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I haven't practiced (Wing-Tsun) for a long time, but now I have a chance.

In my new dorm gym, there's a huge boxing bag (~2 meters tall, ~0.5 meter wide) and it is pretty hard/tough/firm (I don't know the appropiate word.)

The thing is, after punching my hand is red, sometimes a bit bleeding, but I don't think it's a big deal. I think my skin will be harder and I won't notice it. But my wrist really hurts, sometimes I can hardly knuckle (again, I don't know if this is the word).

Should I wear bandages to protect my joints, or will I overcome this by continuing practice?

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IMO if you're currently injuring yourself the answer is obvious. If you're punching hard, protect your joints in particular, unless you're really fired up about the recovery rest you'll be forced to take. –  Dave Newton Sep 30 '13 at 19:57

7 Answers 7

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Wear protection

Cant stress this enough

Irrespective of what some schools may teach, it is detrimental to you and your well being to constantly increase your tenacity in hopes that your body would get "used to it" someday. Train smart. Master technique. If your body deteriorates, you have lost your primary weapon. Take care of your body at all costs.

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If your wrist hurts your punching wrong. And if your bleeding from it then you need to move to punching softer material.

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Yes, you should.

You should also do it correctly: How to wrap your hands

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I rather think you should not focus on the power of your punches on the bag but rather on technique.

You Sun-Punch should actually by quiet relaxed and on impact you should put your body behind this. Performed correctly you will have almost no friction and bleeding will no longer be an issue. I've had the same issue in the past, worked in it and improved.

Wing chun does not rely on brute force of your punches but on the flexibility it gives you to modify your punch into a tan/bong/pak sau and react and stick to the opponent. You can then flow in with punches.

Training on a heavy bag should get your focus on speed and being relax. The strength will follow.

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It's not enough to downvote, and of course technique is important, but my experience is that the heavy bag is precisely the slice of training where one should be practicing power punching. –  Dave Liepmann Oct 1 '13 at 15:46
    
My point is in wung chun you should not be focussing on the power of the punches. With speed and technique the required power will be there without power training on the heavy bag. Better focus on the speed and acuracy –  Jeroen Oct 1 '13 at 19:35

Masutatsu Oyama (the founder of Kyukushin full-contact Karate and enemy of bulls everywhere) said later in his life that he regrets doing all that damage to his hands to "toughen them up". Granted, there is a bit of toughening that needs to be done, but it is mostly to increase the bone density of your hand, rather than the skin itself. This isn't something you'll achieve by hitting a bag.

You'll want to bandage your wrists to protect from sprains if you hit the bag off-center, and wear light gloves that protect your skin from friction-burns. The bag is there to get you used to the feeling of hitting an actual human opponent (and also cardio).

If you want to strengthen your wrists, the best thing to do is to squeeze a tennis ball or wave a heavy sword/cricket bat/frying pan around.

If you want to toughen your skin, find a pile of concrete rubble and just dig through it. You don't have to scratch yourself. It's just the idea of working with dry, rough, solid objects that triggers your body's natural ability to protect itself.

To increase bone density, you need to take lots of calcium (either by drinking milk or taking supplements), as well as expose the relevant bones and joints to high impact exercises. Note: High-impact does not mean you need to pick a fight with a stone wall. For reference, road-running is considered high-impact exercise for the ankles and knees.

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Bleeding is a big deal. You are damaging yourself and that is bad. You should wear protective gear, improve your technique, and punch less hard.

In addition, I hope you clean all the biohazard that you leaked on the bag...

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Yeah, you should wear wraps and bag gloves when you hit the heavy bag. If your hands are bleeding, that doesn't mean you're a tough guy. It means you didn't wear proper equipment. If your wrist gets injured, that doesn't mean you're training hard, it means you traded one hard training session for weeks of not training.

You should get wraps and bag gloves and probably find a boxing gym instead of wailing on the bag at home. This is exponentially more true if your wing chun didn't involve heavy bag work at least monthly.

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