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Dave Plaza
11-14-2010, 04:20 PM
Hi folks,

I am reading an aikido book by Gozo Shioda. At the beginning he talks about shuchu-ryoku (focused power) and the importance of it, this is the power developed from unifying the whole body.

Quote from the book...

the "trick" to concentrated power is in the big toe. When we fix the big toe to the floor, power comes into the hips. To that power you can the add the acceleration of the "spring" action of the knee. If these movements are all done together, a very powerful force is developed. Because of this, developing the big toe through, for example, kneeling techniques are very important.

My question is, do you agree with the importance of this, and if so, what are these kneeling techniques, and also do you know of any further "big toe" exercises?

Thanks

Dave :)

Pauliina Lievonen
11-14-2010, 05:53 PM
With kneeling techniques I assume he means working in suwariwaza?

I think you can make a start by just being aware of your big toes when you practice your footwork. Which part of your foot do you stand on, or push with when you start a step? Can you think of a connection from you big toes to your knees to your waist when you move?

kvaak
Pauliina

Abasan
11-14-2010, 08:48 PM
If you look (but don't stare) you will see that Gozo Shioda, Kancho Inoue and I think even Joe Thambu has pronounced turned in big toes... its probably the way they have their weight placed on the toe and the movement that comes with it.

But I heard that Osensei used to wear white socks in his last years to the dojo. The tatami although cleaned regularly still give out stains, but they found that only his ball of the feet is black, the rest remained white.

However, a method I would deem close to having this power in the toe would probably be practising standing up on your toes and bouncing up and down then to stand without putting weight on your heels. As you get better with the weight distribution, I bet you could channel it to your toes only if you wish.

Rabih Shanshiry
11-14-2010, 08:52 PM
Hi folks,

I am reading an aikido book by Gozo Shioda. At the beginning he talks about shuchu-ryoku (focused power) and the importance of it, this is the power developed from unifying the whole body.

Quote from the book...

the "trick" to concentrated power is in the big toe. When we fix the big toe to the floor, power comes into the hips. To that power you can the add the acceleration of the "spring" action of the knee. If these movements are all done together, a very powerful force is developed. Because of this, developing the big toe through, for example, kneeling techniques are very important.

My question is, do you agree with the importance of this, and if so, what are these kneeling techniques, and also do you know of any further "big toe" exercises?

Thanks

Dave :)

I can't speak to the importance of developing the big toe but I am in position to argue with Gozo Shioda. It certainly worked for him.

One of the ways that we develop the big toe strength in Yoshinkan-style Aikido is through seiza. After kneeling, the final motion is to push your body forward with your big toes.

Another exercise that I have heard of is practicing pulling yourself across the dojo, inch by inch, by your toes (especially the big toes).

...rab

Chris Farnham
11-14-2010, 09:21 PM
I have never done Yoshinkan but one exercise I know of that is really good for building toe strength is to sit in seiza and repeatedly go from tucked toes to live toes without raising your backside off of your heals(or as close as you can get to that). With each toe flex raise your arms to about forehead level(kokyu dosa movement).

Chris Farnham
11-14-2010, 09:51 PM
I have never done Yoshinkan but one exercise I know of that is really good for building toe strength is to sit in seiza and repeatedly flex yours toes into the live toe position with out raising your backside off of your heals(or as close as you can get to that) with each toe flex raise your arms to about forehead level(kokyu dosa movement).

Janet Rosen
11-14-2010, 11:07 PM
If you look (but don't stare) you will see that Gozo Shioda, Kancho Inoue and I think even Joe Thambu has pronounced turned in big toes...h.
sorry for stray "h" in quote, my iPod sometimes won't let me put cursor where I want...anyhow...the nurse can't help but wonder if the tuned in big toe is a midlife bunion as a result of chronic overuse of big toe? Any students of these gentlemen know if they complained of that later in life?

Adam Huss
11-15-2010, 12:02 AM
grip mat with your toes, then relax and slide on the balls of your feet when moving, lock back when finish in zanshin. focus pivots and shifts on the big toe ball of foot while maintaining low and consistent center of gravity, it should feel like your snapping your heel out and you have a sudden weight shift while maintaining center. I worked on this for a month straight, being my training focus. But that's me. Best of luck.....training in kiza/seiza works well also, but Rab mentioned it already.

kewms
11-15-2010, 12:17 AM
I think I've got a long way to go before big toe strength will be the limiting factor in my aikido...

Katherine

SeiserL
11-15-2010, 05:05 AM
IMHO, awareness. All movement starts at your connection to the earth. Weight forward (not on your heels).

kokyu
11-15-2010, 07:19 AM
With kneeling techniques I assume he means working in suwariwaza?

