Not sure why they were looking funny though.. Because you used vertical fists?
What did you try to work?
Maybe we're loosing something in the 'fog of the board.'
You should be able to use the reverse wrist locking thing without it being too apparent with the gloves on. Remember you can apply this reverse lock to your regular punches, just be aware of the slight change in the power line, and your wrists shouldn't feel weak any more, but take it slow. Also when you hit the bag be sure not to push it, instead you should hear a nice thwap sound that should ‘jolt’ the bag as you blast it. The key is to just try making the connection with the locked wrist / bottom of the fist work, that alone shouldn’t win too many strange looks.
Later add in what if anything you think might help, you might check out Bruce’s Lead Straight from his JKD. For the vertical fist jab for example, it should be easier to make more power if you let the fist rise, (keep the elbow under) just as if you were driving it under the chin and up through to the back/top of the head, leading with the bottom of the fist; The wrist locks up as the fist goes out and squeezes on impact.
In the forms the vertical fist starts, as we say, from the heart (center) and the focus point is around your / his chin height – the elbow pushes /snaps the forearm/fist arrow out and then the ligaments will retract it.. Just use what’s natural for you and try firing them from/to or off/to the center.
The chain punches translate well when used with flexibility.. You can do a jab, rear straight combo that is so fast because of the structure, your rear can come in just a micro beat behind the jab as their rear hand parries.
And you can reek havoc with those elbows under the punches to jam them.
Lots of fun stuff to play with.