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Old 12-09-2006, 07:32 PM   #74
Kevin Wilbanks
Location: Seattle/Southern Wisconsin
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 788
Re: To Slap the Ground or Not

As Cady mentioned, research has shown that progressive weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and joints far more than percussive, shock-type stress. For instance, squats increase the density and strength of the leg bones far more than running, even though the force absorbed by the bones upon landing impact in running is much higher than in performing squats. Chances are that any kind of striking exercise done without using padding and/or targets that yield to the force applied isn't doing anything beneficial for your hands in any sense except desensitizing them to pain... if you call that a benefit.

What I don't understand is why most people would even want to toughen up the bones in their hands, in this day and age, even if these pratices do work. The orginal purpose must have been to make the hands able to withstand the abuse of frequent fighting. Some have suggested that it enabled fighters to deliver damaging blows through armor or damage boney parts of the body normally too hard to punch.

These days, who goes around kicking people's ass frequently enough to need tough knuckles? Most martial artists probably never get into a self-defense situation where they need to protect themselves with super hard punches. For those who do, it will probably be so infrequent that they would be better off risking the bone fractures in these instances than beating the crap out of their own hands on the off chance it might happen. Also, if you really get in fights that often, wouldn't it make more sense to carry a small bludgeoning weapon or brass knuckles and let the tool take the punishment? Or learn a different fighting philosophy that uses the more sensible approach of hitting soft targets with the fists and hard ones with open hands, elbows, shoes, or the ground?

Meanwhile, we are talking about your HANDS here - the most delicate, versatile, and intricately put-together part of your body, when it comes to physically interacting with the world. Your hands are precious in that you depend upon them to eat, type, drive, create art, make love, earn your living... their subtle functions are vital to almost everything you do. Why would you want to treat them like ten dollar sledge hammers?

Last edited by Kevin Wilbanks : 12-09-2006 at 07:34 PM.
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