Aikido is an international language in and of itself. Here is a lovely short film of a German practitioner talking about the use of hands in aikido.
Translation, as provided by my friend, Alan McKay of the Urban Hippy blog...
"I am always astonished at how (rough) people are with their hands. The strength they use when they grab - either it is far too firm, or they do not trust themselves to grab (ed: meaning, grab too lightly). It does not feel natural. I think a key benefit of Aikido is that people can learn to use their hands in a more natural way much like kids do when they first start grasping things. Not all cramped up or stretched out. Just simple. Simplicity of movement is what they can achieve."