In Western Boxing people know that, you need to make punches that quickly return and have your hands up. This is evident when you punch a bag that bounces back. Each time it bounces back that simulates an attack from your opponent, and it can be so fast that you need to keep your hands up to guard your head.
All this makes sense, however, we can ask the question, if all this makes sense, then why do we throw big haymaker punches?
From a knife fighting perspective, you can see people cut water bottles and other targets using big wild swings, this is because big swinging motions have the most power. These big swinging moves can totally leave you wide open and may not be the smartest move to do, but at the right time it can cause some major damage.
In Eskrima we have big swinging haymaker style moves, but we also have more compact slashes. These slashes work great with weapons especially bladed weapons, but when translated to empty hands the slashing motions of Eskrima do not have your hands up.
As we mentioned at first, from a Boxing perspective this is not a good idea.
However in Eskrima, our slashes may not have our arms up guarding our head like a Boxer, it is designed to close the distance and bash the enemy with your forearms.
In Eskrima, when our arms are crossed, we use the forearms to safely clinch and fight from there.