Yes, I know the article is titled why you shouldn’t throw a punch. Here’s a practical reason why! Let’s create a scenario. A fight is about to start at a local tavern ( wherever you have the combination of alcohol, men, and women). Two men square off with each other.
They do the pushing back-and-forth, AKA “the man dance,” there’s name-calling, more pushing and shoving, and then one of them balls up their fist, and “Kapow” punches the other person in the face. Now in this scenario, let’s say that the person who threw the punch got a couple more punches in; it’s not like in movies. The person you’re fighting doesn’t just stand there and let these punches happen. There is a high probability that the person getting punched turns their head away from the barrage of punches. Well, you are now more than likely punching the human skull. What is the likelihood of you breaking your hand? Extremely high.
Everyone reading this article that’s broke in your hand in a fight, please raise that hand (yes, my hand is raised). How many, oh that’s right, lots.
Now, if you’re reading this article because you have not been in a fistfight or have not thrown a closed fist in anger toward somebody’s face, this article will be beneficial. However, if you broke your hand, you may be going through some PSTD, so I apologize.
So unless you’re one of the Hanson brothers from the movie Slap Shot, Or your name is Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine, and you have Adamantium bones, let’s look at some good options for you to have some self-defense without breaking your hand.
In a perfect world, when you throw the punch, we want you to punch with the first two knuckles. The medical term for that is “metacarpophalangeal” yep, you guessed it, I googled that shit. As I said, ideally, you want to throw a punch with the first two knuckles. However, the second punch you throw with a moving target, there is a high percentage, like 90%, chance you’ll end up hitting with the pinky finger or, as is medically known, “digitus minimus.”
Have you noticed that every single time in a sporting event where the athlete throws punches bare-knuckled (yes, this is for the hockey players) or in a movie scene where the character has thrown punches bare-knuckled, soon after you see them with their hand in a bowl of ice? Why is that? Because they need to stop the swelling from the breaks, fractures, and abrasions of bone hitting flesh & bone and bone hitting teeth ( the infection possibility is very high, but that’s another article), let’s stick with bone hitting skull.
OK, so if punching with a fist isn’t the correct answer, what is the right solution for delivering violence during a physical altercation? The answer is the palm heel strike, also known as an open palm and five fingers of death. I am just kidding. I want to sound dramatic.
The open palm strike is idiot proof which means you can do it drunk or sober, stressed, not stressed, constipated, not constipated ( just kidding, you don’t want to fight while on the toilet. However, if you do, check out the article I did in September 2021 Skillset issue) anytime, anywhere you use your open hand palm heel strike. It’s so easy that if you can do a high 5, yes, that high five, and a push-up, you can do an open palm strike. For more information on deploying the available palm strike, please check out the 100 deadly skills combat edition. I’m in that book, and yes, you get to see me open-palm strike Hitler in the face. Pretty freaking cool.
There’s a famous saying in the defensive tactics world. OK, I don’t know if it’s famous, but it is a truism. Hard on soft and soft on hard. Yes, that sounds like an adult pornographic movie; however, it means you will hit a hard target( skull/cheekbone/ nose) with a soft part of your hand ( aka open palm strike). You’ll hit a soft part of the body, in this case, the throat area, with the hard part of your hand, which would be your fist. (don’t forget the first two knuckles still apply)
Now, before you start thinking about punching people in the throat, let me share some facts. If you hit someone in the throat with a fist and you fracture or crack or damage the trachea voice box or anything to do with the breathing apparatus in their throat, the likelihood of them dying is high, so think twice before you “throat punch” someone.
Time for Real talk
OK, it’s time for me to dial down the joking and get serious for a moment. Here’s the bottom line: I prefer you not to throw a fist punch and use an open-palm strike instead. You are using the above scenario about a fight in a tavern. Now, after the fight happens, what if you need to do first aid or go to your everyday carry weapon? If your hand is broken, you are useless. You’re now a liability at saving a life on the first aid statement alone. I don’t feel it’s worth it, do you?
An open palm strikes good, making a fist and punching hard areas of the head or face badly. Open palm streaks to the hard parts of the head or face. Good! Punching people in the throat is dangerous. In self-defense, you must hit first, hit fast, often hit, and create opportunities for escape. The idea is that you go home as close as possible to the way you left your home. This article is based on more than just jokes and opinions. It’s based on experience, not just mine but many others. So stay safe and work on your high-fives to the face. They’ll never let you down.