With which knuckles do you jab and cross?

Discussion in 'Boxing' started by Sandy, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. Sandy

    Sandy Valued Member


    In kickboxing, I've always been taught to jab and cross so that my first two (middle and index) knuckles were the striking surface. Although this does jar somewhat from time to time.

    However, I recently read a NHB fighter recommending using the smaller three fingers' knuckles instead. I tried this on a bag yesterday and it seemed to have solved the jarring problem.

    So I thought I'd ask on the Boxing forum, as you folks are likely to know best.

  2. kmguy8

    kmguy8 Not Sin Binned

  3. KickChick

    KickChick Valued Member

    Check out the Boxing Tips thread also at the top of this forum .... good stuff! :)
  4. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Why on earth would you strike with the bottom three?!?!
    That is a 'boxers break' waiting to happen.:eek:

    Waits for the WC hordes to rush in and defend this style of punching... :p

    When you say an NHB fighter told you this... which NHB fighter?
    What was his reasoning behind this sort of punching? :confused:
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Valued Member

    Hi folks,

    Thanks for the suggestions and tips where to look. I've 2-3 years full contact training behind me (a couple of years muay Thai, plus a year's kickboxing), which already biases how I punch.

    However, I thought the Western boxers on this forum would be able to share their valuable expertise. I rate Western boxing very highly indeed. If you're an experienced boxer, I'd be keen for your opinion.

    The three knuckles advice comes from a book called No Holds Barred Fighting: Savage Strikes by Mark Hatmaker:

    This is generally an excellent book, in my opinion, well deserving of the good reviews it receives on Amazon. Which is why I took the advice about which knuckles to use seriously enough to consider changing and posted here for advice from experienced boxers ...

    Cheers :)

    PS I did use the search function before posting this and my previous thread here. However, sometimes the results can be overwhelming or confusing, requiring an unreasonable amount of time to wade through.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2006
  6. callsignfuzzy

    callsignfuzzy Is not a number!

    Punching with the last three apparently comes from some of the older boxing manuals written by the likes of Jack Dempsey and Bob Fitzsimmons. Dempsey's book is so reveared that it's been a source for Bruce Lee, as well as a major source for Ned Beaumont's "Championship Streetfighting". I'm presuming that Mark, with his deep love for the old-school Western arts (Dempsey in particular for his power) probably got his original inspiration from there for citing a three-knuckle landing. Terri Tom's book "The Straight Lead" goes into a fair bit of detail about the three-knuckle landing and the "power line" described in Dempsey's book.

    Personally, I started with Karate and was originally taught the two-knuckle landing. I later discovered the three-knuckle landing and after experimenting between the two have generally gone with the lower three. As stated on other threads, this increases the chance of a boxer's fracture; however, in order to get propper allignment for the two-knuckle landing, the wrist has to be flexed down and slightly to the outside, increasing the chance of a wrist sprain. It's a trade-off. Both methods have been successful for different people. Ultimately, like everything else, it's a personal choice. For me, it just seems that trying to land with the two knuckles throws my aim off a bit, and I do feel a bit of strain in the wrist. I've also had the "boxer's fracture", but I was fighting a steel door at the time.

    It won.

    I'd suggest working with both. With begginners, I tend to advocate the three-knuckle landing, my reason being that it takes time to build up the necessary supporting muscles and tendons for a propper two-knuckle landing, and we train mostly for non-sporting confrontations that last a matter of seconds, where a fracture wouldn't be too much of a factor in the heat of the moment.

    Since you've got "Savage Strikes", you've got Mark's reasons for advocating the three-knuckle landing already, but if you desire a more detailed explaination, I'd suggest e-mailing him. He's a genuine nice guy and always tries to make time to answer questions: http://extremeselfprotection.com/contact.htm
  7. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Nice post. I have something by Hatmaker somewhere here... it's buried so I'll have to dig it out and check it out. Interesting the the reasoning you use behind going with th bottom three knuckles. Will have to give that some thought. That I use my punching mostly wrapped and for competitive aspects I doubt I'll be spending much time using the bottom three... but is however interesting.
  8. koto_ryu

    koto_ryu Common sense is uncommon

    callsignfuzzy is correct. I have Professor Donovan's old boxing manual, and even though he is wearing gloves he is still throwing his jab with a three-knuckle landing in many of the stills they took. Georges Carpentier talks about the three-knuckle landing as well in his little boxing how-to book. It ultimately boils down to personal preference however.
  9. dexxl

    dexxl New Member

    mark hatmaker,... as in the guy that teaches dirty boxing techniques mark hatmaker?.. ehh i dun think there's two, but i doubt he'd be any authority on what's best for your knuckles.
  10. UKscrapper

    UKscrapper I kick ass therefore I am

    I always punch with the index and middle finger knuckles and can smash through 2 inches of pinewood with a reverse punch I am also missing the little finger knuckle from a previous boxer's fracture from punching incorrectly in a fight situation.
    My advice is use the first 2 knuckles else you will break hand if you make hard contact against bone and I have empirical knowledge and experience in this matter.
  11. mai tai

    mai tai Valued Member

    i hate the term "boxers fracture".......i have worked many an emergency room and seen many fractures of the 5th metacarpal.....never have i seen a boxer have one....(could be the hand wraps?)

    this should be renamed the "drunken frat boy punching a wall fracture"
  12. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Yeah perhaps the word 'boxer' in the term 'boxer's fracture' is a euphamism for anyone that throws a punch... not specifically a professional boxer.

    I have also worked in many an emergency room and have seen more than one frat boy and gang banger low-life come through with the fractured 5th metacarpal. Sadly enough I've also seen several of them from guys who broke it on their wifes skull or face. :eek:

    There are however many boxers that do get them. They can pack a lot of punch behind some very tiny bones that are impacting a very large strong bone... most likely the head or sometimes the elbow... inevitably breakage is going to happen.

    Personally I throw punches landing the index and middle finger knuckles primarily. People often say that it's hard to really know what knuckles your landing when you are wrapped and have gloves on... in 16oz. gloves maybe... but in 8oz. gloves you can just about pinpoint the exact square milimeter of impact on your knuckle. :p

    Here are some links on the 'boxers break' or 'boxer fracture' after a quick Google...







    There are some boxers who I believe who've broken this with kind of a fracture time and time again.... Arturo Gatti. I'll have to come up with a list if I can of pro boxers who've broken their hand like this. Virgil Hill is another who's broken his hand - but unfortunately media reports often don't go into detail as to what was broken and how.


    Brian Viloria is another who's broken the hand:


    Here is a short bit with some Xrays about a guy who broke his hand in a way that has zero to do with boxing... :p


    Ross Enamait of www.rossboxing.com has broken his hand several times according to his training materials - so he makes a point to focus on strengthening the wrist and forearm... though I don't know if his break was a 'boxers fracture'.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006

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