Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Fist Dynamics

In the mornings, when I do all my exercises and forms, I do a regime to toughen my knuckles.  This came about because of incident in class.  

We have breakable boards of varying thickness.  The thinner they are the easier they are to break.  They are great for novices to practice how to hold your hand and wrist correctly.  While I could easily go through the first two types I was completely unable to make a "dent" in the widest board.  What did happen was the skin on one of my knuckles completely pealed off to the bone.  

While staring dumbly at my bleeding knuckle I was able garnish some advice from Slim Sensei.  Get a red brick, wrap it in several layers of magazine pages.  Start with gently rapping the brick with the two major knuckles - kind of like a gentle backhand.  

I did that for several years and just use the brick now.  Somewhere along the way I moved to just punching the brick (very lightly) and worked on placing the two knuckles perfectly so the impact was equally distributed; somewhat easing the experience.  

  • An aside - In our school the point of contact is the first two knuckles.  I gather the idea is that they align perfectly with the forearm created a more stable platform to punch.  When I took Wing Chun (over 30 years ago!!) we were taught to use the whole hand; to punch across all knuckles).  I can say with some authority you have to watch it both ways because boxer's fracture is real and super painful.  Teacher has a disturbing lack of little knuckle on one had for just that reason.  Usually the boxer's fracture is in the hand itself, but as usual his injuries are more gnarly.  
Since I haven't been able to go to class much less work out at home the shock of punching the brick after a long break is surprising to say the least.  I noticed that I loosen my fingers slightly on impact to distribute as much of my  fingers surface against the brick.  Due to the build up of callus on knuckles the front of my hand is not smooth so I'm probably making things hurt more no matter what I do.  

disfigurement is awesome!

I'd love to hear if anyone has a take on this or did I just jump down the rabbit hole because I had a moment to think?

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