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Techniques>Punches>Hand strength

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Hand strength

Intro

To use the hand as a weapon requires it to be strong in all its actions. Not only must the action of gripping be strong, the motion of opening the fingers from the grip must also be strong, as in releasing the hand from a grip.

Grip strength comes primarily from the ulnar side (little finger side) of the hand so a boxer's fracture would significantly affect your grip. A fracture on this side of the hand means you will not be able to use it to defend yourself by using hand strikes, grabbing the opponent, or holding a weapon. Try to hold anything with a handle without using your little finger.

Why train for hand strength

Increasing your hand strength increases your grip strength; therefore, when you grab an opponent’s body part or clothing you will have more pushing, crushing, holding, and gripping strength. This allows you to better control the opponent and makes it more difficult for the opponent to escape. Increased grip strength allows you to dig your fingers into pressure points, crush a trachea, or perform “The Claw,” a fake technique made famous by Baron Von Raschke and other professional wrestlers.

To increase your punching power, increase your grip strength. Increasing grip strength means you are also strengthening the wrist and forearm, both of which are used in punching.

Training for hand strength

Most people strength train their arms, legs, and abdomen but they neglect their hands. Mas Oyama, one of the most powerful martial arts of his time (he fought and killed bulls barehanded), describes hand and finger exercises in his book Essential Karate. One exercise consists of placing the palms and fingers of both hands together in a prayer-like position with the fingers pointed upward in front of the chest. The hands and fingers are then pushed together in an isometric manner. While maintaining the pressure, the hands are raised above the head and then lowered to the level of the solar plexus. The same up and down motion is used with the fingers pointed away from the body and then with the fingers pointed downward. These motions strengthen the wrists, arms, and chest, while also building flexibility in the wrists.

Use can use pushups to strengthen the fingers and wrist. Perform sets of pushups on the palms with the fingers pointed in different directions in each set: inward, forward, outward, and backward. Then perform sets on the fists with the back of the hand facing inward, forward, outward, and backward. Then perform sets on tips of five, four, three, and two fingers and finally on the thumbs. Another traditional exercise is to stand in a deep sitting stance with the arms and hands extending to the front and repeatedly close, squeeze, and extend the fingers rapidly for a few minutes.

Dan Hodge, Olympic champion, and an Oklahoma wrestling coach noted for his incredible grip strengthened his powerful grip by repeatedly crumbling sheets of newspaper into a ball with one hand. At his peak, he could crush a whole apple in one hand. As another exercise, try to fold a sheet of newspaper (or any size paper) in half more than seven times. P.S. it can’t be done.

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