To use the hand as a weapon requires it to be strong in all actions. Not only must the action of gripping be strong the motion of opening the fingers from the grip must also be strong, as in releasing the hand from a grip.
Most people strength train their arms, legs, and abdomen but neglect their hands. Mas Oyama, one of the most powerful martial arts of this time (he fought and killed bulls barehanded), describes hand and finger exercises in his book Essential Karate. One exercise consists of placing the palms and fingers of both hands together in a prayer-like position with the fingers pointed upward in front of the chest. The hands and fingers are then pushed together in an isometric manner. While maintaining the pressure, the hand are raised above the head and then lowered to the level of the solar plexus. The same up and down motion is used with the finger are pointed away from the body and then with the fingers pointed downward. These motions strengthen the wrists, arms, and chest, while also building flexibility in the wrists.
To strengthen the fingers and wrist, perform pushups on palms with fingers pointed inward, forward, outward, and backward; on fists with knuckles facing inward, forward, outward, and backward; on five, four, three, and two fingers and finally on the thumbs. Another traditional exercise is to stand in a sitting stance with the arms extending to the front and repeatedly close, squeeze, and extend the fingers rapidly for a few minutes.
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