Gripping the stick and sword

Discussion in 'Pekiti-Tirsia Kali' started by lhommedieu, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Just wondering if anyone else has noticed this: I was playing around the other day and focusing on cutting through with the edge of the blade. I noticed that tightening down with the last three fingers of my grip helped with edge orientation. I'd been taught to do this anyway for a couple or reasons (e.g. it helps you to retain your weapon if the pointer and thumb get hit; it seems to strengthen the alignment of the wrist, etc.) - but I'd never noticed such a strong relationship between grip and edge orientation. This is particularly true if you cant the wrist. Any thoughts?


  2. NAGA

    NAGA Member

    Blade type?

    Well since you are posting on the Pekiti Tirsia thread I suppose the Blade type you are talking about is either a Ginunting or a Talibong. What I have noticed is that there is a link between the way ones hand orientation on the handle relates too what one wants too accomplish. Closer to the guard for de cadena type movements and feints, lower down toward the butt for power cuts. Hope that helps....

  3. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    I think that the relationship might hold true for most blades. I am guessing that tightening the last couple of fingers on the hand helps form a connection between the edge of the blade and the ulnar side of the wrist, down the ulna to the elbow, and, in some way, connect up to the shoulders and lats.


  4. Jason Jones

    Jason Jones New Member

    When I was doing Iado I was taught that the last 3 fingers are the primary griping fingers in the motion. Any target test cut will show this on many levels that this is how you get straight, smooth cuts. The last three fingers not only give stability to the wrist but they will hold it and the blade in alignment. Whereas the thumb and primary finger will guide and turn the blade. You will notice that if you allow the thumb and primary finger more leverage with a test cut that it will cause the surface of the target to have a curve.
  5. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    That makes sense. I notice also that the last three fingers line up the the center of the wrist, whereas the forefinger and thumb line up with the radius, i.e, they are literally "off center."
  6. acdcnate

    acdcnate New Member

    Gripping a stick or long blade is always done with a full grip. A knife is done with the last three fingers. The blade orientation is where your secondary knuckles are when you grasp a stick or blade. Hand blade principle 101
  7. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Why is a stick or long blade gripped differently than a knife?
  8. silat1

    silat1 Active Member

    Why would you grip a knife with the last 3 fingers? Never have I heard of this idea before.. In the saber grip, all of your fingers are wrapped around the handle and the thumb is laid along side the guard, or on top depending on the guard.. In the hammer grip, the forefinger and thumb are pretty much wrapped over each other while the rest of the fingers grab the handle.. In the use of the snap cut, you will get most of your action with the wrist action and that is pretty much the way it should be used.. In the balintawak system and the sinko tiros system I teach, the knuckles are in line with the spine of the blade and even with my limited exposure into the other systems I have dabbled in, the knuckles are the same way..
  9. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member


    Nate may be referring to the use of the short daga in a technique called "clipping." In Pekiti Tirsia Kali a short daga in "pakal" style (blade-in while holding in ice-pick grip) can also be gripped in sabre grip (with edge-up). Holding the daga in sabre grip with the bottom three fingers allows you to use the forefinger and thumb to "clip" the opponent's wrist or elbow. The joint falls between the web created by opening the forefinger and thumb, and the limb is checked or guided using the web as a temporary point of contact. When the other hand is brought into play the daga can be pulled away to create a friction (draw) cut wherein the daga hand pulls away to provide the force and the other hand provides a fulcrum against which the limb rests. (PM me for a link to a video, if you're interested). However, this doesn't mean that the daga is always held with three fingers - but only temporarily while checking or guiding the limb. I'll defer to those with more experience in Pekiti to elaborate.

    By way of analogy: Momoy Canete liked to place his forefinger along the flat of the blade during a thrust (he claimed it helped him to "point" to where he wanted the daga to go) - but one wouldn't say that the correct way to hold a daga is to always place your finger along the flat of the blade - just at the appropriate moment.


  10. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    Gripping on weapons

    Hard and fast rules never apply to the master. Someone like Grand Tuhon Leo T. Gaje can do whatever he wants whenever he wants and who is to say what is right and wrong? That being said, he has specifically taught when I have been around to have the index finger parallel to the blade of a knife.

    Other experiences in PTK have been this:

    stick/sword - in general I hear the grip the whole handle with all fingers.
    That being said I think I have seen Grand Tuhon Gaje with his thumb on top of a weapon a la sabre grip, maybe specifically or especially when doing short thrusting types of techniques.

    knife - upon impact it should be sabre grip according to my experience if in sak sak and slashing. You can certainly dig up alot of pictures of PTK people with the gun hand look(thumb up and index finger pointed out) if you look at action photos. From what I understand, one reason is certainly the clipping of the elbow or wrist(good for opening a doorknob when all knifed out as well) Another reason I have heard is that theoretically not gripping with the thumb and index finger allows the muscles to not work against each other so much and be able to move faster. They grip to saber before impact.

    I personally seem to think keeping the index finger parallel to the blade helps me point to the target but at the same time greatly increases the ability of the hand to slip down the knife towards the blade.

    Anyway, guess the answer is gray or depending on variables and not black and white.

    Oh yeah.. and with a knife the thumb can also stop the knife as it reaches your chest or be moved across your body with thumb in contact to keep the knife close but also away from your body as well so the knife isn't contacting the body but rather the thumb.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2011
  11. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Senior Member

    Actually I described it a bit incorrectly: the "clip" occurs between the edge of the edge-up blade and the thumb; when the friction (draw) cut is made the fingers retract back to the handle.


  12. acdcnate

    acdcnate New Member

    You grip the long weapon with a full grip because you have more weight and power going into the strike. There is some corrections to this, you break this grip when you start doing thrusting. You either guide the blade with the fore finger or the thumb. The knife is held with the last three fingers because a knife is much faster, the Filipinos discovered that if you full grip a knife, it significantly slows down the weapon, within compromising grip integrity. I could be wrong in my answer, but hey, I learned it from the top of the food chain!
  13. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011
  14. equilibrium

    equilibrium Member

    and I actually screwed up here, as I forgot to show putting the index finger along the knife blade. GT Gaje teaches this specifically. My feeling on it is that it is especially useful when thrusting, as it makes it idiot proof the exact place where the tip of the knife is.(exactly where your index finger is pointing)

    I simply prefer the saber grip in general. Sometimes I find myself switching from saber to the index finger pointing while in movement.

    It is what it is.

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