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Old 10-08-2014, 01:42 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Is it true that a roll of dimes or nickles can protect your hand in a fight?

I've seen this mentioned in crime fiction. Characters in Rex Stout, and Mickey Spillane novels would protect their hands with a roll of coins. Often a roll of dimes or nickles for guys with bigger hands. IIRC Saul Panzer (a guy Nero Wolfe used often) preferred dimes because he had small delicate hands.

1. does that really help prevent injured hands in a fight?

2. did guys that expected to get into street fights really carry a roll of coins for this purpose?

I always found it interesting that this was a defensive technique. Strictly to avoid injury. While brass knuckles were offensive weapons and meant to bust somebody up.

Last edited by aceplace57; 10-08-2014 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:10 PM
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While it would likely increase the damage caused to the recipient by a punch, I can't see how it would protect one against broken knuckles and cuts.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:20 PM
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Common belief is that it makes your punch harder or more effective. I tend to doubt that but I suppose it's possible. You're using more effort to accelerate your fist so I'm not sure there's any more energy available at the point of contact.

From here: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com...eenhancers.htm

Quote:
What is a strike enhancer?
What is meant by the term strike enhancer is any item that basically fits within your hand. I say basically because some of these items fit entirely within your hand and are usually concealed by your fist. An example of such an item would be a roll of dimes, pennies or a small metal bar. By grasping this item you create a greater structural stability within your hand. This is commonly mistakenly called "making your hand harder," I tell people that they can create the same effect by learning how to punch correctly.
The whole article is rather interesting to read, but I have no idea about the author's qualifications.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:35 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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The tighter your hand is in a punch the less damage to your hand. A roll of anything or even a piece of clay or a battery in your hand allows you to grip more tightly than just using your hand alone. So I believe this is true.

I have taught students to break simple boards. To those having problems I gave them an AAA battery to grip, they succeeded in breaking boards they previously could not with no damage to their hands.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:43 PM
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It works, but the typical paper coin wraps break open on the first punch, mostly. Reinforcing it with tape helps, but it is a well known signal to LE that you were carrying it as a weapon. They may interpret that as you were "looking for trouble." One of the mini-maglite style aluminum flashlights can be used for the same purpose and, as a bonus, is useful as a flashlight.
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Old 10-08-2014, 05:47 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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The mini-maglite sounds like a good idea. Useful anytime the sun goes down and could help prevent a broken hand in a fight.

I always thought this fiction element might work. Glad to hear that the Rex Stout and Spillane got it right.
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Old 10-08-2014, 06:20 PM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
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It seems like something inside your fist doesn't actually protect it per se, but rather forces/encourages you to hold your fist tighter to hang onto it, which in turn helps you protect your own hand. You could accomplish the same by simply squeezing your fist tighter.

I doubt the benefit is significant enough to really matter in most situations, and it could be just as big a hinderance to your overall safety. Nobody hits bags or pads holding coin rolls, so doing so in a real situation is gonna feel unnatural and throw your timing/precision off due to the weight of all those coins, making it less likely to get the shot you intend.

Most of the time people break bones in their hands is when they hit parts of the body they weren't aiming for, or hit them on a bad angle that changes at the last second. Even professionals miss the vast majority of the punches they throw, so you're very likely to not hit the target the way you want to anyway. If you're setting up a sucker punch where you have a pretty good chance of hitting where you want because the other guy is not reacting to you, a roll of coins probably would give you a measurable benefit. In a typical dynamic situation you'll likely still break your pinky when the guy ducks and twists and you hit the top of his skull on a 45 degree angle.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:02 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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Originally Posted by mmmiiikkkeee View Post
It seems like something inside your fist doesn't actually protect it per se, but rather forces/encourages you to hold your fist tighter to hang onto it, which in turn helps you protect your own hand. You could accomplish the same by simply squeezing your fist tighter.

I doubt the benefit is significant enough to really matter in most situations, and it could be just as big a hinderance to your overall safety. Nobody hits bags or pads holding coin rolls, so doing so in a real situation is gonna feel unnatural and throw your timing/precision off due to the weight of all those coins, making it less likely to get the shot you intend.

