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Doug Mathieu
06-03-2002, 01:40 PM
Hi All

I have a question on Tai Sabaki.

Over the years I commonly hear the same remark from our Shihan in Western Canada and that is during seminars and tests students have either poor tai sabaki or do not apply enough tai sabaki.

I have a general understanding that tai sabaki has to do with body motion.

In my earlier stages of training I thought that meant he wanted us to make bigger motions and that we were to tight and small with our movement. Then I thought it was more the issue of poor foot work and body position. More recently I have been thinking it has to be more yet. Here is what I have come up with:

1. Footwork
2. Proper Body position
3. timing of movement
4. Whole body movement compared to arms only or upper body
5. correct order of movement

The difficulty we have is our Shihans english is very broken so its hard to know if his choice of words matches his intent.

Do you think I'm on the right track, is there really only one aspect, do you have a better way to pull it together? Is there one central theme that defines what good tai sabaki really is?


06-04-2002, 03:39 AM

I think your list of 'essentials' is good - however you need one more item which should probably be in the high end of the list: Allways move from your center. I know this is very similar to your item no. 4, but I think it's important to emphazise that your center should be the primary origin of movement.

In my experience both the timing and the size of tai sabaki should follow from the attack you are responding to thereby guiding your footwork, so it all comes down to being aware of (every) uke at all times and move from your center. Can't do it though - but I just LOVE practicing :D

Just my 2 x 0.01 Kr.

Doug Mathieu
06-06-2002, 12:30 PM
Hi Jorgen

Thanks for the comment and I agree moving from the center is so important it deserves top billing.