I think you can make a start by just being aware of your big toes when you practice your footwork. Which part of your foot do you stand on, or push with when you start a step? Can you think of a connection from you big toes to your knees to your waist when you move?

kvaak
Pauliina

I agree... if you train frequently enough and your movement is correct, you will start to feel the fatigue in your big toes

CitoMaramba
11-15-2010, 07:46 AM
By "kneeling techniques", I believe Shioda Kancho meant suwari-waza. Of course to do suwari-waza, you need to do shikko (knee walking properly).. this also develops the big toe..
As mentioned in previous posts, the most basic is moving from seiza to kiza .. then try doing this movement as the first part of ryote dori kokyu dosa, keeping the arms relaxed..

tim evans
11-15-2010, 08:37 AM
Use it and put a sock on it.:D

Flintstone
11-15-2010, 12:08 PM
As mentioned in previous posts, the most basic is moving from seiza to kiza .. then try doing this movement as the first part of ryote dori kokyu dosa, keeping the arms relaxed..
And then, some koryu perform seated techniques while in seiza, not in kiza. Uhmmm.... And they certainly display aiki.

CitoMaramba
11-15-2010, 03:08 PM
And then, some koryu perform seated techniques while in seiza, not in kiza. Uhmmm.... And they certainly display aiki.

Well it is one way... not the only way... thanks for letting us know..

phitruong
11-15-2010, 03:37 PM
i got a pretty big toe. didn't help my aikido any. maybe it has something to do with dropping a couple of big and heavy items on it. question, would your big toe make any different if you do aikido while wearing shoes? hate to get into a fight and have to ask folks to wait while i take off my shoes. :D although i kinda like my steel toe shoes.

David Yap
11-15-2010, 10:45 PM
sorry for stray "h" in quote, my iPod sometimes won't let me put cursor where I want...anyhow...the nurse can't help but wonder if the tuned in big toe is a midlife bunion as a result of chronic overuse of big toe? Any students of these gentlemen know if they complained of that later in life?

You are right about the bunion, Janet. I am not a student of these gentlemen but I did notice on a few occasions that Inoue kancho do need some assistance from his otomo with his flip-flops when stepping onto and or the mats after seminars.

Dave Plaza
11-18-2010, 06:53 AM
Thank you very much everyone for your insightful, helpful advice about this.

Dave :)

Walter Martindale
11-18-2010, 10:42 AM
Having read neither the original Japanese nor the English translation of Gozo Shioda's description of "big toe" and reading the tale of O-Sensei and his white socks stained black under the ball of the foot - is it possible that "big toe" is a mis-translation of what the original meant "ball of foot"?
Weight on the ball of the foot, rather than settled back on the heel, permits "athletic" movement - using all kinds of springy ligaments and tendons in the lower limb for quick motion, while there's not a whole heck of a lot of power in "the big toe" by itself. Pushing off the big toe after a movement starts from the ball of the foot, I can see, but... Is it perhaps possible that some take translated statements a bit to literally?
Cheers,
Walter

David Orange
11-18-2010, 12:46 PM
i got a pretty big toe.

Have you considered toe modeling?

It's like hand modeling, only....well....

David Orange
11-18-2010, 12:53 PM
what are these kneeling techniques, and also do you know of any further "big toe" exercises?


Dave, as others have mentioned, shikko and suwari waza are good, but to me, the "landing" from forward rolling ukemi should be onto the ball of the rear foot rather than onto the instep (top of the foot).

I've always felt this was a serious technical flaw in most aikido I've seen, where the person rolls onto the rear instep and then has to change the foot position to stand up. In yoseikan, we always learned to roll directly onto the ball of the foot, so that we can stand up directly from the roll without any changes.

Also, I've seen people (many, many people) who can't do a rear roll without picking up their rear foot and putting it down with the instep down. I think these two methods do a lot of harm to the correct development of aikido technique and power.

Best to you.

David

C. David Henderson
11-18-2010, 01:30 PM
FWIW, many yoga poses directly or indirectly condition the toes, feet, and ankles. Also they work throughout the range of motion of the joints to create balance.

cguzik
11-18-2010, 06:22 PM
As Charles mentioned, many yoga poses are good for this. For example, surya namaskar (sun salutations) involve rolling over the toes when transitioning from a low plank pose (chaturanga dandasana or stick pose) to upward facing dog, and then rolling over them the other way when transitioning from upward facing dog to downward facing dog. In other words, rolling around your toes to go from the tops of your feet touching the floor to the balls of your feet touching the floor.

A good exercise for developing toe strength is to stand on your toes / balls of your feet for as long as possible. You can also do multiple repetitions (heels lifting up as high as possible... stay there... back down, repeat). This is also good for developing your balance.

