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Old 08-12-2003, 08:48 AM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427

~~Just a quick FYI: This is probably directed more to the beginning or intermediate student, as any of we 'old timers' have learned this through painful experience.

When training there is no reason for uke or nage to grab partner's wrist right in the joint, nor is there a need to grab like Godzilla. The wrist is a supple, versatile construct of many fine bones, tendons, etc. and was never designed to accomodate endless torque or compression (two of the main causes of wrist injury).

A sincere or even intense attack can be accomplished by grabbing above the wrist joint (just past the little protruding bone or kote area). Even better, learn to connect to your partner through your palm with 'light' fingers. This will also save uke from micro-fractures in the fingers caused by torque that many of us don't realize we're incurring.

Please, something to think about and try. We all want to train for many years. Thanks!

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Old 08-12-2003, 09:33 AM   #2
Location: Maidenhead
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 167
United Kingdom
I understand the problem, but not sure the answer is right. As tori, the technique is sometimes specifically applied through the joint - especially when only using one hand.

And as uke, we attack at the joint, to immobalise the hand as well as grab the wrist, so moving further up the arm would be considered an error for us generally.

Justin McCarthy
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Old 08-12-2003, 09:49 AM   #3
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427
~~I'm open Justin--so how would you deal with the repetative injury issue? I agree with understanding when the joint is to be employed 'on the street' but to do it over and over in the dojo is hurting people. Many throws or techniques are meant to ram an attackers head into the ground on exicution but we roll out of them on the mat...

I would like to hear other solutions if you'd like to share. Thanks!

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Old 08-12-2003, 10:27 AM   #4
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,001
Interestingly enough, some teachers with whom I've trained specifically target the wrist joint in a grab. One asks uke to grab the wrist so that uke's ring finger is in the space between the hand and the wrist...

-- Jun

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Old 08-12-2003, 01:16 PM   #5
Location: Harrisburg, PA
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 420

We generally grab with a "sword grip" (gripping primarily with the pinky and ring fingers); with the pinky actually on the joint. But we're not that crazy about exactly where we grip. We tend to use a firm grip, with some energy, but we back off from crushing nage's wrist.

One exercise we sometimes do to help with proper body movement is to release the grip completely and simply focus on keeping our palm on nage's wrist as he or she performs technique. This sounds a lot like what Paula describes.

But the grip is still meant to affect nage's center, so some firmness and energy are required.

Having said all of that, I have no problem asking my partners to lighten up a bit if my wrists start to hurt.



Last edited by jxa127 : 08-12-2003 at 01:19 PM.

-Drew Ames
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Old 08-12-2003, 08:56 PM   #6
Dojo: Seigi Dojo
Location: Jakarta
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 247
i think the injury happen because we're not being taught how to grab correctly. usually what happen is uke grab the wrist very hard,using all the fingers to grip causing hard tension on nage's wrist.

I need others opinion on how to initiate grab correctly, what i've been taught in Malaysia is start grabbing with your little finger, followed by ring and middle finger and keep these three fingers firm, secure the grab by locking using your thumb and leave your point finger relax.
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:22 AM   #7
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
We'd generally grab above the joint to control the whole arm (and body through the shoulder). By grabbing above the joint it can be very easy to force nage to the ground if they are not extending (which I regularly do). Alternatively forcing nages forearm down can prevent kicks (since the weight is forced into their legs). The only reason I would personally grab the joint is to initiate a wrist lock technique. Grabbing the joint for any other reason does not seem sensible since it is easier to break the grip and uke has little control over the arm (i.e. elbow and shoulder strikes are still easy, as well as kicks)


---understanding aikido is understanding the training method---
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:43 AM   #8
Location: Maidenhead
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 167
United Kingdom
I don't see much loss in ability to control the arm and your partner by letting your hand slide nearer the hand a little so that the lower two fingers are at the joint, and this does decrease your partners joint flexibility which must be a good thing if this is a realistic attack. It also places the upper fingers at the pulse point on the wrist, which I am lead to believe is another part of the reasoning, although I do not yet understand the implications of this.

As for reducing RSI, I'm afraid I don't have any better solution, Paula! However, wrist attacks do not make up a lot of our training so I'd put this down as a low injury issue at our club compared to other sources.

Justin McCarthy
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:44 AM   #9
Anders Bjonback
Dojo: Boulder Aikikai
Location: Boulder, CO
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 129
I think it's also good to focus on your grabs as uke for your own benifit. When I wasn't keeping a straight wrist in my grabs, I ended up causing myself pain. But that may also may just be due to going to sixteen to twenty classes per week. But, anyway, I've found that in training lots, it's important to be careful with wrists, etc, so I can continue to train as much as I'd like.

"For peace and happiness are presences, not objects we can grasp and hold onto."
--Lilian Smith
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:25 AM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31
My teacher also teaches us to hold the wrist with the ring finger over the joint. When he applies this he is able to lock up the arm or control and bring me down to the ground. He has said that the purpose of this type of grip is to control the partner's center and prevent them from easily kicking or punching you. I'm not able to control my partners in nearly the same way that he can. He seems to be able to do it without undue strength and even on guys much bigger than him. In contrast I've also trained with guys who grip so strong that the blood drains from my hand. It hurts like hell but it doesn't control my center.
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Old 08-19-2003, 12:46 PM   #11
Dojo: Sand Drift Aikikai, Cocoa Florida
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 824

I've experienced the same thing. Although, at my dojo we usually don't grab like that for safety's sake, and it really does hurt the wrist, especially if you're small boned. When I do experience this, it's by men with big hands. They grab for above my wrist but end up grabbing on top of my wrist. And yes, there is a limited range of motion when this happens.

The key is to not let them fully complete the grab before they end up really bearing down hard on you. Or you can place your wrist into the palm of their hand right before they grab you. Just make sure your timing is right on this one, though, or they will just move for the usual place.

Anne Marie

Anne Marie Giri
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