Most of the time people break bones in their hands is when they hit parts of the body they weren't aiming for, or hit them on a bad angle that changes at the last second. Even professionals miss the vast majority of the punches they throw, so you're very likely to not hit the target the way you want to anyway. If you're setting up a sucker punch where you have a pretty good chance of hitting where you want because the other guy is not reacting to you, a roll of coins probably would give you a measurable benefit. In a typical dynamic situation you'll likely still break your pinky when the guy ducks and twists and you hit the top of his skull on a 45 degree angle.
It is actually easier to grip something than just use your empty grip tighter. Also some striking gloves contain a piece of something inside the glove to allow you to grip it the same way a roll of dimes work, so you CAN be used to punching that way.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
I've seen this mentioned in crime fiction. Characters in Rex Stout, and Mickey Spillane novels would protect their hands with a roll of coins. Often a roll of dimes or nickles for guys with bigger hands. IIRC Saul Panzer (a guy Nero Wolfe used often) preferred dimes because he had small delicate hands.

1. does that really help prevent injured hands in a fight?
No, not really. The best way to prevent injured hands in a fight is to run away.

Failing that, if you gotta hit, use a palmheel strike or better yet, an elbow strike. Much more devastating and much less chance of injury to you.
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Old 10-08-2014, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Common belief is that it makes your punch harder or more effective. I tend to doubt that but I suppose it's possible. You're using more effort to accelerate your fist so I'm not sure there's any more energy available at the point of contact.
More mass means you hit harder since there's more momentum to your blow. A roll of coins probably doesn't add much though; I've heard of people using gloves weighted with lead* or mercury, they're much heavier.

*Example:

Quote:
The stash included switch blades, butterfly knives, brass knuckles, lead-weighted gloves, a pistol and ammunition, a baton and counterfeit currency.
  #11  
Old 10-09-2014, 12:23 AM
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It adds structural stability to your fist making it less likely to be injured and your punch more effective. It's easy to demonstrate to yourself. Make a tight fist and then try to move your fingers in the fist with your other hand's thumb. Pretty easy to get a lot of movement. Now grip a battery/roll of coins/what have you and try again. A lot harder to get any movement. Which fist would you rather get punched by? Which one is more likely to break or sprain a finger?

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-09-2014 at 12:26 AM.
  #12  
Old 10-09-2014, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
It adds structural stability to your fist making it less likely to be injured and your punch more effective. It's easy to demonstrate to yourself. Make a tight fist and then try to move your fingers in the fist with your other hand's thumb. Pretty easy to get a lot of movement. Now grip a battery/roll of coins/what have you and try again. A lot harder to get any movement. Which fist would you rather get punched by? Which one is more likely to break or sprain a finger?
Well say that you have a long 2x4. You can either balance it on another piece of wood or you can balance it on a stack of towels. When a big fat guy jumps up and slams his feet down on either side of the support you've added, which choice would be better to keep the 2x4 from splitting?

In general, I think that the roll of coins would be large enough that it doesn't create a significant fulcrum, but if you had a roll of dimes and you were hitting something concave, there would be the potential for extra damage. That's very specific though.

In most cases, it would simply provide better support behind the bone for any sort of damage.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Common belief is that it makes your punch harder or more effective. I tend to doubt that but I suppose it's possible. You're using more effort to accelerate your fist so I'm not sure there's any more energy available at the point of contact.
You're using more effort to accelerate, but for an average roundhouse punch you've got plenty of time and space to build up speed, and are probably going to be going about as fast as you can move your arm, whether you're holding a small weight or not. So the fist with a roll of nickels inside will have more energy than an empty one.

I'm not sure how much practical difference there would be, though.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:31 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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Failing that, if you gotta hit, use a palmheel strike or better yet, an elbow strike. Much more devastating and much less chance of injury to you.
Hitting someone with an elbow sounds like it would be really difficult, unless you're already in close and grappling.
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Old 10-09-2014, 10:42 AM
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When the Riffs beat Cleon to death in The Warriors at least some of them were using elbows.
  #16  
Old 10-09-2014, 11:18 AM
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Isn't it just putting something between your fingers and fist to make the impact on your own palm less severe? Like when when boxers wear mitts.

In the stuff you're talking about, rolled quarters would be a valid thing that you happened to carry, and happened to be holding in your hands. These days a mobile phone would work equally as well. Esp. if it were a really old fucking phone, like your character might have. "Whoever knew it could come in useful!"
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:43 AM
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Isn't it just putting something between your fingers and fist to make the impact on your own palm less severe? Like when when boxers wear mitts.
Gloves generally protect the fighters' hands/fingers through padding. It allows them to punch harder without breaking the fingers - I don't think it is for protecting your palms.

The idea behind the roll or quarters is that it allows you to create a fist that is more solid and non-deformable. This means that with less movement and shifting on impact you'll do less damage to yourself, and possibly more damage to others.

