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  1. #1
    Teh El Macho's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    grip with three fingers - why?

    Ok, I was reading Competitive Judo a few days ago at a local B&N, and there is a passage that caught my attention. The book suggests to grip with the three lower fingers only. The index and thumb are kept in place (or have reduce participation in gripping compared to the lower three I would assume.)

    The rationale of the book is that by doing so, you reduce fatigue - using the index and thumb involves muscles in the forearms whereas the lower three involve muscles in the wrist. By minimizing the involvement of the forearms, you reduce lactic acid buildup (according to the book), thus reducing or postponing fatigue during gripping.

    It seems reasonable to me to reduce lactic acid build-up, but other factors may be at play (strenght of wrist muscles, duration of grip, etc.) I've seen a couple of posts on this at different forums, BUT there has not been a conclusive discussion of this as far as the search function shows.

    Any annectodal or scientific evidence pro or con this assertion????

    BTW, I put this thread at this forum because it doesn't seem to fit in either the grappling or striking forums, nor in the health/fitness related forums. Please let me know if this should have been better fit in a different forum.
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

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  2. #2

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Not using the index finger and thumb helps keep the wrist loose so that you can get those nice, quick snapping movements that are oh-so crucial to good kusushi. I was actually taught to use only the bottom two fingers. In practice, I tend to grip hard with the last two fingers and use about half the strength of my middle finger.

    Try this right now: hold your fists in front of you as if you were riding a bike. Now squeeze them as tight as you can (or as tight as you usually would). Then try to quickly snap your fists up using your wrists like little kids do when they mimic someone riding a motorcycle. Make the reving sound while you're at it.

    Now try it with just the last two/three fingers clentched.

    Different?

  3. #3
    JKDChick's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, do you have a diagram of what you're talking about?
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  4. #4
    Neildo's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I was talking to a co-worker who is a jiu-jitsu guy and he told me the same thing. Then he demonstrated it for me. You can try this at home too kids!

    Have someone grab your wrist, and hold with just the thumb and index finger. Now pull your arm out of their grip. Now have them grip with the other three fingers and the thumb, and pull out of that grip.

    The lower finger grip should have been stronger. Apparently, you use more of the muscles in your forearm to grip with those fingers, as opposed to just thumb and index.

    My question is, why not use ALL the fingers? DUH!
    Last edited by Neildo; 1/11/2006 10:10pm at . Reason: h
    :new_all_c

  5. #5
    DCS's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by HoratioHooah
    Not using the index finger and thumb helps keep the wrist loose so that you can get those nice, quick snapping movements that are oh-so crucial to good kusushi. I was actually taught to use only the bottom two fingers. In practice, I tend to grip hard with the last two fingers and use about half the strength of my middle finger.
    Same gripping is used in aikido and kenjutsu. The wrists move easily while keeping control of opponent or weapon.
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  6. #6
    Locu5's Avatar
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    We did this a bit in Judo. Coach said it was to help strengthen the grip overall. I never did it long enough to notice any difference.
    Locu5
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  7. #7
    J-Lau's Avatar
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    Weird. I always grip without using the lower 2... my forearms will bother me after, but my grip is much stronger that way. We had thought about this before, and I usually tell people not to even worry about the other fingers, just to clamp with the upper fingers and their thumb.

  8. #8
    Teh El Macho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J-Lau
    Weird. I always grip without using the lower 2... my forearms will bother me after, but my grip is much stronger that way. We had thought about this before, and I usually tell people not to even worry about the other fingers, just to clamp with the upper fingers and their thumb.
    I'm sorry, but I'm confused. You mean using the lower 2 or the upper 2?
    Quote Originally Posted by JKDChick
    I'm sorry, do you have a diagram of what you're talking about?
    Hi, I don't have any diagram with me right now. Lemme see if I can find some to show. The best I could explain is that when you grip a gi or someone's wrist, for example, the book suggested to use only the three lower fingers (pinky, ring and middle), while keeping the index and thumb relaxed or at least just in place making contact w/o participating in the grip...

    ... contrast that against gripping using all your fingers in the contracting motion of the grip.
    Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.

    My crapuous vlog and my blog of training, stuff and crap. NEW: Me, Mrs. Macho and our newborn baby.

    New To Weight Training? Get the StrongLifts 5x5 program and Rippetoe's "Starting Strength, 2nd Ed". Wanna build muscle/gain weight? Check this article. My review on Tactical Nutrition here.

    t-nation - Dissecting the deadlift. Anatomy and Muscle Balancing Videos.

    The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by elnyka
    I'm sorry, but I'm confused. You mean using the lower 2 or the upper 2?
    Hi, I don't have any diagram with me right now. Lemme see if I can find some to show. The best I could explain is that when you grip a gi or someone's wrist, for example, the book suggested to use only the three lower fingers (pinky, ring and middle), while keeping the index and thumb relaxed or at least just in place making contact w/o participating in the grip...

    ... contrast that against gripping using all your fingers in the contracting motion of the grip.

    compare it to a baseball bat grip




    to gripping a bokken



    for japanese sword arts you grip that way for flexibility since one hand "Steers" the sword and one hand is more for power deliverly. you can see in the bokken picture the thumb and forefinger are looser and the wrist alingment is different, while in the baseball pic all the fingers are bunched together and the wrists are lined up with the forearm. when you cut with a sword you twist your wrists like wringing a towel , so that the force that gets pushed back at you is absorbed by your forearms, rather than the wrists which are weaker. its harder to "wring" your wrists if you are gripping hard with the forefinger and thumb.

    i would assume its the same for judo gripping, its more about flexibility/mobility than power. i start judo soon, so maybe after a couple of weeks I will have an idea.
    Last edited by hl1978; 1/12/2006 12:13pm at . Reason: added mroe detail on towel wringing

  10. #10

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Only been in Judo a couple months, my instructor hasn't really brought that up. In Hapkido, if I remember right (been away from HKD for a while), this is mainly important when trying to manipulate the wrist....you keep your index finger up so that you can get your 'power fingers' (lower three) closer to the joint without inadvertantly bracing the wrist & keeping it from moving by having your index wrapped around it.

    I'm a bit fuzzy on this, and I'm sure one of the more exp. HKD guys can clarify, as well as smack me in the right direction if I'm off

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