Best Grip for Short Fingers

Discussion in 'Armory - Q&A' started by Gingerbread, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. Gingerbread

    Gingerbread Rookie

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    Hello, I'm new here (and to fencing in general) and I'm in desperate need of advice.

    - You see, I have very small hands and short, Homer Simpson fingers, and I'm having trouble finding the correct grip to suite my needs. Since I'm just a novice , I've been using my instructor's equitment; a generic begginer's French Grip Foil.
    I tried Pistol Grip, but I find it uncomfortable; however, French Grip isn't that much better; my thumb barely touches the top of the grip (excuse bad terminology)

    Is there any quirky, offbeat foil grips that I should check out? I live in NYC, so I shouldn't have any trouble tracking anything down; and my funds are sufficient - I'm all for ordering some limited, discontinued, rule-grey area-ed grip.

    Sorry for taking up your time...
     
  2. erooMynohtnA

    erooMynohtnA Podium

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    I don't understand what you mean by your thumb barely touching the top of the grip. You could Zivkovic grips, specifically the models intended for younger fencers.
     
  3. Gingerbread

    Gingerbread Rookie

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    Well, I essentially hold the French grip as if my hands is in a fist, because my thumb can barely stay up while holding the foil (Sorry, I'm really bad at describing this stuff) Basically, I can't hold it the correct way; due to my small hands.
     
  4. chiiluver

    chiiluver Rookie

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    if you hold your hands like a fist, look into the Russian pistol. You should ask your coach for some examples. I'm pretty sure he'd have a few (read a lot) of grips lying around for you to test before buying your own.
     
  5. Dunar

    Dunar Rookie

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    If you do want to try a Zivkovic try to find someplace that sells them and try out a few different models. I have one that I really love to use but some other models I've tried were bad for my point control because they forced me to make larger wrist movements.

    Also, the issue could just be the size of the grips. You might find that a smaller sized italian visconte (the standard pistol grip) could be the most comfortable or even if you can find a french with different dimensions than the one you currently use.
     
  6. fencerbill

    fencerbill Podium

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    Have you tried kids size French grips? They are thinner in size than the regular. You might have to shorten the tang.
     
  7. AdamH

    AdamH Rookie

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    Might not be a terrible thing at all. Start with your thumb on top, pommel down the middle of the inside of your wrist and forearm. If, with your index finger the 'bottom' of the french grip won't sit on the second phalanx of the finger, no reason really not to let it sit on the first joint of your index finger. Provided you can get your middle or 4th finger pad around the grip to touch on the 'left' of the handle, all is well. This presumes fencing right-handed with the thumb almost on top, perhaps at 1 o'clock.

    You can still learn fingerplay if the above all applies, although if full supination (ie, thumb at 3 o'clock) is impossible as the foil simply falls out of your hand, have a look at the smaller grips here:

    http://www.allstar-fencing.co.uk/acatalog/Foil_Handles_and_Accessories_Non_Electric_.html

    Leon Paul also stock plastic pistol grips which may be filed down to fit your hand.

    The important thing is to a find a grip you can hold comfortably but does not fill your hand. Truth be told, small fingers may be something of an advantage as your fingerplay will be easier to maintain when tired and/or with adrenaline coursing through you - lower resolution of movement means less room for error.

    I do know some very few fencers with excellent fingerplay that advocate contact with the first joint of the index finger, or even the pad of the index finger for the highest level of precision and fine movement. They mostly combine this with a tighter grip when using the 3rd and 4th fingers for parries/takings. It takes a lot of discipline and familiarity to apply the appropriate pressures with the right fingers in the right situations! Again their point control is more sensitive to becoming tired/adrenaline/being put under pressure, but when on form, their disengages/deceives/what have you are frighteningly tight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  8. RITFencing

    RITFencing Rookie

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    What I would suggest is looking into some very small pistol grips. Absolute sells them, and I'm sure many others do as well. Personally, I like a grip that is almost too small for my hands, as it forces me to use my fingertips to manipulate it.
     
  9. mackillian

    mackillian Rookie

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    I also have small hands and short fingers. I use a Belgian short grip (on that page they call it "Short Orthopedic Insulated Prieur Handle") on my foils. I went through trying out quite a few different grips and this one works the best. Folks with larger hands find them practically impossible to use, but they fit my small hand perfectly. They also allow for a great deal of fingerwork when you hold them a bit loosely (loose enough so that you can put a finger between your palm and the grip).
     

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