what are everyones thought on using different or specialised striking tools?
By this i mean, fingertip strikes, middle knuckle strikes, thumb strikes, and wrist strikes
These sometimes appear in the forms but some of them seem a little impractical, my own study of forms has lead me to believe that at least some of the time that the movement isn't a strike at all but has another application. however that still leaves some movements that are simply a fingertip thrust or strike with the middle knuckle.
are these reclics of a by gone age when people had enough time to practice with these striking tools? through my study in China i have met a few teachers who speaicalise in these striking techniques but for the most part they are older and as well as conditioning exercises use breathing and visuaisation techniques. most people these days don;t have enough training time spare to devote to the 'fine' techniques as it is mainly (and quite rightly) taken up with practicing more common techniques, straight fist hammer fist and so on.
on the other hand they might have been recently added, as forms became more a display art, they pressure to only demostrate movements with sound combative principles behind them was severely lessened. this has given way to moves that are 'cool' both visualy and academically (through the supposed application) i heard one example of this from a friend of mine who had been studying in an army base. all the people there were from different backgrounds and styles so they were fairly friendly and open to anyone coming in who just wanted to train. one such fellow came along one night and joined in the class which consisted mainly of sparring. during the sparring every now and again he would dive forward and try to tap his opponent in ribs with his fingers. upon seeing this one of the senior guys took him to one side and asked him to explain this technique. The newcomer explained that at that point in a real fight he would acutally follow through and put his fingers through his opponents ribs. quiet bemused by this, the senior student lifted his arm and asked for the guy's best fingertip strike........... needless to say the ribs won.
i woul be very interested to hear others thoughts on this