Are broken bones in the palm/wrist an issue? I thought it was mainly finger bones that were a concern?
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:43 AM
mmmiiikkkeee mmmiiikkkeee is offline
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Originally Posted by Lanzy View Post
It is actually easier to grip something than just use your empty grip tighter. Also some striking gloves contain a piece of something inside the glove to allow you to grip it the same way a roll of dimes work, so you CAN be used to punching that way.
As I mentioned in my previous post, it's the extra weight of the coins that'll throw you off most, not whether or not you're used to gripping something in your palm. Being used to squeezing a few extra layers of leather in your gloves wouldn't be very comparable to holding a 150g metal cylinder.

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Originally Posted by CarnalK View Post
It adds structural stability to your fist making it less likely to be injured and your punch more effective. It's easy to demonstrate to yourself. Make a tight fist and then try to move your fingers in the fist with your other hand's thumb. Pretty easy to get a lot of movement. Now grip a battery/roll of coins/what have you and try again. A lot harder to get any movement. Which fist would you rather get punched by? Which one is more likely to break or sprain a finger?
This would be applicable if the bones coiled around the cylinder were the ones at risk of breaking from being able to move slightly; thats seldom the case. As mentioned previously, it's usually the metacarpals, not the phalanges that break; they take the force from the end rather than the side. Here's a link to a couple x-rays of pro fighters broken hands; note that these were very big men, using hand wraps/gloves, and professionally trained - so I'm not singling out frail people who don't know how to hit. The type of force that broke these bones (and most other people's) wouldn't be affected much if at all by holding a roll of coins.

http://www.cagepotato.com/mark-hunt-...ight-night-33/
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:48 AM
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Having something in your fist also has the added benefit of keeping your thumb on the outside of your fist, which is how a lot of novice punchers injure themselves when striking.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:21 PM
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Are broken bones in the palm/wrist an issue? I thought it was mainly finger bones that were a concern?
You can sprain your wrist by landing wrong or if your wrists aren't strong enough. Which is one reason why the wing tsun folks and the Japanese military teach punching with the thumb uppermost - a stronger wrist position (as well as better knuckle contact). Some fighters do push-ups on their knuckles to strengthen the wrists.

A break in the metacarpal bones in the hand is known as a boxer's fracture because it is common to receive such an injury from punching with a bare fist.

The human fist was not designed to be used against hard surfaces like skulls. Adding mass in the form of a roll of quarters just adds to the problem. If you want a weapon to add to the mass and effect of a punch, use brass knuckles.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:33 PM
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I just know I am going to feel sheepish walking around the port with rolls of dimes in my hands.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:35 PM
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Cannot agree. There are lots of poorly designed brass knuckles out there that will only change how you hurt your hand, not whether you hurt it. When you have a set that firs correctly and they do what they are designed to do, you inflict very serious injury with their use. Knucks are a chancy item legally. Before you carry a set, be sure you know exactly what your state and local laws are with respect to them.
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Old 10-09-2014, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Scumpup View Post
It works, but the typical paper coin wraps break open on the first punch, mostly. Reinforcing it with tape helps, but it is a well known signal to LE that you were carrying it as a weapon. They may interpret that as you were "looking for trouble." One of the mini-maglite style aluminum flashlights can be used for the same purpose and, as a bonus, is useful as a flashlight.
You can get plastic wrapped rolls from the bank sometimes which presumably came straight from the mint or something. It's sort of a tight heat-shrink plastic that you have to cut or tear off if you want to get a the money. Those could be less suspicious.
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Old 10-09-2014, 06:06 PM
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When the Riffs beat Cleon to death in The Warriors at least some of them were using elbows.

The rest were using hockey sticks. After they got their licks in, the rest could have beat him up with their pinky fingers.

BTW, hockey sticks are an excellent way to avoid hurting your fists in a fight.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:39 PM
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I tested a 1-pound dive weight, about the same size as a roll of quarters, and concluded that if I punched something hard my finger bones would turn to jelly. Protection of your fingers happens outside your hand.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:38 AM
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Well say that you have a long 2x4. You can either balance it on another piece of wood or you can balance it on a stack of towels. When a big fat guy jumps up and slams his feet down on either side of the support you've added, which choice would be better to keep the 2x4 from splitting?

In general, I think that the roll of coins would be large enough that it doesn't create a significant fulcrum, but if you had a roll of dimes and you were hitting something concave, there would be the potential for extra damage. That's very specific though.

