Below you’ll find an interesting pair of videos on the anatomy of bare knuckle striking.
As Bare Knuckle boxing becomes more and more popular (and lucrative), I’ll be interested to see what approaches emerge and evolve.
The style recommended in this video is similar to what Jack Dempsey called the Straight Blast punch, which is a vertical punch with the elbow down and the ring and pinky fingers as the focus point (basically the same thing as the Wing Chun Sun Fist).
Think of how the style of fighting evolved in the UFC between the early Circus atmosphere of the first Ultimate Fighting Championships in the early 1990s to the present day. For those of you who were too young, at first the fights were bound by few rules and the fighters usually had only one set of skills. These early fights weren’t Mixed Martial Arts but this style vs that style.
What was discovered was that inside a ring with five minute rounds, with very few exceptions (usually from very powerful strikers against opponents with weak chins), a ground game in the form of Brazillian Ju Jitsu or Greco-Roman wrestling would win through the ability of these styles to wear down or immobilize an opponent (or even straight up submit them or choke them out).
Over the years, as the status and the money improved, more and more talented athletes began participating and we witnessed a fairly quick evolution in what could succeed. In less than ten years of the sport’s existence, it became impossible to participate without a ground game (at least enough to fight take downs and avoid choke outs or joint locks).
If Bare Knuckle boxing manages to get past the censors , we may witness a similar evolution and it may help us learn more about what works best in empty hand striking. Do you remember when John McCain called the UFC “human cockfighting” in the late nineties and tried to shut it down, forcing the introduction of a lot more rules and constraints? In fact, the UFC itself wasn’t allowed into New York until just a few years ago, after a long ban.
This may happen to Bare Knuckle boxing if the promoters are not careful and intelligently political.
Of course, it will still be illegal to fish hook or strike the throat or pick up something off the table and use that as a weapon, so we won’t learn much about what works best in street fights, but still, it should be interesting!
This video is from a guy named John Grissom, who has a Facebook-based blog called American Bareknuckle Combatives and Conditioning.
PS I think this guy needs to change his smoke alarm battery!