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#192933 - 10/10/05 04:26 PM Vertical vs horizontal fist
ShaolinNinja Offline
hates silicone bubishi

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 301
Loc: Ireland
Most martial arts teach you to punch with the fist horizontal i.e. with the back up the hand facing up, but some, such as budo taijutsu, use a vertical fist. There an article by Cristopher Caile on this site claiming that having the elbow pointing downwards (as it is when the fist is vertical) allows for force to be transmitted from the body more easily.
My own opinion is that a vetical fist does make for a more powerful punch. What are people's thoughts on this?

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#192934 - 10/10/05 08:46 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
The difference between pounding in a nail and removing it is only 90; it's up to you to decide which angle is appropriate for the job.

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#192935 - 10/12/05 01:26 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
There have been LOTS of posts re: this subject. Check out the archives.

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#192936 - 11/15/05 05:21 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
BaguaMonk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 404
Loc: DALLAS TX BABY
This method has been in Chinese Martial arts for a long time now. Except in the internal arts, it is something that is "natural" and not "forced" (aka your mind doesn't have to think about it when your practicing technique, nor does it take years of muscle memory). The Horizontal fist can also be used with elbow down (sunk a LITTLE bit), not fully bent not fully straight. In Taiji there are many punches, only the natural way to doing them uses corckscrew like movements (fa jin), relaxed and explosive

By the way, what is Budo Taijitsu? it sounds like a Japanese interpretation of Taijichuan, only claiming it Japanese and "Secret" (as many seem to be).

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#192937 - 11/15/05 09:48 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: BaguaMonk]
ShaolinNinja Offline
hates silicone bubishi

Registered: 10/09/05
Posts: 301
Loc: Ireland
I think part of the argument against the vertical fist is that is leaves the inner forearm, with all its nerves and blood vessels, exposed to strikes. You make good points about the punch in Chinese martial arts. Those methods (slightly bent arm, elbow down, corkscrew movements) probably more than correct any loss of power caused by having the fist horizontal.

Budo taijutsu is a type of ninjutsu, the art of the ninja. It was called ninpo taijutsu until recently. It is taught under an organisation called the Bujinkan.
_________________________
The world's a will to power and nothing besides

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#192938 - 11/15/05 10:07 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
Inyo Offline
Member

Registered: 11/10/05
Posts: 25
Another reason is just distancing.. you might not be in perfect position in real life as opposed to training, of course, so minor adjustments to the punch's rotation can make up for that. If someone is in close, use an inverted fist; little further away, vertical fist; farther away, horizonal fist. And, of course, any rotation in between, like a 1/4th turn, 3/4th turn, etc.

If you're actually moving in to strike them, then it's just a matter of personal preference. Whatever you feel is more natural to you is best, IMO.


Edited by Inyo (11/15/05 10:08 AM)

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#192939 - 11/16/05 03:06 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Inyo]
Tezza Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 775
Loc: Kent, U.K.
In my opinion they are both useful. I use both depending on the circumstance.
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#192940 - 11/20/05 01:27 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Tezza]
BaguaMonk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 404
Loc: DALLAS TX BABY
Yeah, the vertical fist is pretty good from close to medium range. You don't have to worry too much about breaking your wrist with a vertical punch where areas a horizontal would have to be near perfect on some surfaces. The vertical fist is a really good body shoot if it comes out with an arcing motion from the waist(straight in front of the waist) to someone else's stomach. Up and then down using waist rotation.

In WingChung I believe they use straight blasts more though.
_________________________
Truth comes from the absolute stillness of the mind...

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#192941 - 05/17/06 07:18 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
jliu Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 66
Loc: Montville, NJ, USA
Isshinryu style of karate also uses vertical fist-style punches. I find them faster than the horizontal fist punches, but horizontal fists do pack more power.
_________________________
Pain is weakness leaving the body.

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#192942 - 05/18/06 07:51 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768

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#192943 - 05/19/06 05:46 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Ed_Morris]
jliu Offline
Member

Registered: 11/12/04
Posts: 66
Loc: Montville, NJ, USA
Hahahaha
_________________________
Pain is weakness leaving the body.

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#192944 - 05/20/06 01:25 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: jliu]
Mr_Heretik Offline
Veteran

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 1074
Loc: Bronx NY, USA
Indeed.

