Of handswords, bones, and wedges

E

Elfan

Guest
Well I normaly make the stereotypical karate chop sword but with my fingers bent slighly. I strike with the tense musculature on the side of my hand. However, I was talking to someone about this recently and he angles his hand to the side slightly and strikes with a triangular wrist bone.


I'm not an expert in anatomey but I belive he was refering to the pointy one in the upper right of this picture: http://www.bartleby.com/107/illus220.html

So my question is, how do you make a handsword, and in particular does anyone strike with one of the wrist bones?
 
I have been to a DKI seminar, and did not see the wristbone used- which doesn't mean they don't use it. However, I use both sides of the hand, my swordhand, striking with the meaty outside to a "softer target" like the throat or inner forearm for example. The ridgehand I use against the throat as well, usually going through the uke, like a clothesline. Good for groin strikes and for "scooping" the back of the knee to throw, etc.

Another strike I love is the ridgehand into the throat from the front, like a spear along the side "sawing" forward into the carotid. If you use both hands simultaneously, pass the throat on both sides, then use the thumbjoint (the very bottom of the thumb when it's laid alongside the hand) as a strike to the back of the neck by jerking the hands back. There are pressure points there that can cause very serious consequences. You can then pull the face down into your knee or something if you want.

Of course, we've all watched the Stooges, I'm sure and know the two-finger eye-poke and it's counter, the shuto-covers-the-nose tecknique:boing2:

I have very small (ok, bony) wrists and I'm not sure I'd want to use that bone unless to a very soft target, since the risk of injury would be a concern. Anyone else use this & what for?
 
In hapkido we are taught to hit using the bone i think you are refering to. One of the main applications is to strike into the upper forearm near the crease of the elbow when they are either punching or grabbing you. You can either strike through the forearm or sort of slide the strike towards the wrist a bit after initial contact, depending on the effect you want.
 
Originally posted by Arithon
One of the main applications is to strike into the upper forearm near the crease of the elbow when they are either punching or grabbing you.

that's probably because that niftly little thing called the radial nerve is is on the top side of the arm, while the ulna (sp?) is on the underside. striking the radial nerve will most likey cause a momentary lapse of function in the arm and a spiffy numbing sensation...a round of applause to Seig for allowing me to experience this. ;)
 
ok, I learned this strike using the knuckles, and did follow down the arm with it. Hadn't thought of that bone in the wrist... Do you find it awkward?
 
Well, i generally use a relaxed knife hand (slightly curved with the fingers slightly spead) if i'm going to draw the strike down the arm.

Its not awkward, it just takes a bit of getting used to. And you can use the recoil to strike up into the throat, jaw, temple or even the opposite arm.

I don't think of it as the radial nerve though it probably the same thing. There are 3 points CO 10, 9 and 8 which are quite close together. If you use a knife hand you tend to hit 2 of them which is good but if you hit with the bone correctly you absolutely nail one which is better.
 
Well, i generally use a relaxed knife hand (slightly curved with the fingers slightly spead) if i'm going to draw the strike down the arm.

why would you EVER use a relaxed knife hand??? that's a good way to break fingers...not to mention a simple way of bruising the outer portion of the hand. you should always have the hand tight when making a knife hand or hand sword.

ok, I learned this strike using the knuckles, and did follow down the arm with it.

are you talking about an inner forearm block followed by a four-knuckle rake?
 
Have you ever actually used a relaxed knife hand or are you simply asuming it isn't any good?

I would think that rigid fingers are more likely to be broken, tho probably not by much, than relaxed fingers.

When I use a relaxed knife hand i use the mainly the base of the knife and I don't strike directly through the plane of the palm, the palm is turned in about 5 or 10 degrees. I've used it against both people and a punching bag without any problems. It isn't completed relaxed, there has to be some tension.

When I've used a completely straight rigid hand in the same situations, mainly puching bags tho, the knuckles of my fingers tend hit each other causing some pain.
 
You can do that too.

I simply prefer using an open hand most of the time. There are more techniques that can be done with the hand open than closed. It also allows for grabs, joint manipulations etc. where a closed fist does not.
 
