Re: Fingers spread or together?
The only aikidoka I can remember that focused on keeping the fingers together was Kieth Moore Sensei of AAA in Chicago. He came out and taught a seminar for our school a long time ago (13years?) and he made a big point of it. It makes a lot of sense to me as well, from a practical standpoint. Years ago we had a student in the dojo that habitually spread his fingers wide as nage in randori. He poked quite a few eyes (not necessarily a bad thing in a fight, if intentional), but also got his fingers caught in gi's quiet frequently, resulting in pain/injury. This experience, along with my Wing Chun training is enough for me to land on the "fingers together" side of this question.
So far, I have only seen replies that deal with how spreading the fingers makes nage feel/extend energy during technique. This is fine for dojo practice where conditions are controlled and uke is cooperating (at least on some level) with your practice. But let uke do whatever they want, and your results may vary. In terms of spreading your fingers for practice and then closing them for self defense, I would suggest that you would fight how you train.... There is much evidence that this is true. I try to make sure my teaching includes realistic training methods that can be used for self defense, not just in the dojo. So I will put myself firmly in the "fingers together" camp.
I also like what Selin Talay had to say about the Tea ceremony. These words mirror almost exactly the teachings of the Wing Chun style that I study. Mechanically, they make a lot of sense.
So I guess to fine tune the question, does nage's feeling they get from spreading fingers negate/outweigh the danger of breaking them? You may have to speed up your training to find out.
I have to say, that I am having to do some retraining of myself since it wasn't drummed into me too hard to keep them together all the time. I'm not 100% compliant with my own method yet (as my Sifu frequently reminds me). But I wanted to see what the community had to say on the issue as I continue to work on it myself.
Last edited by JimClark : 02-28-2012 at 12:03 PM.