Originally Posted by mumu
I had sign up for this class awhile back. I was just so happy i got such a wonderful comment from the instructor and how he was impressed with the video i showed him. (he might use in his class down the road). just had to tell u guys. Not a problem for me just a lot of confusion on how every one has different ways of using a knife. To much reading and video:)
I believe that you are trying to make this more complicated than it actually is. I don't know what to call one knife stroke from another, but I do know that for anything but crisp veggies that i need to stroke the knife across what I'm cutting. It's actually a sliding and rocking motion, and it works with raw chicken breast just as well as it does with cucumber, with pre-cooked meat just as with a tomato.
I can slide the knife either away from or toward me to get the job done, but I usually push away for the cutting stroke. I do not consider it as "sawing" - I'm slicing food in a fairly precise manner, not hacking it up by sawing with a dull or serrated blade.
Every bit as important as the stroke is how you hold the knife and whether or not the knife fits comfortably in your hand. Most experienced cooks use the pinch method (but it isn't the only possible way), pinching the blade between the thumb and forefinger, with the other 3 fingers holding the blade steady and much of the power comes from pushing the handle with the heel of your hand.
Also, watch this short YouTube video: How to hold a chef's knife.