In most cases, it would simply provide better support behind the bone for any sort of damage.
I find it bizarre that you would give a paragraph description of an ill conceived metaphor, then the next paragraph admitting it's not a useful metaphor and finishing with an unconnected assertion. But whatever.
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:52 AM
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My opinion is that a roll of coins would protect the mcp joints and probably the phalanges bones not that it makes your fist immune to damage.
  #28  
Old 10-10-2014, 02:39 PM
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I find it bizarre that you would give a paragraph description of an ill conceived metaphor, then the next paragraph admitting it's not a useful metaphor and finishing with an unconnected assertion. But whatever.
1. Someone wins the lottery every day.
2. However, you're still more likely to be attacked by a pack of wild dingos.
3. Don't play the lottery.

Everyone else skipped past points 1 and 2 (of the original topic, not the lotto). I didn't, because I felt that it was incomplete to mention the 1 in a thousand case where the opposite result would happen.

Last edited by Sage Rat; 10-10-2014 at 02:39 PM.
  #29  
Old 10-11-2014, 03:04 AM
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1. does that really help prevent injured hands in a fight?
Sort of. It reinforces your fist to ensure you have a solid fist, not a loose fist. It gives you a slightly easier way to get a tight grip, because wrapping your hand around something makes the tightening zone a little more open. For a good fist, you have to squeeze solid really tight, put something in the hand, that opens the hand slightly to get the same level of tight.

It might help protect your metacarpals slightly. You're trying to hit with the two knuckle bones in your forefinger and middle finger. You want to drive the force through the bones of the hand lengthwise. Often, contact won't be exactly on those knuckles - you will hit with fingers first. If you have a tight grip, some of that force will transfer through your fingers to your palms, the longbones of your arm. The roll of pennies or whatever will help make that a solid transfer, which will put some of the force through your arm bones instead of hand bones. Arm bones are much thicker, therefore, stronger than hand bones. You lose a bit of pressure but still get the same force spread over a slightly wider area, but you don't get the force all going through your thin bones. The downside, your fingers become a crush zone.

Either way, you still have to have strong knuckles, which are prone to breaking. Wrist joints can also be damaged if your wrist position isn't straight, though it's less likely. But bad wrist position will sap some of your power.

Quote:
2. did guys that expected to get into street fights really carry a roll of coins for this purpose?
Can't say.

Quote:
I always found it interesting that this was a defensive technique. Strictly to avoid injury. While brass knuckles were offensive weapons and meant to bust somebody up.
What makes a roll of coins "defensive" versus brass knuckles is that a roll of coins is something that serves a legitimate other purpose than punching someone. A small flashlight is similar in that regards (and won't split apart, for a bonus). Brass knuckles have no purpose but to punch someone, and are thus weapons.

Brass knuckles, of course, have a solid part on the outside of the hand, and protect your knuckles from the impact. You still drive the force into the hand, but also spread some of the force to the arm bones.

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Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
While it would likely increase the damage caused to the recipient by a punch, I can't see how it would protect one against broken knuckles and cuts.
You are correct. The knuckles are still the nominal impact zone and still prone to fracture. Skin is still skin.

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Originally Posted by Telemark View Post
Common belief is that it makes your punch harder or more effective. I tend to doubt that but I suppose it's possible. You're using more effort to accelerate your fist so I'm not sure there's any more energy available at the point of contact.
You max out your arm speed well before impact, so having a bit more mass in your hand is not going to appreciably reduce your punch speed (unless it's really heavy), but it will increase the mass in the fist on impact, thus increase the momentum (mass x velocity) and kinetic energy (1/2 x mass x velocity2).

Quote:
From here: http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com...eenhancers.htm

The whole article is rather interesting to read, but I have no idea about the author's qualifications.
Reading the guy's history, he grew up in the streets of LA in the '70s and '80s, and got into a lot of trouble as a "streetfighter", i.e. tough guy in gang fights. He then went on to work as a bodyguard, bouncer, and corrections officer. If he's telling the truth about his life (and I have no reason to think otherwise), he has a lot of personal experience with hands on fighting, including using things as "striker enhancers". Very interesting article, and I've bookmarked his site for further reading.

I will say he oversimplifies his physics description to the point of error - he describes force but then gives the formula for momentum. I think it's a case of oversimplification rather than misunderstanding, but it could be that as well.

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Originally Posted by Clothahump View Post
No, not really. The best way to prevent injured hands in a fight is to run away.
There's that.

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Failing that, if you gotta hit, use a palmheel strike or better yet, an elbow strike. Much more devastating and much less chance of injury to you.
Yep. Though elbows require closer contact, they are harder.

