Ok, this is surely dumb noob question, but I just spent the better part of an hour searching this forum, and the web in general, and haven't found the "for dummies" answer I was looking for. A bit of background first: two weeks ago I hurt the knuckle of my forefinger while engaging in a bit of close-in "sword wrestling" using a French handle. It's getting better, but it still lacks strength and still causes some pain when attempting aggressive blade (epee) movements. I haven't done any bouts since, to give it time to heal. But now I fear, even after it's healed, injuring it again. Out of curiosity I figured I'd try playing around with a pistol grip at home, to see how my sore finger felt when gripping it. Ordered myself an epee with a Zivkovic GII handle, which arrived today. But now, what I figured would be intuitive - how to hold the thing - doesn't look so intuitive after all. There appear to be several possible ways to hold it. When I first picked it up, here's what seemed natural: the GII has pronounced grooves for three fingers, beneath the shaft of the handle, and into these I placed pinky, ring, and middle fingers. The index finger I placed on top of the handle, curled around the spikey thing on top, and the thumb sort of lays alongside it. This leaves the shaft of the handle protruding between the middle and index fingers sort of like a push-knife. My sore knuckle feels comfortable and secure like this, but now, I read about how one should manipulate the blade with the thumb and index finger, which I can't see doing with my fingers in this position. I can lay my index finger beneath the shaft of the handle, and my thumb on top, but this position hurts the sore knuckle something fierce, and even if it weren't for the soreness, the index finger and thumb feel pretty tightly jammed in there, with the index finger trying to push the middle finger out of its groove. The GII, according to the Zivkovic site, is for "medium to small" hands, and my hands are quite small. Is the GII too small, or is my "push-knife" finger position totally wrong?