You're too sensitive kid. Grow a thicker skin.
Originally Posted by Ir0nHead
1. Yes you can condition the bones themselves.
2. Grip strength is about application, what is his intention in using grip strength.
I've been on the floor with power lifters before. It's the wrong strength for the use they need.
I stand corrected and humbled. Even though I don't understand your second point and your sentence "It's the wrong strength for the use they need", I must say that I'm eager to learn how one can condition his bones.
When you said you had your class go through hand conditioning, what exercises did you use? I'm truly interested here, we don't have this at my school and it might prove very useful.
Making your fists, arms, and shins harder takes a dedicated program of progressive training that will help you hit harder, suffer less injuries, as well as not affecting your range of motion in the least.
I have been hardening my body for over 25 years. I do not suffer from any ill effects from incorrect training. Many people make comments as to my having rather soft baby hands, that is until I break 4 inches of concrete or hit someone.
Many boxers have the right idea by hitting the heavy bag, but I do not wrap my hands with multiple layers of cloth and then add a glove when I want to train the hands.
Using a heavy bag and bag gloves with nothing else is a great way for a person who wants to start to train the arms, and hands to take more punishment. Cushioning is not what you are looking for. You need to learn to hit so as not to injure yourself in the beginning but with practice you will be hitting hard without hurting the wrist. As mentioned earlier, strength training of the muscles of the ENTIRE arm is needed to make the strikes stronger as well as protect the limb and its joints from being injured.
Who the heck wears hand wraps and gloves on the street?
So why would you train something that is not with you 24/7/365?
Knuckle pushups are also a good warmup as well as getting the hands used to being in the position used in striking. I would not suggest doing them on only two knuckles but the entire hand. You must do this slowly and progressively as many people will pay the price later in life with arthritis and other joint issues if done incorrectly. I start people off with doing them on the wall at a 45 degree angle. Once they can bang out 25 good pushups then they start on the floor.
Arm banging or Ta San Sing is used in many martial arts to train the arms to be able to accept more abuse than what is normal. The best and cheapest way to start training your arms is to slap them from wrist to shoulder, inside and outside. Once you can slap yourself hard over a period of time you can then proceed to the next level.
Get yourself a wiffle ball bat. A plastic bat that is hollow. Take this and do the same thing. Tap lightly at first, and then over time hit harder.
You should always make sure you are not hurting yourself.
Many people introduce liniments at this stage when you start hitting the body with foreign objects, though you can use liniment at any time to help ensure you are not injuring yourself, as well as heal and trauma that you have inflicted on yourself.
It is not rocket science but you must understand that you need to do this and any other hardening processes over a long period of time. Short cuts can cost you bigtime.
I am off to teach my class.
Let me know how I can be of service to you.
This was the expert I was talking about.
Originally Posted by Dale Dugas
Couple of thoughts to add on to what other people have mentioned, from a martial artist/doctor in training perspective.
1) Conditioning does 2 things: desensitizes nerves so you feel less pain (and mentally conditions you), and increases bone density through repeated stress (bone remodels and becomes more dense through repeated, mild stress). Thus, bones can be conditioned directly. Weight bearing exercise also can increase bone density, BTW.
2) No matter how much you condition, some bones you strike with are still weaker than others. For example, shins can be conditioned to levels where some people can hit trees, break bats, etc without issue. However, the bones of your hand (not your knuckles, but your metacarpals) are relatively weak and frail. Even with conditioning, it is quite easy for someone to break them when they hit someone (in medicine, it is called boxer's fracture---for a reason). Proper technique and conditioning can help, but truly good strikers can generate enough force that if they hit the wrong spot (say the side of the forehead instead of the chin), things break. Thus, don't except super conditioned/huge knuckles to protect against your metacarpals from snapping. That is why I tend to favor palm-heel strikes verses knuckles when barehanded, though not always.
It is amazing that you will find schools that teach all these techniques which all for punching people in the head, and other parts of the body, but they do not condition their anatomical weapons at all. How can one expect these techniques to work without such training.
As mentioned by SifuJason, you do not want to punch anyone in the head. You are asking for some serious problems with your carpals and metacarpals which could fracture. Thus making them weak for life as you have broken their original structure and weakened the bone.
Many teachers will explain that you want to hit hard targets with "soft" weapons (i.e. your muscles covered palms, hammer fists, etc) and "hard" weapons for hitting the soft areas of the body. Makes sense.
After you have been slapping, hitting your body with your hands, and you have progressed to the plastic bat, you can get a short stick about 18 inches long by an inch of wood. And start the process all over again using a solid stick.
This stage is where many of the kung fu community will bring out a training liniment to help ensure they are not causing unnecessary trauma which could lead to blood clots(hematoma).
Hematoma are blood clots, and large bruises with significant blood stagnated in an area of your body could possible break off and cause SERIOUS health issues.
Hence the use of the liniments which mitigate these rather nasty issues.
Thai Boxers have a liniment.
Silat players use a liniment
Filipino MAers have a liniment.
Chinese people use Dit Da Jow.
Okinawans even use liniment
If you look you will see that many of the arts/styles/systems use some sort of medicinal aid to help ensure the practitioner will not injure themselves or cause injuries.
Once you have struck your arms and legs with a solid wooden stick for at least 6 months to a year, you can move to the advanced level.
I use a copper hitter for this training.
I have a piece of high power line which is basically copper rope that I unraveled to give it more movement rather than being an inch of solid copper.
I use this to tap my arms, torso, legs, etc to help train the tissue to accept more kinetic force which over time translates to me not being phased by others hitting me.
I do not train to "deaden" or Desensitize my nerves.
On the contrary my iron palm and iron body training has made me rather sensitive. But Iron Palm and Iron Body training are highly specialized training programs.
What I am explaining here is a foundation of Pai Da Kung hitting skills which is external in nature. It will help anyone who is looking to harden their bones without injury or deformity.
Punching immovable objects, walls, trees is asinine and asking for trouble
Let me know how I can be of service.
Last edited by Mor Sao; 7/20/2011 8:50pm at .
Dale Dugas, I do two-knuckle push ups because all of our punches are done with two knuckles. As the wrist-hand alignment is different in four-knuckle and two-knuckle push ups, I thought it would be better for me to use two knuckles since it would teach me the proper position for the punches I use. Is my reasoning wrong and if so, how so?
Also, could someone enlighten me as to how the bone conditioning process works? I'm curious about this, I honestly can't say I think it sounds very safe and maybe knowing more precisely what happens with the bones will help me. I heard bones were solidified this way through calcification, but I fear this might be bad for my growth since I'm only 16 years old.
I'm going to leave your posts here for now, but given your age and your previous post, I'd prefer if you stick to asking questions rather than attempting to answer any from this point forward.
Originally Posted by Ir0nHead
Most of the hand myths about boxers stem from the simple fact that no one really really gives a crap about a fucking nobody breaking their hands in a "street fight".
Originally Posted by erezb
Regardless of the conditioning one can do, people tend to forget that the reason boxers break their hands is because they hit fucking hard. They hit so fucking hard, they can break their hands through gloves and wraps.
My knuckles don't all lay flat, I can either do three knuckle push ups or two knuckle push ups. Should I just alternate them?
Originally Posted by Dale Dugas
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