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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
Hitting someone with an elbow sounds like it would be really difficult, unless you're already in close and grappling.
Yes, elbows are close contact "weapons".

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Originally Posted by SciFiSam View Post
Isn't it just putting something between your fingers and fist to make the impact on your own palm less severe? Like when when boxers wear mitts.
Normal punches don't use your palms, or inadvertently use your palms. The goal is to strike with your two big knuckles and drive the force straight through the bones of the hand, wrist, long bones of arm. Boxing gloves protect the outside of the hand (i.e. knuckles) with padding, as well as reinforce the wrist (especially using wrapping tape).

Back when boxing was invented (i.e. bare knuckle brawling), the problem with punches was breaking your knuckles and your hands. You could only hit so hard before you hurt yourself more than your opponent. When boxing gloves were introduced, punches got harder because damage to hands was limited. That's when knockout strikes became common.

Quote:
In the stuff you're talking about, rolled quarters would be a valid thing that you happened to carry, and happened to be holding in your hands. These days a mobile phone would work equally as well. Esp. if it were a really old fucking phone, like your character might have. "Whoever knew it could come in useful!"
Yes about something you could conceivably have on you, no about cell phones. My cell phone is a Samsung Note 3 - they're bigger than the Iphone 6 enhanced or whatever. I can't wrap my hand around it, nevermind make a fist. Phones tend to be a little bigger around than is comfortable for most people to grip for a fist, unless you have hands like a pro-basketball player.

A Maglite (small flashlight) is ideal, some other small flashlights are similar. A kubotan (6 inch stick) also works. But there are better ways to use those. (Hint: use the ends of the stick/flashlight rather than your knuckles.)


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Originally Posted by xizor View Post
Having something in your fist also has the added benefit of keeping your thumb on the outside of your fist, which is how a lot of novice punchers injure themselves when striking.
Oh, yes. Easiest way to hurt yourself is have your thumb inside. Have to teach kids this all the time.

Last edited by Irishman; 10-11-2014 at 03:06 AM.
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Old 10-12-2014, 04:40 PM
Learjeff Learjeff is offline
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Note to self: don't get in a fight with Irishman, who sounds like he knows what he's talking about.

To amplify what he said about striking with the two big knuckles: In various martial arts, we're taught that when throwing a punch, the fist should be cocked down and to the right slightly from what seems natural, so that these two knuckles are dead center in front of the wristbones when the strike happens.

My guess is that if a punch is thrown correctly this way, the roll of coins would at most add momentum, and not make the strike more solid. But in a street fight, or for anyone who hasn't trained extensively, it'd be very likely to land a few punches at a less ideal angle, and in that case, the roll of coins would also prevent several digital joints from overcompressing (if that's the correct term). It wouldn't protect the outside of your hand, but might help your joints.

For most of us, I think it would help a lot for a landed punch, at the cost of slowing down the strike.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:14 PM
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All the posters here who have actually studied the anatomy of striking blows, please raise your hand.

First of all, in a proper punch, the knuckles should lead the fist and impact first. There are a few full bore strikes that strike with the flat of the proximal phalanges, but these strikes are invariably to a 'soft' target in the thorax or abdominal region. There are variations between the martial arts as to which knuckles should lead; in traditional Western boxing and many oriental martial arts, the first knuckles of the index and middle fingers contact simultaneously. In others, only the index knuckle impacts. In some animal styles, the middle knuckle of the middle finger is used in penetrating blows. In Wing Chun/Ving Tsun gung fu the fist is cocked such that the first knuckles of the ring and pinky finger impact first under the theory that they are more in line with the ulna and therefore provide a straight-line path between the hand and elbow joint. The reality is that it doesn't especially matter which knuckles lead as long as the wrist is oriented to keep the line of force from being offset and the wrist is rigidly locked during the punch. What protects the joints of the hand isn't anything held inside the hand to rigidize the fist, but minimizing the stretching of the tendons and any offset load on the carpal bones (wrist structure). Therefore, strengthening the muscles and tendons, and to a lessor extend the ligaments, is crucial to protecting the hand during impact. This is done via training and strengthening exercises designed to provide a controlled repetitive impact. In other words, beating on a punching bag strengthens the hand, and also reinforced good punching technique. (This is also while you'll hear of professional martial artists "hardening" their hand by punching pails of sand, gravel, et cetera, although the value of doing this excessively is questionable as it will eventually result in repetitive stress injuries.)

