Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
If you are born and raised South African, regardless of where you hail from throughout our beautiful country, you have more than likely, at some point, tapped into your inner wildebeest and smashed someone. But a common question asked around the braai or at the bar is, what hurts more? An excellent solid klap (pk) or a jaw stripping punch?
For your educational and entertainment purposes, speaking to three accomplished martial artists, the Newcastillian – Online News attempts to establish which of these inflicts the most pain, settling this age-old debate.
Demi-Lee van Zyl, a decorated MMA fighter with four successful years under her belt, such as holding the South African Light-Weight Female Division Championship, explains, “A punch definitely hurts more, because it can cause some damage and leave nasty bruises, while a slap stings and passes over.”
With 38 years in karate, bringing age and wisdom, Sensei Frik Willemse of Butokukan Newcastle adds that he has been punched and slapped a good few times throughout his life, and therefore states, “A punch will normally hurt more. In my experience, slaps are used more for intimidation purposes. However, a trained martial artist or someone who is just big and strong can knock you out with a slap. I have seen it happen.”
With our veteran sensei and MMA champion divided on which is more damaging, we turn to the highly respected Chief Instructor for Butokukan South Africa, Sensei Carel van der Westhuizen, with 43 years in material arts.
He declares, it all depends on two things, who is carrying out the slap or punch? And where are they slapping or punching you? “A well-placed slap to the groin will drop any guy, but a guy can get up after a full-blown punch to the chest. Then there are people who can just slap the sh*!t out of you. So, this all has to be taken into consideration.” Willemse and Van der Westhuizen highlight that the reaction the culprit would get in a real fight would be significantly different from in a competitive situation if slapped. For example, Van der Westhuizen says, “A slap in training could be useful as it can be used to show the guy he is leaving himself open, but in a fight, it would be irritating and if you are close enough to slap me, I am going to punch you.”
From a competitive sports perspective, having fought in the cage, if someone had to slap her during a professional fight, Demi-Lee laughs and says, “I would take a second to be like, did that just happen? Because it would be a surprise, as you would be expecting a hard punch coming your way.” As for the effort going into a punch versus a slap, she describes, “You need proper technique to have a good punch, and a punch’s power comes from your legs. A slap, I think, is just a whip from your hand with not a lot of force behind it.”
However, Willemse adds that in Shorin Ryu (style of karate), they learn to punch with minimal effort and generate a lot of power. “We also practice open hand strikes using the same principles, so the amount of effort should be the same. However, results may differ depending on where you punch or slap/strike.”
With the three martial artists offering their unique perspective on the pain inflicted by either a punch or a slap, what are your thoughts on which is more damaging?
Share your views in the comment section below, and explain what you feel hurts more.