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#278880 - 08/12/06 09:05 AM knuckle conditioning for breaks
cruz Offline

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 10
I have heard many people agree and disagree over whether punching thnigs many times per day and doing knuckle push ups actually increases the bone mass and density of your knuckles. Some people even say it causes arthritis later in life. Does anyone know for sure whether punching things and doing knuckle push ups actually increases bone mass and density and helps you to break more boards than you could before?

#278881 - 08/12/06 12:38 PM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: cruz]
Kysogkram Offline

Registered: 01/01/06
Posts: 137
Loc: Denmark
Well, I don't know for a scientifical fact that it does those things, however my knuckles certainly seem to be getting bigger.

Furthermore a lot of the black belts and seniors got some really freakishly big knuckles from doing knuckle pushups, using the makiwara, etc., so I'm feeling pretty confident that this type of training has a very real impact.

#278882 - 08/12/06 02:45 PM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: cruz]
DeathComesRippin Offline

Registered: 01/17/06
Posts: 9
Loc: Yuma, Arizona. In the US of c...
Don't bother with the knuckle conditioning. Damaging your knuckles over and over like that in many cases will just make them weaker. Those big calluses that you see on peoples hands actually add more cussion to the blow. The only advantage they have is that they've turned their hand into a big dead blunt object to strike with. Just stick to proper breathing and practicing power on the heavy bag. (with your hands properly wrapped and wearing gloves) It's all about bone alignment, so yeah, just practice technique.
"...and God is empty, just like me." - The Smashing Pumpkins

#278883 - 08/13/06 02:13 AM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: DeathComesRippin]
StuartA Offline

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 443
Ive done knuckle conditioning for years (knuckle press-ups, dollyo-jang (forging post), heavy bags with no gloves etc) and never had adverse effects.

But I would say anyone who does should not go OTT. If the hand is bruised then stop until its heeled. Ive never used Dwit Dow Jar etc, but some I know of do and clain it has great benefits!

I would think excessivly over doing it can cause problems later in life, but doing it intellegently will help make the bones and wrist stronger.

I have no calluous to see, my knuckles have never got 'bigger' like some seem to. But they are reasonibly strong and my motivation for doing conditioning these days is when I meet 'bone on bone' I want mine to be stronger than theres!!

"Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-do Hae Sul"

#278884 - 08/13/06 11:00 AM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: cruz]
cruz Offline

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 10

#278885 - 08/13/06 06:30 PM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: cruz]
EarlWeiss Offline

Registered: 07/29/05
Posts: 322
The key to knuckle conditioning without adverse effects is a gradual method. Initialy I used a canvas bag filled with steel shot. Some old timers used lead shot but dust could migrate thru the bag and even into the skin which was bad. LAter I graduated to striking a cement block and now a steel plate. Exercising virtualy any part of the body increases bone density. When you strike there should be hundreds of repetitions with no residual soreness. If there is you are doing it too hard. Studies as to whether this has bad effects long term would be virtualy impossible for the following reasons. 1. Physioogical differences would mke comparing one person to the next irrelevant. 2. Even using the same person conditioning on e hand as a control and the other conditioned would be meaningless since you would have to have a mechanical device precisely duplicating the impact for each and the person would still use their hands differently in daily activity. 3. The person would likely use one hand to break more than the otherresulting in differnt effects.

#278886 - 08/13/06 07:51 PM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: EarlWeiss]
StuartA Offline

Registered: 07/27/06
Posts: 443
One last thing, for safe conditioning get something with a bit of give. Dollyo-jangs (makiwara's) have give in them - punching walls do not and is bad all round I believe.


Ps. hi Earl

Edited by StuartA (08/13/06 07:52 PM)
"Ch'ang Hon Taekwon-do Hae Sul"

#278887 - 08/14/06 01:05 AM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: StuartA]
jonnyboxcutter Offline

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 320

Just stick to proper breathing and practicing power on the heavy bag. (with your hands properly wrapped and wearing gloves) It's all about bone alignment, so yeah, just practice technique.

I understand this comes down to personal opinion, but I have one question.

When class is over and you change back into your street cloths, do you take off the gloves and unwrap your hands?

Granted you donít need to make your knuckles big and ugly to hit hard, but in my opinion wrapping them makes them weak. Your hand gets used to hitting with external support that wonít necessarily be there when you need it. When I change out and hit the road, my hands are the same as they where in class.

An example would be, a professional boxer getting into fight (on the street not in the ring) and breaking their hands? (Tyson did this some time back)

-- -JBC-

#278888 - 08/14/06 01:54 PM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: cruz]
Supremor Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 2510
Loc: UK
This argument usually comes down to a simple evaluation that each martial artist must make personally: Do the ends justify the means?

Conditioning will make your hands harder, I'm not going to disagree with that one. As long as you do conditioning in a controlled manner- knuckle push-ups, heavy bag work, limited makiwara work- I am sure it will have positive effects for breaking purposes. However, the possible risks of injury; of arthritis in later life; of loss of dexterity and of the often highly stigmatised aesthetic qualities of large callouses on your hands are very serious considerations. Let me show you my reasoning behind hand conditioning:

I am a martial artist, who while loving the added quickness, flexibility and strength that my MA has given me, only sees the "fighting" aspect of martial arts as a self defense aspect. I enjoy watching martial sports, but would not want to do them myself. As such, I see the likelyhood of any viloent confrontation as slim, perhaps a once or twice in a lifetime experience. Other skills, such as writing, typing, using a knife and fork, are daily skills that I need in order to maintain my quality of life. Therefore, I weigh-up the pros and cons of better breaking prowess with the loss of my dexterity in later life, and have opted for a largely conditioning free training.

I occasionally dob knuckle push-ups, I'm happy to break boards with my hands, I also don't mind doing a bit of bare-knuckle pad work . But I refuse to ever designate a period of my training to conditioning.

Bear my and other's experiences in mind, and make a judgement that suits you personally. Remember that whatever you choose, a grounding in safe methods of training is essential, and you should have thoroughly researched your training before attempting anything risky(that means learning some physiology and checking with a trained doctor or physician).

#278889 - 08/15/06 01:05 AM Re: knuckle conditioning for breaks [Re: Supremor]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
Supremor, very nice post.

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