Sai & Shotokan Karate Techniques : How to Hold a Sai

All right, here we have the sai. The sai started
and came from Okinawa. Years ago the Japanese invaded Okinawa, and they took all their weapons,
their swords and different things to defend themselves. So, they had to use farm tools.
The sai was originally a farm tool that they used, and they ended up using it to block
their sword. They use this whole area, here, to block the sword and to strike the armor
of the Samurai. First off, we’re going to show you how to hold the sai. So, when we
have the sai just in a down position, just in a regular position, it’s straight. You
always want it straight, all the way down your arm. So, your pointer finger is going
to be pointing up on the handle. Your bottom…your thumb, it’s going to be under the first curve,
rung, right there. And the other three fingers folded over the top. Now, you want it straight
down to guard your arm, all right? That bone. And turn to look there. You always want it
straight, you don’t want it out like this, ’cause you want it to guard that bone. So
when you block, blocks that whole arm right there. When you punch, it’s straight. If it’s
out, it’s going to come back and hit you. You want it straight. All right, now I’ll
show you how to hold…when we use…when we flip it out to strike. All right. Your
fingers are going to be folded over, all four. Grab the handle, pop it out, and your thumbs
going to move to the middle of the sai. You want to make sure that your fingers are not
in the middle, anywhere near it, ’cause they’ll get cut off. ‘Cause that is used to block.
So you want it away from there. And then we come back the same way. Over, and back. And
again, you want it straight. Straight through. All right, now I’m going to show you how to
hold the sai when you do a different strike. We’re going to go over top, straight over.
So our fingers come over again, but instead of going this way, we’re going to go straight
down. Okay. And what happened there, I move my thumb out of the way, slide it down below,
so all your hand is just at the handle. Right there. And you bring it back, right over.
Just a straight, fast, over-top strike, and back. Show the other hand. Be sure you want
to do it straight over. Hold that all the way, tight. And that’s how we hold the sai
on all of our blocks and basic strikes.

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