Second, a roll of coins or another object clutched inside the fist does nothing to protect the exterior of the fist, and unless the fist is very large or the object very small, will likely interfere with the ability properly form a striking fist. This will result in having to cock the wrist over in order to have the knuckles leading the fist. See above for discussion about proper hand and wrist position.

Third, the momentum of a punch--that is, the quality that is most pertinent to delivered impulse and penetration--comes from the speed at which it is delivered rather than the mass. The human hand typically masses 0.5% to 0.6% of total body mass; for the average person, somewhere less than half a kilogram. Adding more mass to the fist will slow the speed of the punch without adding much in the way of participatory mass, and that only travels far enough to pick up sufficient speed to compensate in the case of a full roundhouse or overhead punch. It should be noted that many elite martial artists are capable of very powerful but extremely short stroke punches, as demonstrated and promoted by Bruce Lee's famed "one inch punch". (This was not hyperbole or fakery; Lee demonstrated it to martial artists and physiologists repeatedly in controlled conditions.) Such a punch is dependent on not only speed, but what boxers call "grounding"; that is, having the legs and hips almost completely rigid with the ground, and then using the hips and abdominal core to develop the power that is delivered through the arm; the actual motion of the arm is almost incidental.

It is entirely possible to learn to punch almost any surface without injury, but it requires training time, good technique, and conditioning to pull this off. Sticking a roll of dimes in your hand is no substitute for any of this.

Stranger
  #32  
Old 10-12-2014, 06:10 PM
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It works, but the typical paper coin wraps break open on the first punch, mostly.
Ahh, but when your opponent bends down to scoop up the $$, you can kick him in the head.
  #33  
Old 10-12-2014, 07:03 PM
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Sweet lord, Stranger, no one said a roll of quarters replaces years of martial arts training. And as many people already said, in a street fight you don't always get the perfect knuckles contact you've studied.
  #34  
Old 10-12-2014, 07:03 PM
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As I mentioned in my previous post, it's the extra weight of the coins that'll throw you off most, not whether or not you're used to gripping something in your palm. Being used to squeezing a few extra layers of leather in your gloves wouldn't be very comparable to holding a 150g metal cylinder.



This would be applicable if the bones coiled around the cylinder were the ones at risk of breaking from being able to move slightly; thats seldom the case. As mentioned previously, it's usually the metacarpals, not the phalanges that break; they take the force from the end rather than the side. Here's a link to a couple x-rays of pro fighters broken hands; note that these were very big men, using hand wraps/gloves, and professionally trained - so I'm not singling out frail people who don't know how to hit. The type of force that broke these bones (and most other people's) wouldn't be affected much if at all by holding a roll of coins.

http://www.cagepotato.com/mark-hunt-...ight-night-33/
Its not an extra layer of leather, it is quite hard, maybe lead. The object held is for beginners and amateurs not professionals. Don't forget the confidence this may lend to a beginner as well.
  #35  
Old 10-12-2014, 07:37 PM
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Ahh, but when your opponent bends down to scoop up the $$, you can kick him in the head.
Oh, barf!
  #36  
Old 10-13-2014, 10:23 AM
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There are variations between the martial arts as to which knuckles should lead; in traditional Western boxing and many oriental martial arts, the first knuckles of the index and middle fingers contact simultaneously. In others, only the index knuckle impacts. In some animal styles, the middle knuckle of the middle finger is used in penetrating blows. In Wing Chun/Ving Tsun gung fu the fist is cocked such that the first knuckles of the ring and pinky finger impact first under the theory that they are more in line with the ulna and therefore provide a straight-line path between the hand and elbow joint.
That is interesting material, though I'm not sure it's purely relevant. Remember, we're talking about a meme from the '30s.

Quote:
What protects the joints of the hand isn't anything held inside the hand to rigidize the fist, but minimizing the stretching of the tendons and any offset load on the carpal bones (wrist structure). Therefore, strengthening the muscles and tendons, and to a lessor extend the ligaments, is crucial to protecting the hand during impact. This is done via training and strengthening exercises designed to provide a controlled repetitive impact. In other words, beating on a punching bag strengthens the hand, and also reinforced good punching technique.
Agreed, and essentially what the guy from nononsenseselfdefense discussed.


Quote:
(This is also while you'll hear of professional martial artists "hardening" their hand by punching pails of sand, gravel, et cetera, although the value of doing this excessively is questionable as it will eventually result in repetitive stress injuries.)
Actually, I can speak to this as it relates to my former day job. Bone is a living tissue, and is in a perpetual process of remineralization. There is actually bone tissue laid down during growth that forms a structure and then bone tissue that reforms within that matrix. This is why bones can heal. It is also related to bone density loss through osteoporosis, why old ladies get brittle bones after menopause and why astronauts lose bone mass in space.

