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    Any truth in this?

    Over the years I've come across numerous myths and stupidity surrounding the East Asian martial arts, you've all heard them. Now I don't hear many such tall tales revolving around the Western styles, but one theory that pervades most conversations comparing Boxing to Karate is the idea that boxers wrap their hands up so much that the hands don't receive proper conditioning the way a karate player's hands do when hitting the heavy-bag/makiwara.

    I keep hearing that peoples' hands will "shatter like glass" when hitting a punching bag bare knuckle with full power, now obviously this hogwash - I hit the bag regularly bare knuckle and the worst I've had to deal with is peeling skin.

    Back to the myth in question, are boxers truly doing themselves a disservice, with regards to condition of their fists, by so heavily wrapping their hands? Or is this just some stupid myth that "traditional" karate-ka speak to make themselves feel better?

    #2
    Makiwara training's (supposedly) for strengthening the "punching muscles" in the wrist and sharpening up the skin on the knuckles to make kyushu striking more effective. There's probably a few other claimed benefits too.

    Given the choice I'd work the bag every time.

    I'm no doctor, but I'm not aware of any training that can make your bones stronger and less likely to fracture/break/shatter.

    In summary: BS

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      #3
      There are several threads about this already (which I and others have commented on), go search for them for a more detialed explanation. You can condition your hands to be less likely to break, and to toughen your skin up--your body has mechanisms built-in to hlep it remodel in response to stress; however, if you hit forehead (or other firm parts) straight on with a punch, your hand will likely break.

      Boxing, as a sport, does ignore this to an extent, though the bag work they do (even with gloves on) does reinforce their hands over time. Also, anytime someone fights competitively, wrapping is an important protective mechanism, because you don't want to risk a break mid-fight.

      So, the answer is, yes boxing is missing something karate or kung fu does do; however, it's only marginally useful.

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        #4
        Its not true, kind of.

        I had this one jarate guy, big guy, fat, sucks at his karate btw lol, but anyway he asked me if my art did hand work. I said well yea we use our hands. He said no like this and he started backhanding a wall so that it shook, I will admit he hit it pretty hard.

        Now, after we left and said how cool he was lol, I looked at my friend and said "wow he wasted a crap ton of time conditioning his hands, he could have just hammerfisted the wall with zero conditioning".....hell I could have done that with a hammer fist.

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          #5
          Now as to will your hand break when you punch a guy in the face? Well, I have plenty of times hit people bareknuckle in the face/jaw/temple/cheek bone area.

          Never more than a swollen hand if even that.

          I have seen a few friends who broke a pinky maybe, or had some bad swelling, but it is rare that if you know how to punch you wil hurt your hand. Squeeze a tight well formed fist, and punch away, zero conditioning needed.

          It also helps that I have a strong grip through lifting, training, and hand grip exercises occassionally also. A stronger hand/forearm = less chance of injury.

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            #6
            Yeah, mostly BS. I do Kyokushin and spar bare knuckle fairly often. I started kickboxing on the side and was doing heavy bag work with gloves but no hand wraps at the gym, and with bare fists at home. Pretty soon, my hands were so inflamed and wrists were so tender that I had to basically not punch anything for 3-4 weeks to heal them up. I now wrap tight and glove up ANY time I'm hitting the heavy bag or even focus mitts and my hands/wrists feel great.

            You may be able to train your hands to punch the side of a train car, but you'll never be hitting full strength and you'll probably have real arthritis problems when you're older.

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              #7
              Good point RWaggs. When I started doing real consistent stand up ttraining I started wrapping up. It allows you the mental edge to hit harder and saves your hands from abuse. By not wrapping you are asking for injury if you are even semi-serious about training.

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                #8
                Irrelevant, but wrapping also prevents your hand from moving inside the glove.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by thrutch View Post
                  I'm no doctor, but I'm not aware of any training that can make your bones stronger and less likely to fracture/break/shatter.

                  In summary: BS
                  You being unaware is not the same thing as that kind of training being BS.

                  To become more aware, L2Search Function.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Weight training is proven to make bones more dense. Stronger. Also, having stronger muscles, ligaments, and tendons around the joints/bones will hold them in place and absorb shock making fractures and dislocations less likely.

                    So, cut the conditioning crap out, focus on proper form, and getting stronger hands. Look up grip strength and start doing it. Your hands will be healthy and a lot less likley to break, much better than makiwara's and that crap.

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                      #11
                      Constant impact and microcracking (and yes from the effects of gravity and weight training too) is the only physical mechanism that really makes structural (cortical) bones hard in the first place. As SifuJason pointed out, its a stressor on the bone that strengthens it. It doesn't matter how you get the microcracks, but the fact that over time it forms harder cortical bone, and you can speed that up significantly with certain exercises. I can't speak to the makiwara because I hit pads, bags, or other people, personally.

                      Deer antlers are exterior cortical bone, and they are hardened (and sharpened to nice, deadly points) through constant rutting and inter-buck combat.

                      http://www.jbiomech.com/article/S002...319-6/abstract

                      Last edited by W. Rabbit; 10/14/2011 11:27am, .

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                        #12
                        EDIT: someone already explained

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                          #13
                          Anyone ever seen the Karate section of a film called "Budo Art of Killing" ? If there's ever a doubt that specific training can harden one's bones, that will prove strong evidence - the Karateka punching the buffer on a steam train suggests so.

                          See 1.48 of the clip

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                            #14
                            I always thought it was mostly BS, but I keep hearing it so I wanted some confirmation. I'm used to typically working on the heavy bag completely bare knuckle, and I do so regularly. I have yet to deal with any kind of swelling or irritation to my hands, but I see the point of using the gloves and wraps when going heavily with the bag.

                            Appreciate the confirmation guys.

                            @Rock Ape - personally love watching that film, I can never determine how hokey some of it is, but the karate section has always made me laugh a little bit. The judo section, from what I remember, was pretty interesting.

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                              #15
                              Its hokey mate no mistaking that but, there's gems in there as well

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