Bare-knuckle punching techniques
Punch with handwraps and padded gloves and you can hit with virtually any part of the fist without suffering serious damage to your hand.
Some of those same punching techniques are a recipe for disaster if you try to use them bare-handed.
Some modern boxing punches are almost useless without handwraps:
- Overhand right – the unpredictable angle at which it lands, and the difficulty of hitting a soft target make it a handwrap-only punch
- Long-range hooks – while you can throw the orthodox left hook without wraps, the modern long-range hook (sometimes used as a lead punch) is a surefire way to break the unprotected hand.
- Any punch to a hard target – no matter the punch, it will not give you good results if you hit an elbow or the forehead.
The best techniques to use when you don’t have your hands wrapped are:
- Probing jabs – don’t try to take his head off because you can injure yourself if you hit the hardest parts of his skull; just try to open him up with your jab.
- Straight right – Old prizefighters prefered to throw this to the solar plexus instead of the face; again, because they wanted to protect their hands.
- Short-range hooks – If your elbow is bent greater than 90 degress, it’s not a short-range hook. The beauty of this punch is that it’s so fast that you can be certain you’re going to hit what you’re aiming at (his chin).
- Other strikes – Old-time fighters used many other strikes instead of just punches; most of these are still used by Karate people and other martial artists who practice and fight without gloves.
For the vast majority of us, it’s best to wrap and wear gloves, even in practice. Hand damage is avoidable and unnecessary.