Vertical punchers say the vertical punch hits more of the target. nother argument is that the vertical punch permits more the target to hit by the punch. For example, a horizontal punch to the mouth would only damage the mouth, whereas, a vertical punch to the mouth would also damage the nose. Using this logic, a vertical punch to the nose would also mean half the punch would be wasted due to it also hitting the forehead. Since the head is vertically oriented, it makes a small target for a vertical punch. A horizontal punch has a greater probability of hitting the head than a vertical punch would have.
Vertical punchers say the palm-heel strike illustrates the superiority of the vertical punch. When performing a palm-heel strike straight forward against a vertically oriented target, such as to the solar plexus, if the wrist is bent backward with the fingers oriented upward, the wrist is stressed and the technique feels unnatural. Whereas, if the wrist is bent backward with the fingers oriented outward, the stress on the wrist is eased and the technique feels natural. Vertical punchers think this evidence that the vertical punch is superior to the horizontal punch since, if the hand in the first unnatural feeling instance is folded into a fist, it forms a horizontal fist while, if the hand in the second natural feeling instance is folded into a fist, it forms a vertical fist.
If the palm-heel strike is executed downward, such as to the back of the neck of downed attacker or to break a stack of blocks, the palm is held with the fingers oriented upward, if they are oriented outward, the wrist is stressed and the technique feels unnatural. Does this mean this is evidence that the horizontal punch is best?
If someone throws an object at your face, your hand instructively moves in front of your face to protect it. How does the hand naturally position itself, palm upward or palm outward? The natural position is palm upward or inward, not outward. Tell someone to push against a wall. Do they push with the palm turned upward or outward? The natural position is palm upward, not outward.
The truth is that neither palm-heel hand position example proves anything about the superiority of either the vertical or horizontal punch. The hand position in a palm-heel strike is totally unrelated to the hand position during a punch.