George S. Ledyard
I really think that this emphasis on a "strong grip" is misplaced. Not that we didn't all train that way, back in the day, we did. But I have come to believe that this is a mistaken idea for several reasons.
a) it's bad martial arts - anyone ever win anything, UFC included, by grabbing someone, making his hand turn purple, and being immovable? The grabs we do come from attempts to keep an opponent from accessing a weapon. There would always have been either a strike with the other hand or a kick or both. Or the attack would have been designed to break the balance and the deliver atemi. You simply can't do that while you are tight. You lose speed. You create a direct channel for the other guy's power to hit your structure, etc It's actually easier to move someone who attacks like that than someone who grabs lightly and is has freedom to move because nothing is tight.
Is it not possible to maintain a 'strong' grip while also being relaxed? I was taught that one can 'localize' a strong grip while maintaining relaxation throughout the rest of one's body. In other words, I'm not sure that a strong grip and a relaxed body are mutually exclusive.