Originally posted by Arithon
Well, i generally use a relaxed knife hand (slightly curved with the fingers slightly spead) if i'm going to draw the strike down the arm.

Slightly curved in which direction?
 
Arithon,
If your knuckles are hitting together enough to cause pain, this is caused by one of a very few things. A very low pain threshold, which in this instance I am not even considering. An improperly formed weapon, or an improperly struck target. If there is any gap in your handsword, your bones will clash. If you hit above the knuckles instead of the base of the hand, the same thing can happen. If you are striking your target properly, and pain is ensuing from clashing bones wihtin your hand, your handsword is not properly formed. Rigid fingers are not more likely to be broken from the simple fact that by holdong them rigid, the muscles of the fingers will be forming a barrier around the bone. Chronuss is not assuming anything, he is speaking from experience, mine. I have broken several bones in my hands in years past from doing things incorrectly and from that I have taught my students to avoid just that. This is one of the things that unfortunately, a forum is somewhat inadequte in demonstrating/explaining.
Seig
 
I agree that forums can be inadequate for this kind of thing.

Thanks for not doubting my pain threshold. :)

I think that the greater risk of broken fingers is part of doing any open hand techniques (instead of a closed fist). However I don't think that using a relaxed hand is wrong, simply different. It is the way I was taught to strike and I have found it to be very effective and safe.

Being a hapkido-ist I probably deliver the strike differently to a kempo-ist (or should i kempoka? <shrug>). That may make the difference...

On a slightly different topic do you also keep your fingers rigidly straight when doing a spear finger strike?
 
yes we do, because a spearhand is nothing more than a vertial knife hand and striking with the fingertips. why in the name of God's green Earth would you want a relaxed hand instead of tensed when doing a spear hand? I'm still asking myself that question about the knife hand. there is absolutely no instance where I would ascertain the notion for a relaxed hand on executing that strike, especially if you torque it on impact...that would hurt your hand worse than it would the opponent. :confused:
 
I never said the fingers should be relaxed when doing a spear finger strike. I don't ther should be straight though. If your fingers are dead straight and you hit a target that is harder than expected (ie you miss what you are striking for) what will happen? The fingers could bend backwards and break or dislocate.
If they are already curved inward towards the palm then it is a lot more likely that if they colapse it will be into a fist with minimal damage to yourself.

Why ask youself about the knife hand? Why not give it an honest try on a punching back? If you hit with the base of the knife hand you don't need any tension in the hand, atleast not much. I can and have done both and find the relaxed version to be more effective.
 
Firstly - Hello Arithon - it's good to see another Australian on this discussion forum, even if we are 1000's of km apart on separate sides of the continent.

Originally posted by Arithon
I think that the greater risk of broken fingers is part of doing any open hand techniques (instead of a closed fist). However I don't think that using a relaxed hand is wrong, simply different.

...

On a slightly different topic do you also keep your fingers rigidly straight when doing a spear finger strike?

Open handed strikes can be safer than those with the fist. Take the heel palm strike for example. The wrist stays in alignment and there is no chance of broken/split knuckles or exchanged blood as there is with a fist (ie. when striking to the head).

In regards to a relaxed hand, I begin all of my strikes with a relaxed hand (to maximise speed) and then tense up at the point of impact (to solidify the weapon). An exception to this would be the 'snake poke' (or four-finger flick) where a relaxed hand is much less likely of taking damage.

For a spear hand strike I have my hand slightly cupped (a bit like trying to hold water). This allows my fingers a shock-absorbing effect at the point of impact.
 
why wouldn't your wrist stay in alignment with a horizontal or vertical punch? but I will give you that your knuckles won't get skinned.
 
Originally posted by Chronuss
why wouldn't your wrist stay in alignment with a horizontal or vertical punch? but I will give you that your knuckles won't get skinned.

The wrist 'should' stay in alignment. What I'm referring to is the potential chance of damage from misalignment (especially with hooking punches). That is why boxers strap their wrists with hand-wraps.

The distance between knuckles (point of impact) and wrist bone is large enough to create a number of angles with the hand - not all of these using back-up mass. However, the distance between heel palm and wrist bone is much shorter and a almost impossible to misalign the wrist to cause damage with impact.
 

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