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kaoru666
12/02/2009 4:54am,
in old kung fu movies and some modern, whenever you see someone using a sword, generally a straight one how come they have their other 2 fingers pointed outward? Is there any kind of meaning to it or is it a made up for the movies?:ninja2:

Whathappened
12/02/2009 7:59am,
Using modern language,

It is a biomechanical idiosyncrasy of the human body.
Having two fingers pointing outwards while the fingernails of last two digits are pressed by the thumb, the grip strength of the other hand increases noticeably.

I used to consider this BS myself, until I ran several experiments, one which involved holding a baseball bat (or heavy bar) parallel to the ground in similar to a T.

One hand in the two finger shape and other holding the bat: 23 avg seconds
One hand relaxed and other holding the bat: 6 avg seconds
One hand clenched fist and other holding the bat: 8 avg seconds

All were done with a 15 min break and over the interval of between several days, to reduce the possibility of muscle gain affecting the trial.

Again could be placebo unless someone is willing to help increase sample size > 1.

kaoru666
12/02/2009 3:10pm,
Using modern language,

It is a biomechanical idiosyncrasy of the human body.
Having two fingers pointing outwards while the fingernails of last two digits are pressed by the thumb, the grip strength of the other hand increases noticeably.

I used to consider this BS myself, until I ran several experiments, one which involved holding a baseball bat (or heavy bar) parallel to the ground in similar to a T.

One hand in the two finger shape and other holding the bat: 23 avg seconds
One hand relaxed and other holding the bat: 6 avg seconds
One hand clenched fist and other holding the bat: 8 avg seconds

All were done with a 15 min break and over the interval of between several days, to reduce the possibility of muscle gain affecting the trial.

Again could be placebo unless someone is willing to help increase sample size > 1.

thats intresting I always thought it had something to do with keeping forward intent

NJM
12/03/2009 3:49am,
I think the main reason the position was incorporated was to symbolize holding a blade with the opposite hand in one-handed jian forms. For the aesthetic symmetry.

Also
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kaoru666
12/03/2009 7:00am,
I think the main reason the position was incorporated was to symbolize holding a blade with the opposite hand in one-handed jian forms. For the aesthetic symmetry.

Also
<-----

I always thought thats what it was too but I wondered if there was some kind of traditional meaning behind it as well

Whathappened
12/03/2009 7:03am,
I think the main reason the position was incorporated was to symbolize holding a blade with the opposite hand in one-handed jian forms. For the aesthetic symmetry.

Also
<-----

That's what they tell folks. Think National Treasure.

kaoru666
12/03/2009 3:26pm,
That's what they tell folks. Think National Treasure.

so in sword forms your supposed to be holding a short knife?

Permalost
12/03/2009 4:38pm,
I learned that it was just to establish intent in the hand- when you put a weapon in someone's hand (especially a sword for some reason), they tend to forget things like their other hand. In tai chi sword work that I've done, it was used in a similar manner to the off hand in fencing- it offers a counterbalance that can make certain kinds of extension easier by extending it back. I've never noticed anything about making the grip on the sword any stronger- maybe I'll play around with that tonight a little bit (honestly I really doubt it). The gim doesn't really seem to need a super strong grip (unless your training partner is beating your weapon out of your hand regularly).

kaoru666
12/03/2009 5:49pm,
I learned that it was just to establish intent in the hand- when you put a weapon in someone's hand (especially a sword for some reason), they tend to forget things like their other hand. In tai chi sword work that I've done, it was used in a similar manner to the off hand in fencing- it offers a counterbalance that can make certain kinds of extension easier by extending it back. I've never noticed anything about making the grip on the sword any stronger- maybe I'll play around with that tonight a little bit (honestly I really doubt it). The gim doesn't really seem to need a super strong grip (unless your training partner is beating your weapon out of your hand regularly).
that would really make the most sense to me

Whathappened
12/03/2009 9:31pm,
so in sword forms your supposed to be holding a short knife?

No, they tell you its for aesthetics, pay no attention to it.

Iainkelt
12/04/2009 11:23am,
Not to take this out of the realm of Chinese weapons, but when I trained in Aikido we were always tought to grab with the lowest fingers (ie pinkie and ring) and thumb as the primary focus because that was a stronger grip (for reasons of body mechanics supposedly) and made it easier to maintain contact between your palm and whatever it was you were gripping (ie a sword or someone's wrist/lapel/whatever). I don't remember them saying to stick the other two fingers out in the air though, just that they aren't the fingers you want to use in this case. Could be B.S., but that is what I remember as the explanation for the grip they used.