I have come across the principle of leading the force with the fingers in quite a few places, including Wu shi taijiquan and xingyibaguazhang.
This doesn't mean that the fingers are the part that moves the body, as the body must always move from the legs and dantien, but what it means is that the fingers act as a guide for the force to correctly transmit the jin to the end of the hand. When most people practice internal martial arts and do fali movements, they tend to get most of the li stuck in their body and not have it go to the tip of their hand, so leading with the fingers is a good way to get the li out of the hands.
I've been fooling around with this idea in yang shi taijiquan practice, especially in grasp sparrow's tail. My take on it is that the fingers always guide and help transform the force, but I'm looking for input on how to perform this function correctly?
I haven't been able to receive in depth body mechanics instruction in Yang shi taijiquan for several years as I am away from any teachers who can provide this type of training. Any good recommendations are welcome!! (so are bad ones of course )