The process of remineralization is a homeostasis between absorbing the calcium and redepositing calcium. Doctors have been studying how to prevent bone loss in astronauts, and have devised exercise equipment to replace gravity dependent versions so the astronauts can work out. Part of that is muscle protection, but much of it is about preventing bone loss.

The homeostasis process is driven by the loads on the bones. Bone loss in orbit occurs because the body is suddenly not experiencing the normal gravity loading and thus stresses on the bones, and so the body stops "wasting" minerals on bone deposition. Thus the bones leach away.

The way to keep it from happening is to apply loads to the body - to exercise. There are three types of exercise machines on the ISS: cardio, resistive, and impact.

Cardio is just like you expect - they use an ergometer (i.e. a bicycle) to pump their legs. The Russians also have a device for simulating rowing.

Resistive exercise is like weight lifting or pulling on rubber bands. The current device uses vacuum cylinders to provide the resistive force - earlier generation equipment uses rubber bands. The idea is the same - pushing, pulling, stretching, etc., just like you would on Earth (with something replacing gravity to provide the "weights" you lift).

The third component is impact - this is currently achieved via running on a treadmill. Treadmills provide a key component for bone density protection - heelstrikes.

Resistive exercise (keeping the bones loaded) and heelstrikes are the two major things identified to keep bones safe.

Punching things like sand and gravel has those two components - it provides impacts through the striking and it provides resistive loading through the loading. The key is that the repetitive impacts strengthen the bones and make them harder and better at taking strikes.

Martial artists learned this independently prior to the bone doctors figuring this out.


Quote:
Second, a roll of coins or another object clutched inside the fist does nothing to protect the exterior of the fist, and unless the fist is very large or the object very small, will likely interfere with the ability properly form a striking fist. This will result in having to cock the wrist over in order to have the knuckles leading the fist. See above for discussion about proper hand and wrist position.
Correct.

Quote:
It should be noted that many elite martial artists are capable of very powerful but extremely short stroke punches, as demonstrated and promoted by Bruce Lee's famed "one inch punch". (This was not hyperbole or fakery; Lee demonstrated it to martial artists and physiologists repeatedly in controlled conditions.) Such a punch is dependent on not only speed, but what boxers call "grounding"; that is, having the legs and hips almost completely rigid with the ground, and then using the hips and abdominal core to develop the power that is delivered through the arm; the actual motion of the arm is almost incidental.
This is actually fairly important. A good punch is not really relying on the momentum of the fist alone. Good punches are delivered using the full body, using hips and shoulders to develop the force. The fist is the impacting surface, but the force comes from the body, not the arms.

Quote:
It is entirely possible to learn to punch almost any surface without injury, but it requires training time, good technique, and conditioning to pull this off. Sticking a roll of dimes in your hand is no substitute for any of this.
Agreed.
  #37  
Old 10-21-2014, 06:25 PM
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Here is a limited offering in terms of empirical research.

Many years ago I read Raymond Chandler's classic [U]The Big Sleep[U]. In it Philip Marlowe is struck by a man who has his fist wrapped around two rolls of nickels. (In the Humphrey Bogart classic the man has a fist filled with ball bearings, perhaps because it made a more dramatic image when he opened his hand. I don't recall what, if anything, was showing the Robert Mitchum version).

Skeptical, and having two rolls of nickels on hand, I experimented by punching my right fist into my left palm with the right hand empty, and then while gripping two rolls of nickels. I didn't punch hard, but the nickels made my fist much firmer and harder, and the effect much more painful. I suspect that it would be easier to damage one's own hand when striking a blow this way. Come to think of it, I'm not sure how good of an idea it is to share this: kids, don't try this at home.
  #38  
Old 10-22-2014, 12:32 AM
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The meanest guy I ever knew carried wrist pins in his hip pockets. I never saw him use them so i can't say if they were effective or not.

When I was a teenager, brass knucks were $5.00 in any pawn shop. I knew guys who owned them but I never saw anyone use them.
  #39  
Old 10-22-2014, 01:41 AM
JoannaDee JoannaDee is offline
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I've seen this mentioned in crime fiction. Characters in Rex Stout, and Mickey Spillane novels would protect their hands with a roll of coins. Often a roll of dimes or nickles for guys with bigger hands. IIRC Saul Panzer (a guy Nero Wolfe used often) preferred dimes because he had small delicate hands.

