i've herd this about the fingers being splayed before from top karate instructors. initially i followed it like doctrine, but i spar a lot and i practice BJJ, and honestly i've found it to be a moot point. different hand positions represent different ways of grabbing, or different techniques, so they need to be followed for details sake. actually, i now don't focus on keeping a tight hand through the kata now, my focus is on what my core is doing and how i move my center of gravity.
and about the foot thing. lets just say i've spent a lot of time on it already. i have a weird arch in my foot and the middle of the sole of my foot dosn't touch the ground. i understand the point you made, but my foot anatomically can't do it. if i push the outside edge down to make the space smaller, the inside edge of my foot rises. maybe that means that karate isn't for me.
thanks again, the more it gets disected the more i learn.
its not supposed to make sense