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#192945 - 05/21/06 12:54 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Mr_Heretik]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
How about a punch with a 3/4 turn of the hand? It seems to also work very effectively.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#192946 - 07/13/06 12:45 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
Shaolin_Sky Offline
Newbie

Registered: 07/11/06
Posts: 18
Loc: Illinos, USA
I say, do whatever feels right. If you feel more comfortable, and feel like you are getting more benefit from using a horizontal fist, use it. I would still practice verticle fists, for the knowledge, but "styles" can only teach you techniques, it is up to you to create your personal style by using your strengths and what works best for you, and focusing on those, while still working on your weeknesses. This is just my opinion of course. I hope I was of some help.

-Sky

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#192947 - 07/13/06 10:50 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: ShaolinNinja]
Ronin1966 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/26/02
Posts: 3113
Loc: East Coast, United States
Hello ShaolinNinja:

The question is never which is "better"... the question is always did I use it effectively!

I can do many strikes, but if I make a minor ~mechanical error~, elbow out, shoulder up, hips not correctly positioned, etc.,etc. I might or might not pull off the desired technique. But that is not the question. Did I do X technique precisely, so that I was the most efficent I was able to be.... if so what more can one hope for?

Done incorrectly the best technique can be easily improved. Done poorly, and the best technique is missing some percentage of what it can produce...

Jeff

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#192948 - 09/20/06 08:44 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Ronin1966]
Rumble Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 92
In my opinion if we talking about body mechanics the vertical fist is more aligned then the horizontal fist. Also in the vertical fist the last three knuckles are the ones that impact unlike in the horizontal fist or in boxing where they emphasize on the first two knuckles. You can judge the feeling for yourself by doing a simple test and to see which one you feel works the best for you. To determine which fist is more natural to you do a push up using your fist first do a vertical fist push up then do a horizontal fist push up the feeling of the body mechanics will tell you which punch or fist is more inline same goes with which knuckles to use in hitting first use the last three knuckles to do the push up then use the first two and your body mechanics will tell you agian which knuckles line up better and the one you feel lines up better for you is the one you choose.
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#192949 - 09/21/06 03:08 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Rumble]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
It depends on who you ask. A classical Karate man (Japanese arts practitioner) will almost always say horizontal. A classical Kungfu artist (Chinese style practitioner) will almost always say vertical. To me the answer lies within the 3/4 turn punch. To each is own and experimentation is the key to success.
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#192950 - 09/21/06 09:44 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Chen Zen]
Rumble Offline
Member

Registered: 05/20/05
Posts: 92
Quote:

It depends on who you ask. A classical Karate man (Japanese arts practitioner) will almost always say horizontal. A classical Kungfu artist (Chinese style practitioner) will almost always say vertical. To me the answer lies within the 3/4 turn punch. To each is own and experimentation is the key to success.




Oh my goodness chenzen when you doing the push up test you dont ask another persons opinion you ask your ownself what you feel works best for you regardless of what your style is a true martial artist seeks the truth and not be blinded by your old set ways.
_________________________
Talk is cheap take it to the pit.

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#192951 - 09/21/06 11:51 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Rumble]
Mark_Jakabcsin Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 75
Loc: Fort Mill, South Carolina
Horizontal - palm up or palm down? Which provides a more solid bone structure to the elbow and hence the rest of the body? Can there be a difference of fist position between impact and final placement? i.e. Impact - vertical moving into horizontal at the final position? Again palm up or down at the end? Finally what is the range of your final placement? I.E. how far from your body is your fist upon final placement of the punch? Very key to penetration results.

MJ
_________________________
Take care,

Mark J.

www.charlotte-systema.com

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#192952 - 09/22/06 02:53 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Mark_Jakabcsin]
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Rumble, I know the answer lies within each person. Reread my post. I gave example of the answers he was likely to get from others. Then I gave him my own opinion which was a 3/4 turn.

