I’m not a professional martial artist or fighter—but I am interested in the subject non-sport systems of fighting and self-defense– particularly from a evidence-based, biomechanical perspective. I was searching the net to find information about punching-technique theory and ran across your extremely well-written and enlightening article, “Twist versus No Twist”. One of the key sentences for me was this: “However, the benefits of punching with a vertical fist are neutralized when wearing gloves.” Can I conclude then that if gloves are NOT worn, that the twisting boxing-style punches are not optimal, in your view?
Modern boxers use a twist punch. The twist adds power, but it also increases the chances of opening a cut on the opponent. The twisting friction of the leather on the face can pull and tear the skin. Mohammed Ali’s twisting punching were damaging not only because their power, but because of the tearing injuries they caused.
Without gloves, there is still the possibility of tearing the opponent’s skin due to the twisting movement, but the twist is primarily used because of its structural strength and added power, as explained in the topic: Twist.