How to make a fist: the myths, the truths and everything in-between

A few years ago I wrote an article here called Open hand or closed fist striking, which is best? and it got a lot of feedback. A little while ago, I posted something on facebook about how to make a fist and it triggered some responses too. As a result, I just created a discussion on Patreon on how to make a fist. You can join us there for loads more details and information.

It’s with that discussion in mind that I made this video. I wanted to illustrate that there is lots of misinformation and dogmatic thinking when instructors give advice on how to make a fist. They claim only one specific way of making a fist is correct and the rest is not. As always, the truth is more nuanced and it depends on so much more than you see at first glance.

So watch this video with that in mind:

This video is just an example, a proof of concept if you will. Obviously, the “Shaka fist” is nonsense: I made it up just to make my point. I would never advise anybody to punch like that. But the proof is now in front of your eyes that you can use that kind of fist and hit pretty hard with it. If you are to believe what so many instructors claim as an absolute best way to make a fist, I should have sprained my wrists, broken knuckles or hurt myself in a variety of ways when I was punching my heavy bag like that. I was supposed to lack all kinds of structure and stability in my hand; it wasn’t supposed to work.

But it did…



There are tons of considerations when training how to make a fist and there is no easy, one-stop-shop answer. On my Patreon page, we are going to dig deep into those factors so you can make informed decisions on which way to go, so feel free to join us there.

To help you get started, here is a more detailed picture of the two main ways I made a fist in the video.

How to make a fist

How to make a fist

Good luck with your training!

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  1. Excellent article on making a fist. In physical contact, making a proper fist can help reduce the possibility of injury. Striking in fist form can also be more powerful.

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