Now on to Mark,

I dont know the answer to your question about which position provides better structure. Its an arguement that has gone on for ages. The rest I can answer. In many traditional arts you see the position change throughout the strike. In karate the strike often ends horizontal but starts vertical. The twist is supposed to help impact and cutting of the skin. Personally, it is my belief that this slows the fist down and accomplishes nothing as far as gains in impact or damage.
When it comes to distance, your answers will vary with each person you ask Im sure. Some people want to hit with the end of a strike so as to get a whip like effect. Others prefer to go deeper. They hit and intend to go past or through you with the punch. I prefer the whip method for two reasons. The first is power. When you punch an opponent with the kind of intent to punch past him, much of your power is absorbed. Thus robbing you of stopping power.Too much surface area. The second point is recovery time. If you strike like a whip you strike wwith the intent to return quickly and strike again. If you intend to go through the opponent there is a moment in your strike where you either go through the opponent or you do not. There is still damage caused but there is at least a full second wasted with each blow. A second doesnt sound like much but when you are talking about speed in combat you are very rarely talking about more than a few hundreths of a second difference between one man and the next. All of a sudden that second is an eternity and you already know that you cant beat every man with one punch. Why waste the time? Penetrate hard and fast and repeatedly. Thats my thinking. Whip like.


Edited by Chen Zen (09/22/06 02:57 AM)
_________________________
"When I let Go of who I am, I become who I might be."
Lao Tzu

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#192953 - 10/28/06 08:32 AM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Chen Zen]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
interesting vintage material:

Corkscrew punch:
http://www.bullworks.net/virtual/newstuff/boxer.htm

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#192954 - 10/30/06 11:59 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Ed_Morris]
Stormdragon Offline
Who Dares Wins
Professional Poster

Registered: 08/05/04
Posts: 3409
Loc: Salem, OR
The vertical fist definitely feels faster and looser, which can give the capacity for much more power, but the horizontal fist allows for stronger contraction of the arm and shoulder muscles in my opinion so it's morestable. I htink it's a matter of personal opinion but the vertical fist has it's advantages. And this is coming form a traditional tae kwon do and boxing practitioner.
_________________________
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx,

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#192955 - 11/18/06 11:29 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Stormdragon]
Hash Offline
Member

Registered: 10/03/06
Posts: 28
Wow, this is silly. The answer is that you can punch effectively vertical, horizontal, upside down, and every other damned direction. Especially when hitting the head, vertical and pinky side up punches are good to the temple, vertical punches are good to the jaw and neck, vertical or horizontal for hitting the nose or just under the nose, etc etc.

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#192956 - 01/30/07 02:37 PM Re: Vertical vs horizontal fist [Re: Hash]
WarblyDoo Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/15/06
Posts: 24
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
As someone who uses both punches interchangably I feel it would be beneficial to weigh in on the benefits of each.

Horizontal punch
- Corkscrewing it in allows for the muscles of the shoulder to add power to the punch which makes it very powerful at full extension.
- Because the elbow rolls up slightly it also allows you to roll your shoulder towards the neck and chin to protect the side you have left exposed while extending the hand (this is the main reason boxers do this punch as they are not as concerned about a punch to the ribs with 14 oz gloves as they are concerned about a knockout bunch to the button on the chin)
- Finally the slight raising of the elbow makes it easier to punch over top of the opponents gaurd as your arms are less likely to clash.

Vertical Punch
- The vertical punch generates full power at less than full extension because it is not relying on any corkscrewing to generate power. This makes it very effective for close range striking (That's why Bruce Lee's one inch punch was vertical)
- As mentioned on horizontal punch a vertical punch will clash with the opponents arms more often which in some arts (such as Kung Fu) is considered a benefit as ever block is treated as a punch and vice versa, hence if you use sticky hands vertical is the way to go.
- If you punch with the top two knuckles you can add a snap of the wrist into your vertical fist to add force over a very short distance.

I have also noticed that most people on this board are implying that a horizontal punch is always done with the first two knuckles and a vertical punch is always the last three. This isn't true. It is a matter of bone alignment, those arts which are punching with the first two knuckles are alligning the wrist to the radius and those that are punching with the bottom three are aligning with the ulna. I personally prefer the top two as I would not trust my little finger to survive any amount of force. In fact when I teach a hook punch I teach it with a vertical fist to avoid leading with the little finger. I heard a story once about Tyson breaking his little finger in a brawl because he threw a hook and without the protection of the wraps and the gloves it broke.

So the punch you choose will depend on your style and situation. I tend to use my horizontal punch at range because it better defends my chin and then the vertical punch when I zone in to short range. I punch with my top two knuckles but if you are doing sticky hands where you are rolling your punches in this is likely going to cause you to punch with the lower three.

*end dissertation *
*begin flames *

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