I was in my session for Taekwondo the other day, and it came time to spar. As we were told to take our fighting positions in front of our partners, one of the two instructors (fourth rank black belt, possibly fifth can't quite recall) told me to keep my hands closed in my position. Now, I have been sparring and fighting with my hands open ever since I remember. This is mostly for two reasons. I feel like with my hands relaxed, in a natural and open position, make my movements faster I like to deflect incoming strikes and kicks in a sort of "slapping motion" to redirect the opponents limbs in manners that make it impossible to follow up with another strike or to put them off balance - I mainly use this for kicks To accurately describe my hand position, I urge you to lift your hand in front of you, outer ridge facing forwards, and to completely relax it. Another motivation for doing this is that when I keep my hands closed, I often misjudge my blocks or deflects and I end up getting hit in the nerve point in my forearm, causing my hand to spasm and stopping me from striking with it for a few crucial seconds. I humored my instructor until the sparring session was over and then went to ask him for the reason behind his advice. He showed me his hands, specifically his right hand. It was absolutely ******. He had no motion in his middle finger at all, and couldn't make a straight palm. The muscle between the thumb and the index was swollen, and his knuckled and fingers had scars on them, as well as a long scar running down the ridge of his outer hand. He claimed a large amount of injuries and surgeries would have been avoided if he didn't hold a fighting position with his hands opened and relaxed the way I did. A specific case he cited was when in a competition his opponent ended up kicking his, bending his fingers back and breaking them. Another case was in a street fight, where his opponent took control of his wrist, took him to the ground and snapped his fingers. He believes that if he had his hands bunched up into fists, he could have avoided at least some of the injuries, like not getting his fingers broken in that competition. This is a lot for me to take in, and I am conflicted, since I have never held a stance where I constantly kept my hands clutched into fists, except when I am forced to by boxing gloves. What are your thoughts and personal experiences with this? What advice would you give me?