer even get adrenaline dumps.  It doesn't matter if it is grappling or MMA, after you've fought a few times in the sport arena most people learn to relax, stay calm, and not get adrenalized.

Take that same person and put them in a situation that they have not become comfortable with (like a guy waving a knife at him with bad intentions), and he will get adrenalized again.

The problem with your theory about training for adrenaline dumps is the whole "come as close as possible" part.  It is easy to duplicate the physical movements in training, but it is very difficult to create the same emotional intensity that is present when you truly feel your life could be on the line, not just a fat lip or black eye.  Sport training is an ABSOLUTE MUST to develop funtional physical skills, but their is - and always will be - a difference in the PSYCHOLOGY and EMOTIONAL aspects of real street fights.  Striking and grappling training?  Those are FUN, bro.  Even the worst beatdown I ever got in training didn't phase me compared to the time I was threatened while having the flat of a knife blade laid against my ribs, while facing 6 guys at once.  Fortunately I talked my way out of that one...... but I have NEVER been as emotionally wrecked or as adrenalized as that for kickboxing or grappling.  Not even CLOSE!

Talking with my students, those with REAL experience all say the same thing:

Grappling seems stressful and you get nervous, until you've been in a real fight or an MMA fight.  After that, grappling is "nothing" in comparison.

MMA fights seem stressful and you get nervous, until you've actually had someone stick a gun in your face and try to mug you, or you have someone (military) shooting at your helicopter, or you've got more than one guy in the street to fight at one time.  The DANGER levels are just so radically different, that even an MMA fight pales in comparison.  It's just a sport when you don't have to worry about dying.

"It's hard to tell which ones of you guys are the ones people should believe..."


The problem here is that even those with "real" experience in street fights have not necessarily "experienced" the same things.  You might have someone get in a dozen streetfights that have a relatively low danger quotient, punch a guy out with his fists, and say "Of course you want to use closed fists."  From his perspective, based on experience, that has always been "successful." 

Then there are plenty of guys who have been in streetfights who, whether it was their first fight or their 50th, end up with a broken hand from hitting someone in the skull.  They will also tell you from "experience" how bad it is to risk breaking your hands.

Personally, I firmly believe it comes down to what I said in my first post........ it's about "skill, stress, and precision."  If you are scared, nervous, and the least bit shaky - you are asking for trouble if you use a closed fist on someone's head.  If, on the other hand, you've got some good skills with your hands, you are just in a bar with some drunk asshole in your face that shoves you and is about to take a swing, and you are and feeling IN CONTROL of the situation, then you don't necessarily have a problem about whether or not to use fists or open hands...... you have a "training session" in the street, not a "street fight."  See the difference?

Lastly, anytime you strike someone with a closed fist, a witness will say "he punched him."  When you use an open hand, it becomes "he pushed him."  From a legal defensibility standpoint, that can also make a difference in certain situations.


Oh, and I would never advocate "fighting" with open hand strikes. In some situations, positions, moves ect. they can be usefull and work, but not if you are squared off and fighting someone who is aware of the fact that the two of you are involved in mutual combat. It is simply not as effective and limits your offensive ability, no jab, no hook, no uppercut, ect.....

Trust me, no one who actually fights for real uses open hand strikes in a context where closed fists are allowed. The fist is just that much better."

I disagree with a couple of your points.  You can "jab" with an open hand quite effectively.  You can also hook - it's called a "slap" and can be both painful, and momentarily stun your adversary.  Instead of the uppercut, you clinch and knee. 

I would never advocate fists for "fighting" when a cross-trained fighter has so many other options at his disposal.  Fists and open hands are just two tools in the tool box.  It's kind of like TMA vs. MMA....... there's "tradition" (using just your fists) versus "what works" (which, without breaking your own hands, still leaves a HELL of a lot of options!)

Depends on how well your hands are conditioned.

I agree with Adam LeClaire from his earlier post. An open hand shot to the snot locker can be devastating and take the steam right out of many would be tough guys.
I am a newbie so I know I don't know shit. I do know I have broken my hand hitting some dumbshit with a hard freaking noggin

After the first it seemed to happen every other good solid streetight. I had it rebroken and reset once.

It is a valid concern throwing down on a regular basis without protecting your hands. I have used open hands before but it seems easy to jam your wrist doing that.

I have a big knot in that bone to this day - a crusty bone buildup, or whatever.

At one point I was breaking it so often that if a guy had any hair to hold onto I would just grab a fist full and lay in elbows to save my hand the pain.

"An open hand shot to the snot locker can be devastating and take the steam right out of many would be tough guys."

Then imagine how much more devastating a punch would have been.

Bas is great with open palm strikes but remember Frank Shamrocks reaction when he was trying to sink in a leg lock during their match?