How do you hold your arcade stick?

Tell us how you use your stick.

Below are a few questions to provoke thought and get the ball rolling.
(Believe me, as ridiculous as some of these seem, I guarantee you that someone somewhere does it the way you’re laughing about. Whether or not they’re good is another question entirely.)

Do you cradle your stick in a crab claw? Do you grip it in a tight fist? Do you pinch it between your thumb and index finger? Do you hover it overtop and reach down around it with your fingertips? Do you hold it lower down like a pool cue?

Do you tap directions? Jerk the stick around by tilting your wrist? Push and pull it with your whole arm? Finesse it gently with your fingertips?

When returing the stick to neutral, do you center it yourself or just let go?

Would you say you hold it out from your body, with your forearm coming off from the down direction? Into your chest, from the left direction? Moderately angled, from the down-left diagonal?

How tense is your stick hand? Fingers? Wrist? Arm?

What about your button hand? Wrist? Arm? Are your fingers curled and tight? Stiff and fully extended? Limp and hanging?

Do you rest your stick hand’s palm down and hold it still? Slide it around? Keep it hovering?

What about your button hand? Do you keep your fingertips on the buttons or off the buttons?

Do you tap your buttons? Just tickle the tops with your finger tips? Pound the plungers deep into their bezels?

Which fingers do you use for which buttons? What about when you’re pressing more than one simultaneously?

Most important: Is your style working for you? Is it comfortable? Are you happy with it? Do you feel like it’s holding you back, or is it helping you become even better?

A couple of things worth nothing…

- Be sure to mention what you play.
These answers tend to be very game-specific, and even character-specific. Everything from the layout to the game’s mechanics to timing and motions can have a significant effect. You may have different answers for different games. I do not play VF4E Akira the same way I play 3S Ryu.

- Be sure to mention what you use.
The answers also tend to depend greatly on exactly WHAT you’re using for a stick.
Is it a stock T5? The SF Anniversary box with Happ Competition joystick and pushbuttons? A HRAP2 modded with a Seimitsu LS-32 and screw-in buttons? A custom that was built for you? A restored Astro City cab you snagged off Craigslist? The ShadowBlade you found on the bargain table at RadioShack for eight dollars?
Do you use a bat joystick or a balltop lollipop? (hee hee that rhymes) Is it a Sanwa JLF? A Happ P360? Something Korean I can’t pronounce or spell or even remember? Square or octagonal restrictor plate?
Are your buttons in the American layout? Japanese layout? Neo Geo layout? Are they convex? Concave? Those weird flat Seimitsu snap-ins?
Does it have a wide top or is it a small one meant for portability? Is the surface plexiglass? Wood? Rubber? Something else???

I’m very curious to hear about what everyone else out there does.
Tell us how you use your stick.