When confronted in a situation where one is in peril, the first reaction of many is to simply punch wildly. This can be a bad idea.
In most striking sports, punches are either not allowed to the face or the fists are gloved. Punching someone in the face with a boxing glove on is far different than without. Depending on your adrenaline level, punching someone in the face can be painless or as bad as punching a solid wall of concrete. Painful or painless, there is always the risk of breaking your hands. With broken hands, gripping your opponent will be difficult and many grabs, holds, and takedowns will be eliminated from your arsenal.
What are you alternatives?
Simple: Palm hand strikes and fists to the body. Palm hand strikes can be used to attack the soft area of the nose, the temple, and the side of the jaw. Your power might not feel as strong as with a normal punch, but it will definitely suffice.
Punches to the body are often underestimated. Liver punches can end fights and a proper sucker punch will double over an opponent. The liver is a very soft area on the right side of the human body. A solid strike to the liver under the ribs will result in shock and pain, slowing down your opponent in a manner far worse than a solar plexus shot. The ideal weapons for this strike consist of the fist and the knifehand. Both techniques will have to rise slightly up below the opponent's right side of his ribcage to be effective.
|The knifehand is a very unorthodox strike in any situation. If not performed properly, the user will injury himself more than his or her opponent.|
There are other far less technical methods as well. Closing the gap and letting hooks fly to the sides will always work wonders on a slower opponent. An uppercut to the stomach while moving off to one side or the other can put you in a wonderful position to attempt a choke on a stunned opponent, or if you prefer to go to the ground, taking his back.