Chris

cguzik
11-18-2010, 06:29 PM
There is a youtube video that includes a very brief clip of Gozo Shioda pinning someone's foot to the floor using his big toe between his partner's big toe and second toe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKqiFNGXPFU&feature=player_embedded

It looks like he's transferring a large portion of his weight right through that one toe... which would in fact require some strength there.

Dazzler
11-19-2010, 05:32 AM
Having read neither the original Japanese nor the English translation of Gozo Shioda's description of "big toe" and reading the tale of O-Sensei and his white socks stained black under the ball of the foot - is it possible that "big toe" is a mis-translation of what the original meant "ball of foot"?
Weight on the ball of the foot, rather than settled back on the heel, permits "athletic" movement - using all kinds of springy ligaments and tendons in the lower limb for quick motion, while there's not a whole heck of a lot of power in "the big toe" by itself. Pushing off the big toe after a movement starts from the ball of the foot, I can see, but... Is it perhaps possible that some take translated statements a bit to literally?
Cheers,
Walter

Toe..che! we are thinking on the same lines :)

lbb
11-19-2010, 09:42 AM
Doesn't developing the big toe require the intervention of Sergeant Hulka?

grondahl
11-19-2010, 10:17 AM
There is a post somewhere on Aikiweb (or AJ or E-budo) where Mike Sigman mentions the big toe and similarities to other IMA. Hm, time to do some searching.

Adam Huss
11-26-2010, 09:10 PM
Love the Stripes reference...."our new, bestest big toe"

John Matsushima
11-27-2010, 05:54 PM
Dave, as others have mentioned, shikko and suwari waza are good, but to me, the "landing" from forward rolling ukemi should be onto the ball of the rear foot rather than onto the instep (top of the foot).

I've always felt this was a serious technical flaw in most aikido I've seen, where the person rolls onto the rear instep and then has to change the foot position to stand up. In yoseikan, we always learned to roll directly onto the ball of the foot, so that we can stand up directly from the roll without any changes.

Also, I've seen people (many, many people) who can't do a rear roll without picking up their rear foot and putting it down with the instep down. I think these two methods do a lot of harm to the correct development of aikido technique and power.

Best to you.

David

I agree. I have found also, that when I use the instep of my foot for ukemi, I also tend to bang up my knees.

I also agree with what Walter Mondale said about something getting lost in translation. I don't think Shioda was talking about the actual physical strength of the big toe.

I found that shikko helps if you walk using only the balls of your feet. Another way is to do if flat-footed, but this won't help I think.

One other method I found that helps is by practicing a lunging forward punch, not like a typical karate stance. Make sure your knee moves over and past your forward foot.

Walter Martindale
11-28-2010, 02:27 AM
I also agree with what Walter Mondale said about something getting lost in translation. I don't think Shioda was talking about the actual physical strength of the big toe.
.
Mondale - wasn't he Vice-POTUS of America at one time?... I've been to the US a few times... Probably accumulated about four months, all told, by now - since my first visit in about 1974 or 75.
W

John Matsushima
11-28-2010, 07:57 PM
Mondale - wasn't he Vice-POTUS of America at one time?... I've been to the US a few times... Probably accumulated about four months, all told, by now - since my first visit in about 1974 or 75.
W

Ha Ha, Sorry about that Mr. Martindale.

Walter Martindale
11-29-2010, 02:18 AM
Ha Ha, Sorry about that Mr. Martindale.

dai-jobu
:)

Tony Wagstaffe
11-29-2010, 04:44 AM
Some one stop me laughing will they?:D :D .....

Walter Martindale
11-29-2010, 08:36 AM
Some one stop me laughing will they?:D :D .....
well. Ok..

STOP THAT!!!!

Tony Wagstaffe
11-29-2010, 11:15 AM
well. Ok..

STOP THAT!!!!

Sorry can't...... some one hand me a handkerchief.......bwahaahaahhhaaaa :D :D

Tony Wagstaffe
11-29-2010, 11:39 AM
Allright just serious for a moment..... titter.....
You could try balancing on your big toe like a ballet dancer......
Bwaaaaha aha haa haaa ahaaaa .... oh jaysus ........... bwaha haa ha aha it's just sooooo funny

Shany
12-05-2010, 06:57 AM
what it means is that, the earth is a magnetic field, when you walk with shoes your body become an insulator, therefore earth's electrons can't access your body, however when you walk barefoot outside, your body 'reconnects' with earth and charges you with electrons.

the connection point is the feet (toes, heel and palm of your feet), this way energy is moving up into your torso and than to the rest of your body. the more grounded (barefoot on earth's ground - not a mat) the more you'll be charged with energy (which is beneficial to your health too, since our body is 90% water, we are a great conductors)