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Old 01-30-2008, 07:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Knuckle conditioning (if there is such a thing?)

I've heard about strengthening the shin for Maui Thai so it doesn't hurt when you kick somebody, and I'm wondering if the same principle can be used for your knuckles? Say I do knuckle pushups, eventually can I get to the point where my knuckles feel less pain when I punch people?
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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well i know for a fact old school karate and kung fu and other martial arts punch hard things like trees and wood for hours on end to toughen their knuckles....apperently breaking them continuously makes them harder from the calsification i think just like kicking a banana tree or heavy bag deadens nerves and makes tiny stress fractures....don't quote me on this though this is only what i've heard....though i have see karate and kung fu guys who tape phonebooks to walls and punch it over and over
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The goal is not to continuously break your knuckles. The misconception is that Kung Fu and Karate guys walk up and start pounding full strength and speed on a rock or something, which is just stupid.

You can start with a heavy bag, just hitting it bare knuckle but not a full speed. Ideally you would want to start with a fist bag. They are just small canvas bags your hang on the wall so there is no give when you hit the bag.

You start with something that doesn't get packed in the bag like beans and work your way up from there. It will condition your wrist for impact as well.

Its safe is you do it right and gradually.

I can get more detailed about it if you would like, but this really is a process you should have someone observe you and you go through the process.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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bucket of sand, punch, repeat
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I used to do wing chun and workout on a mok yan jong (wooden man post) that I built myself, which I originally only built to toughen up my knuckles and hands and for Wing Chun. However I discovered these many benefits from the wooden man dummy:

Toughens my arms, elbows, hands and especially knuckles from striking it.
Toughens the bottom of my hands and sides as well as inner arms from using the muk yan jong for high speed blocks against the PVC pipe arms as when im throwing strikes against the wooden body.
My hand and arm speed is improving in my boxing and muay thai strikes from the time I spend working the wing chun dummy.
Its great for training alone, even indoors in bad weather or when you dont have a partner (if you have space).

Dont get me wrong I do boxing and muay thai for MMA standup technique and not wing chun at all anymore, but I still find the wooden man post an amazing training aid and conditioning tool for any martial artist or MMA enthusiast. And after the last year training with the muk yan jong I can hit any hard surface with my hands full on and not feel pain unless I hit it wrong. You hit a baseball bat or a tree bare handed without conditoning and you will prolly break something in your hand but after about 3 months of mok yan jong work its alot less pain, and after 6 months you dont have to hold back at all.

The only downside is my knuckles do tend to hurt when the weather changes and I get dry skin from the calluses which itch sometimes but those are minor problems well offset by the benefits imo.

I will upload a vid of me training on the wooden man post in a sec so you got an idea of what im talking about.

{Edit:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ht7_NRwZLwA

Heres the vid I was talking about, it doesnt look like it hurts but im hitting that tree dead on and hard, and that was only after about 3 months training. This video is about 8 months+ old and im better conditioned now, but it gives you an idea of the hand conditioning you can achieve.}
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Old 02-02-2008, 12:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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In kung-fu classes we do knuckle push-ups on concrete bricks. What sort of damage this can cause your hands is arguable, but I've found that over time my knuckles have become alot tougher and my wrists stronger. Also, the heavy bag is probably one of the best ways, just start off slow. Rolling your wrist is not fun. I find this, along with knuckle pushups on a hard surface will get your hands into gear in no time.
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Right now I can do about 8 knuckle pushups then I have to stop haha, also do knuckle pushups help build up your wrist more than regular (because theres sort of an elemental of balance when you do knuckle pushups, which your wrists help with)
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Old 02-02-2008, 01:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Punch against a wooden door, but not something harder. And, to harden a bone takes a long time.
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just remember not too punch anything so hard that it hurts. You should feel a slight discomfort at first but it souldn't be really painful, you'll only mess your hands up. Take your time and be patient, you'll notice after while that you're hitting harder and harder automatically. Also, a good idea would maybe be to rub on some Dit Da Jow after each session. It's really good for the bones.
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Old 02-09-2008, 03:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I hit maki wara boards (2X4 with coarse rope tied around the top) for about 7 years in karate, and I've never broken the skin on my knuckles since then, well, at least not from punching. I do knuckle pushups only, and my first two knuckles are like leather. It always looks like I've been in a recent fight, but that's just the way they are. With the maki wara boards, the idea is to twist your wrist at the end of your punch, twisting your knuckles into the coarse rope. The board is secured at the foot level, so it has some give when you hit it. I can't say enough about knuckle pushups. I do them on asphalt, concrete, tiles, whatever is around. The asphalt leaves some pretty crazy impressions in your knuckles, but it doesn't hurt. Make sure you do them on your first two knuckles though. I've tried them flat-fisted and it just doesn't feel right on my wrist. Plus, it requires more balance and helps your supportive muscles in your wrists.
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