Relative Grip Strengths – Between the Hands and Digits (Overview)

EdamameDumbells_20200125 - Copy CompressS
Drawing and edamame dumbbells by Ophie and Tomoe, Jan 2020.

A lecture video by Takumi Chikamoto (Kyoshi 7th dan) [Chikamoto Lecture], forwarded to me by a sensei, prompted this article.  I found the video very informative and helpful.  Chikamoto sensei addresses the relative grip strengths of the hands and digits on the shinai, among many other topics.  I sensed that his grip-related comments and a deep dive into this area could help improve the quality of the sae (sharpness) in my strikes.

I survey the literature and videos on this topic including the aforementioned video (in Parts 2 and 3 below).   A two-handed grip associated with the chudan-kamae is assumed.  This article is broken down into the following parts:

Updates:  Oct 25, 2021 – Added quotes from Koda Kunihide Sensei and Geoff Salmon Sensei on using the left hand to push the shinai from kamae to strike in Part 2.

Copyright 2017

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