1. does that really help prevent injured hands in a fight?

2. did guys that expected to get into street fights really carry a roll of coins for this purpose?

I always found it interesting that this was a defensive technique. Strictly to avoid injury. While brass knuckles were offensive weapons and meant to bust somebody up.
I heard it makes your punch harder, not that it protects your hand.
  #40  
Old 10-22-2014, 02:12 AM
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Hitting someone with an elbow sounds like it would be really difficult, unless you're already in close and grappling.
If you are of the "Most fights go to the ground" school of thinking, then close in fighting is more typical than not. Also, the elbow strike's point of contact isn't the elbow: it's the front or the back of the elbow. Elbow strikes requires training, but only a little: it is taught to white belts in my school, sometimes during their first or second class. I would not call it difficult. I endorse Clothahump's post (run, palm heel, elbow), FWIW.

I can't address the OP's question though.

Last edited by Measure for Measure; 10-22-2014 at 02:12 AM.
  #41  
Old 11-18-2017, 08:10 PM
Istvan Kovacs Istvan Kovacs is offline
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Honestly, having something in your fist as you punch will absolutely help tremendously. Removing the gap in your fist it will allow you to grip a heck of a lot harder and keep your fist together. But with the proper punching technique you could yield the same results.

Punching flat is a pretty bad idea, if you hit with your middle and index knuckle with a straight arm it'll keep your knuckles from being completely ripped off your fist. It's cause those two fingers have heavy reinforcement all up your forearm.

With the proper technique and nice aim for spots like the upper lip or armpit you could probably keep your fist out of harm's way while bringing harm with your fist.
  #42  
Old 11-18-2017, 09:03 PM
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When I lived near a hospital in a rougher part of town one of my neighbors was an overseas doctor working there for a while. The first time I met him I found out the he was a plastic surgeon. I suggested that was a good choice because he wouldn't get called out in the middle of the night for "emergency plastic surgery."

He said that, on the contrary, nearly every weekend he and the orthopod were called in, as a result of fights in pubs or on the streets, to "repair the faces of those punched and the hands of those that had punched them."
  #43  
Old 11-19-2017, 05:27 AM
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Another way a roll of dimes can help protect you in a hostile situation is by giving you the ability to offer your would-be assailant five bucks to leave you alone.
  #44  
Old 11-19-2017, 10:17 AM
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Rowdy Roddy Piper knocked out Don Muraco with a roll of quarters at in Omni in Atlanta. That settles it for me. I think he did the same thing to Jack Brisco as a heel a year or so earlier.
  #45  
Old 11-19-2017, 10:52 AM
Doug K. Doug K. is offline
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Honestly, having something in your fist as you punch will absolutely help tremendously. Removing the gap in your fist it will allow you to grip a heck of a lot harder and keep your fist together. But with the proper punching technique you could yield the same results.

Punching flat is a pretty bad idea, if you hit with your middle and index knuckle with a straight arm it'll keep your knuckles from being completely ripped off your fist. It's cause those two fingers have heavy reinforcement all up your forearm.

With the proper technique and nice aim for spots like the upper lip or armpit you could probably keep your fist out of harm's way while bringing harm with your fist.
But does it help against zombies?
  #46  
Old 11-19-2017, 10:58 AM
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Rowdy Roddy Piper knocked out Don Muraco with a roll of quarters at in Omni in Atlanta. That settles it for me. I think he did the same thing to Jack Brisco as a heel a year or so earlier.
I remember that. Another advantage of holding a roll of quarters in your fist is breaking them open after the punch to scatter them around showing everyone how you suckered the guy in.
  #47  
Old 11-19-2017, 12:09 PM
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Documentary on the subject by the noted martial artists, Lee Marvin and Robert Culp.

Spoilered, NSFW because of vulgarity
SPOILER:
The Great Scout and Cathouse Thursday (setup at 1:37:00, punchline at 1:41:05)
  #48  
Old 11-19-2017, 12:37 PM
Clothahump Clothahump is offline
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[QUOTE=aceplace57;17798597]I've seen this mentioned in crime fiction. Characters in Rex Stout, and Mickey Spillane novels would protect their hands with a roll of coins. Often a roll of dimes or nickles for guys with bigger hands. IIRC Saul Panzer (a guy Nero Wolfe used often) preferred dimes because he had small delicate hands.

1. does that really help prevent injured hands in a fight?
[quote]
No. It doesn't matter whether you have something in your hand or not, if you hit with the small knuckles of the hand, you can pretty much count on them breaking.
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