05 March 2017
Thoughts on one and two fingered knuckles
You are correct sir. You are about as likely to have the time and opportunity to use one of these things to jab someone in the face as you are to cut/or stab someone with the knife you carry.
Let's start with anatomy and physiology. In MCS, we teach people to avoid striking with a closed fist unless it is a hammer fist. MCS Instructor Richard the Great is not only a fan of boxing, but is also an instructor. Even with instruction, wraps, and gloves, fractures still occur. When someone asks about punching with a closed fist, he just laughs after 12 years as a professional bouncer up and down the east coast. A major principle of MCS is to do as little damage to your body while damaging your attacker's. This is based on best practices, and one of them is not striking with a closed fist. Did I say no striking with a closed fist?
In this article, I discuss how to wear a set of traditional knuckles correctly, and how to use them. There is a reason why they call them knuckle dusters. Police and bad guys alike in the old days were able to experiment and measure how much force to use in striking a part of the body. Dusting is done in a circular swinging motion, not a jab. Jabs have too high a likelihood of permanently injuring or killing someone. Whether cop or crook, a strain of permanently injured, maimed, or dead people at your hands can be hard on a career. There is no ability to use dusting with one and two fingered knucks. Yes, the small surface area will increase the concentration of force and increase trauma. Quite possibly much more trauma than was justified. They will also cause a great deal of damage to your hand, causing immediate swelling, effectively taking that hand out of the fight.
There are four parts to adding a tool to the arsenal; selection, carry, deployment, and use. These things are selected because they are cool more than anything else, they are usually carried in a pocket, eeemmm, the how and when of deployment is the rub, as it is with ALL weapons. Its only real use would be offensive. You would have to be aware of a potential threat and decide to deploy it. Here is where laws come into play. Will you hesitate to even deploy it for self-defense for fear of being charged with possession/use of a prohibited weapon? Use, if you do have it out, or manage to get it out and into use, you are severely limited in strikes and targets. Most of the time it is going to have to be a jab into the head.
Regardless of what they may think from behind the comfort and safety of a keyboard, very few people would have the stones to hit someone with any sort of a knuck. The primary reason is sort of what I teach to police officers. There are many who will struggle with you so they can run away, then there are another very scary few who will kill you so they can walk away. Using a knuck is a taboo, and so is using a knife. You need to know if your mind can accept that after you use a weapon, your life and that of someone else's may likely never be the same. This will be going on in your head during the altercation. They are called intrusive thoughts and happen during tachypsychia (the distortion of time) that occurs under combat stress.
Through training I do my best to remove this hurdle for students by having a foundation of violent, effective open hand combatives. You always have your natural weapons, tools are a luxury. The world is filled with sunlight and we walk around with a flashlight in our pocket. Few realize how fast it can get dark and train to deploy that flashlight fast and in a hurry. Automatically going for a tool can be problematic. First, it takes your primary hand away from your defense, and secondly the chances of drawing the right tool to deal with the situation based on little to know information can have you choosing the wrong tool, or just freezing. See Hicks Law.
Now, I teach mostly citizens. They do not have a bat belt to draw from. Most are not paid to put hands on people for a living. After open hands, we prioritize the use of the pen, when the lights are on, and the flashlight when they are off. You can carry both of them in your hands in the most secure environments. This removes the need for deployment, although we of course teach it. There are fancy things you can teach, but our go to is forward movement and hammer fisting into the attacker's face violently until they stop, allowing you to get away. There is no hurdle to get over. You have a common, everyday, legal item in your hand. When someone gets inside your space and / or refuses to obey verbal commands, you are justified to defend yourself and do not hesitate to do so because you were trained to do so. If they are outside your reach with a knife or gun, good. They need to be close to cut and they have not shot you yet.
Back to knuckles, especially the two finger versions. If you are attacked and have them on your hand, it is damn near impossible to throw an effective jab while back peddling. Hammer fists are natural and made more effective with a pen/light.
So why do people make em and why do we buy em? Because they are fn cool, that's why. I have several and will end up with more. I also have an M4, but is easier to carry my 38 snub nose.- George