tenouchi_toraguchiLately I have noticed that many of the students are not grabbing the opponents properly.  This could be due to the possibility that they are unaware of the correct way to grab in Aikido.  The proper way to grab is to use the tenouchiTenouchi (手の内) means the inside of the hand.  To grab using the tenouchi means that the emphasis is placed upon the pinky and ring fingers which form an imaginary circle with the thumb or more importantly the thenar eminence at the base of the thumb.  Now this doesn't mean the middle finder and pointer fingers are not used - it just means they are "de-emphasized" as the primary grippers (In the West we tend to grab more with the pointer and middle fingers).  The tenouchi style is the same method for holding a sword but in Aikido we also emphasize the "connection" by keeping the palm in connection with the opponents wrist or arm. How one grabs is important because the orientation of the grab will dictate how power will be not only generated but also used too and therefore creates the option for which technique is used.