How do you make a knife hand?

Cyriacus

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So, i was speaking with a friend of mine who trains in a form of Karate. One thing led to another, and we got to discussing knife hand strikes. Specifically, how we made the knife hands. Now, im not referring so much to the strike itself, but to how the hand is... organised, for it. Im certain theres a better word than that.

So, the way ive learnt to do it is to open the hand, press the fingers together, bend them slightly inward at the main knuckles so that the fingers are very slightly bent, then tuck the thumb back against the hand (without going across the palm).
The way he learnt to do it is to open the hand, pull the middle finger back so that its tip is aligned with the ring finger and the middle of all the fingers are pulled slightly back whilst the main knuckle joints remain straight, and the thumb is tucked back but not in contact with the hand (without going across the palm).

So now im very curious: How do other styles/systems/people out there make their knife hands? I never really thought about it too much in the past.
 

Dirty Dog

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I make a knifehand as you do. I make a spearhand as your friend does.
 

jks9199

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There are different ways I'll make a knife hand depending on the way I'm using it. Generally, I'm going to kind of push the palm forward and pull the fingers back, if that makes sense, and lock the thumb down. Put your palm flat on a table, and pull the fingers back from the table, and you'll get the feel. When I'm using some different basis to drive it, I may lock it in a more straight line, kind of like a salute, and more rarely, fold it in slightly as described above.
 

Dirty Dog

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That sounds like the way I form the hand for a palmheel strike.
 

Aiki Lee

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Our our shuto utilize a fist where the fingers are folded back towards the palm making a sort of triangle shape. The shape of the fist is called kiten ken and I tell white belts to remember the name by likening it to the way one would pet a kitten (get it? kiten ken/ kitten!). God I'm so clever :ultracool
 

kitkatninja

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Personally it depends on what kind of knife hand it is, eg if you're going to strike via a thrust (eg spearhand) or strike via the side of the hand or if it's going to be used as a block.
 
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Cyriacus

Cyriacus

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I make a knifehand as you do. I make a spearhand as your friend does.
*nods*

There are different ways I'll make a knife hand depending on the way I'm using it. Generally, I'm going to kind of push the palm forward and pull the fingers back, if that makes sense, and lock the thumb down. Put your palm flat on a table, and pull the fingers back from the table, and you'll get the feel. When I'm using some different basis to drive it, I may lock it in a more straight line, kind of like a salute, and more rarely, fold it in slightly as described above.

See now, i never really thought about pulling the fingers back. The variety!

Our our shuto utilize a fist where the fingers are folded back towards the palm making a sort of triangle shape. The shape of the fist is called kiten ken and I tell white belts to remember the name by likening it to the way one would pet a kitten (get it? kiten ken/ kitten!). God I'm so clever :ultracool

How can i aspire to be as clever as you, you magnificent... person!
*ahem*
What about the thumb?

Personally it depends on what kind of knife hand it is, eg if you're going to strike via a thrust (eg spearhand) or strike via the side of the hand or if it's going to be used as a block.

Go figure :p
 

Chris Parker

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How can i aspire to be as clever as you, you magnificent... person!
*ahem*
What about the thumb?

As Himura has described, our Shuto Ken (called Kiten Ken in some of our systems, not all of them) is done by curling the fingers around, similar in shape to cupping water. The fingers are staggered so they don't knock into each other, and the curving of the fingers ensures a larger amount of muscle at the base of the bottom edge of the hand (the striking area, as we have impact occuring down close to the wrist). The thumb, as with all our fists, is on top of the hand, curving around with the fingers, not tucked into the palm. This is the same for our "basic" fist (Fudo Ken), as it allows easy shifting to other fists, such as Shito Ken/Boshi Ken, Koppo Ken, Shuto/Kiten Ken, and so on.
 
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Cyriacus

Cyriacus

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As Himura has described, our Shuto Ken (called Kiten Ken in some of our systems, not all of them) is done by curling the fingers around, similar in shape to cupping water. The fingers are staggered so they don't knock into each other, and the curving of the fingers ensures a larger amount of muscle at the base of the bottom edge of the hand (the striking area, as we have impact occuring down close to the wrist). The thumb, as with all our fists, is on top of the hand, curving around with the fingers, not tucked into the palm. This is the same for our "basic" fist (Fudo Ken), as it allows easy shifting to other fists, such as Shito Ken/Boshi Ken, Koppo Ken, Shuto/Kiten Ken, and so on.
Much obliged - And now i understand how its like stroking a kitten :)
 

Kong Soo Do

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As we can see, it will vary between arts. As a note of interest, WWII combatives, courtesy of Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate, O'Neill, Nelson, Cestari etc, have the fingers straight with the thumb straight out. The rationale is that having the thumb straight out locks the fingers/hand in position and allows for a stronger strike. There is merit to this position and it is taught in many L.E. circles as well. Often called an edge-of-hand strike in combatives circles.

Very hard to see, but you can make out the thumb held straight out.

Starting at 12:49
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

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I do it the same way I believe Bill Mattocks recently said he did, cup the hand slightly, but not much, have the fingers slightly stiff, and strike with the edge of my hand, below the pinky.
 

MantisTLK

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the shape of my hand depends on my intent. sometimes fingers open, sometimes not.
 
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Cyriacus

Cyriacus

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I do it the same way I believe Bill Mattocks recently said he did, cup the hand slightly, but not much, have the fingers slightly stiff, and strike with the edge of my hand, below the pinky.

*nods*

As we can see, it will vary between arts. As a note of interest, WWII combatives, courtesy of Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate, O'Neill, Nelson, Cestari etc, have the fingers straight with the thumb straight out. The rationale is that having the thumb straight out locks the fingers/hand in position and allows for a stronger strike. There is merit to this position and it is taught in many L.E. circles as well. Often called an edge-of-hand strike in combatives circles.

Very hard to see, but you can make out the thumb held straight out.

Starting at 12:49

To the first video: I *love* how rough they are.

To the second video: I spent a fair few hours looking for something like that a few months ago and never found it. Now i have. Yay.
 
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