ANSWERING QUESTIONS OF FORCE IN THE MARTIAL ARTS
The following is a quest editorial by Alaric Dailey
Why is it, that karateka punch with 2 knuckles? why is it, that boxers punch with heavily padded gloves? And why was it unfortunate for Art Jimmerson (the boxer) in the first UFC to wear a single glove. Furthermore, why do big slow bullets have a reputation for stopping power vs smaller faster bullets (specifically the .45 vs 9mm argument).
It all has to do with penetration vs dissipation, when it comes to force, a martial artist must put as much weight and power into as small of area as possible to maximize its effect. Making the chosen weapon as small as possible, increases its penetration.
Pads dissipate the force, spreading it out over a wide area, and adding a nice soft surface. In the old days people did bare-knuckle boxing, and hitting the head with bare-knuckles is extremely dangerous, and can cause major damage, this is why boxing added gloves. Boxing gloves are huge and bulky, and they still manage to knock each others brains silly, that gives you some idea of how hard they are hitting.
When sparring in the martial arts, we will often wear pads, to dissipate the force, so that we wiggle the persons nose, rather than smearing it all over their face.
Thus when Art Jimmerson went into the first UFC with a boxing glove on, he went in taking away power off his punches and eliminating his ability to grab.
A really great demonstration of this can be seen with an sewing pin and a balloon. Sewing pins have that nice round end, and you can press pretty darn hard with the round end and never pop the balloon, but turn it around and use the sharp end, and it penetrates immediately popping the balloon. The round end dissipates the force, the sharp end penetrates!!! Easy as that to see.
As a related note, bullets travel SO fast that they have the opposite problem, they have a tendency to go directly through the target, rather than imparting that energy and stopping. At subsonic speeds the .45 has the larger diameter and slower speed to impart more of that force into the FIRST thing it hits, where the 9mm has a tendency to got right through the first thing and second. The faster and smaller bullets can pass right through and do LESS damage. This is why you use hollow-points for self-defense, they open up, causing them to slow and impart that energy, or at least more of it. This tendency for over penetration is something to think about when choosing a home-defense round, so when you shoot the bad guy, it doesn’t go through him and harm someone else.