Many people punch in a street fight and the main reason they don’t break their hands and fingers all of the time is because they don’t punch hard enough to do any real damage. How many times have you seen videos of people throwing a barrage of punches only to watch their target walk away? Truth is, most people can’t punch and those who can, run the risk of breaking their hands and rendering it useless.
Of course, there are people who have used a punches successfully in a fight, I am one of those people. Why I didn’t break my hand or dislocate a finger? Well some times I did, other times I got lucky, oh and I also conditioned the heck out of my hands by punching a makiwara, hitting bricks, knuckle push ups and all of that.
The reason people wear hand wraps and gloves in the ring is to protect their hands not so much their opponent.
Punching is a sport oriented technique.
Self defense and combatives systems that teach punching as primary a method of striking should be suspect.
Would a soldier REALLY use a closed fist in combat?
Forget about smashing your hand on your enemy’s skull, what about his equipment and weapon. Then after you smash your hand to bits, how well will you be able to fire a weapon or hold a knife?
If you’re punching in your self defense training you need to re-examine what you’re doing and put it in the context of why you’re doing it. You can get away with hitting pads and dummies with a fist – but when it’s a jaw, skull or elbow you might not like the result.