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Stickfighting employs a variety of grips, and these are described below under their formal labels. Within the technique instructions, it is not always helpful to use just these technical terms, and description of the exact hand movements and position are sometimes given in their place. However, these basic grips and hand positions are fundamental to Stickfighting, and the reader should become familiar with them.

Normal Grip. In this grip, the thumb points up or away from the body (Figs. 1, 2).




Reverse Grip. Here, the thumb points down or away from the body (Figs. 3, 4).


Double Grip. Both hands in this grip are near the same tip. Usually the leading hand is the closest to the tip. Palms face opposite directions (Fig. 5).



Symmetrical Double Grip. The stick is held with both hands, one near each tip, palms facing in the same direction (Fig. 6).

Asymmetrical Double Grip. This grip is the same as the one immediately above, but the palms face opposite directions.

In A.S.P. stickfighting three guards are used. The first two are starting guards, in which no inkling of aggressive intentions is given, and the third is a continuation guard, for which it is assumed that we have already applied a technique and are preparing to foil a possible continuation of the initial attack.

Middle Grip. In this grip, one hand simply holds the stick at the middle (Fig. 7).

Double Middle Grip. Both hands hold the stick at the middle, palms facing opposite directions (Fig. 8).


Guard 1. Hold the stick as you would a cane or walking stick, except that your grip is near, not at, the tip. The thumb of the hand holding the stick is pointing down, the back of the hand is facing forward, and the leg on the side of the grip is retracted. Assuming that you are holding the stick with the right hand (i.e., in a right guard), the right foot should be behind a line formed by the left heel and the right wrist (Fig. 9).



Guard 2. Stand at ease, feet apart, and hold the stick with both hands, each hand near the corresponding tip, symmetrically, palms facing toward you (Fig. 10.



Guard 3. Assuming that you wish to take a left guard 3, step back with the right foot and hold the stick on the right side, parallel to the ground, left hand forward, palm facing either away from you or toward you, right hand near the right thigh, palm facing toward you. Your left-hand grip should be light and it is used to guide the stick forward during a thrust toward a target by the action of the right hand (Figs. 11, 12).

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