Not all questions directed at Rickson Gracie pertain to philosophy or glorious moments from his career. Some students are interested in very practical matters—potentially lifesaving ones, in fact. For example, if you ever find yourself in a street fight, and for whatever reason you can't take your time and sink your classiest Brazilian jiu-jitsu technique, you may have to do some striking against some dirty fighters. As to whether you should punch with your hands open or closed when there are no gloves in sight, it's a clear-cut answer from the master:
"Definitely, for a street fight, the palm is better; because it's too much danger, when you punch somebody in the face—even Mike Tyson, in a nightclub, broke his hand once. Because the punch has to be perfect, the position that you hit somebody... So there's too much risk involved, because you can lose a fight by breaking your finger. So I like palms, I like using the chop, I like the palms, maybe fingers. But never closed fists. I have a delicate hand, so I need them to choke, and armbar, and to make the guy quit gently."