Just wondering if anyone has any thoughts on, or can point in in the direction of any information regarding Karate hand and forearm strikes, with regards to my points below.
The punch is often seen as the primary hand strike but I am wondering if this was actually the case with Karate in its formative years. I have seen threads on here where it has been discussed that punches to the face and head do present a high risk of injury to the hand, and I guess that this was something that was understood at the time Karate was being developed.
So I am wondering if rather than the head and face being the primary target, as it is often today, the neck being struck with forearms (using the arms like swords) and elbows was seen as a more effective target that presented less risk of injury to the striker. Even an inaacurate strike could still hit the neck due to the large striking area the forearm presents, and potentially the forearm could ride up the chest and be caught under the jaw.
Also I do wonder if strikes such as ridge hand were not actually a strike with the hand but instead the forearm and the reason for the hand shape (ridge hand, as well as others) was to try to protect the thumb and fingers while and maybe allowing for quick grabbing and finger poking.