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Hand Tricks

Circle of Iron

The Circle of Iron is a demonstration of how to properly use your hand to grasp things.

Fig. 1 Circle of Iron Fig. 2 Test of Circle of Iron

  1. Nage's hand is held as in Fig. 1 with the tips of the thumb and first finger pressed against each other. Nage is instructed to press the tips of the thumb and first finger together to resist the pull in Fig. 2.
  2. Fig. 2 shows the test of the Ring of Iron. The tester pulls Nage's finger away from Nage's thumb. Following the instructions to resist this is usually easy to do.
  3. Next Nage is usually instructed to imagine Ki flowing in a circle through the circle formed by the Ring of Iron. With this instruction and practice Nage eventually gets where the fingers cannot be pulled apart.
  4. A better instruction is for Nage not to resist the testers pull but rather put the tips of the first finger and thumb together as shown in Fig. 1. Then rather than resist the tester pull the tips of the finger and thumb toward the body of the hand. This makes it much easier for Nage's fingers to stay together so that normally the tester cannot separate the fingers.
  5. This is another example of the Aiki principle of exerting force at right angles to the applied force.
  6. The principle of squeezing the fingers towards the palm rather than pushing the fingers in a circle is important in holding weapons, clothes or body parts.

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Last Update 3/17/2008