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JimClark
01-14-2013, 07:27 PM
I have observed for quite some time (both in video and in person) that the vast majority of Iwama Aikido practitioners tend to adopt a posture where the torso is slightly bent forward and the butt is pushed out both before and during technique. Not having come up in the Iwama tradition, I'm wondering if this is intentional, and if so what is the purpose?

I just finished listening to Stanley Pranin and Pat Hendricks Senseis podcast where some mention was made as to Morihiro Saito's posture/movement in regard to arthritis at a relatively young age (40's I believe). I have often wondered if it was possible that an entire generation of aikidoka were imitating the posture of someone not capable of a perfectly upright stance. I mean no disrespect to Saito Sensei and his students, as I have a lot of respect for the quality of Iwama Aikido. I'm simply curious to see if someone can provide some information.

Thanks,

Jim

Chris Li
01-14-2013, 08:20 PM
I have observed for quite some time (both in video and in person) that the vast majority of Iwama Aikido practitioners tend to adopt a posture where the torso is slightly bent forward and the butt is pushed out both before and during technique. Not having come up in the Iwama tradition, I'm wondering if this is intentional, and if so what is the purpose?

I just finished listening to Stanley Pranin and Pat Hendricks Senseis podcast where some mention was made as to Morihiro Saito's posture/movement in regard to arthritis at a relatively young age (40's I believe). I have often wondered if it was possible that an entire generation of aikidoka were imitating the posture of someone not capable of a perfectly upright stance. I mean no disrespect to Saito Sensei and his students, as I have a lot of respect for the quality of Iwama Aikido. I'm simply curious to see if someone can provide some information.

Thanks,

Jim

Gaku Homma wrote an interesting article (http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_articles/07/no_suwariwaza/no_suwariwaza.html) that touches on this. Try and guess which "respected shihan" he's talking about. :)

Best,

Chris

JimClark
01-14-2013, 09:30 PM
Interesting. Thanks for the link Chris.

ChrisHein
01-15-2013, 12:05 AM
I saw some pictures of myself just after my shodan test, and noticed that I had "Iwama hip" (the posture you are talking about). While I've heard some people say that there are advantages to this posture, I took measures to correct it, as it doesn't fall in line with my ideas of correct body use. Although I've noticed it still appears when I'm doing something that is particularly "Iwama style".

So from my experience, you just kind of naturally start adopting the posture, whether you like it or not. I didn't and have worked to correct it.

sorokod
01-15-2013, 02:13 AM
I have observed for quite some time (both in video and in person) that the vast majority of Iwama Aikido practitioners tend to adopt a posture where the torso is slightly bent forward and the butt is pushed out both before and during technique. Not having come up in the Iwama tradition, I'm wondering if this is intentional, and if so what is the purpose?




Do you mean like this https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bit3WM_GmzUVB-fnc2bQc8GyS-veHGQNQHs-WoXG3Do?feat=directlink and this https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/s-a5cOC9DiGDeoPe-5jGDMGyS-veHGQNQHs-WoXG3Do?feat=directlink ?

sorokod
01-15-2013, 02:35 AM
Gaku Homma wrote an interesting article (http://www.nippon-kan.org/senseis_articles/07/no_suwariwaza/no_suwariwaza.html) that touches on this. Try and guess which "respected shihan" he's talking about. :)

Best,

Chris

Saotome ? :)

Chris Li
01-15-2013, 09:22 AM
Saotome ? :)

I've only seen him once, for a couple of hours, in the last 20+ years, so it'd be hard for me to say. :D

Anyway, they're Homma's comments, not mine, but I thought they'd be interesting in the context of the OP.

Best,

Chris

sorokod
01-15-2013, 10:52 AM
The link to the podcast:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HlVGpTajjPQ

JimClark
01-15-2013, 10:08 PM
Do you mean like this https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/bit3WM_GmzUVB-fnc2bQc8GyS-veHGQNQHs-WoXG3Do?feat=directlink and this https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/s-a5cOC9DiGDeoPe-5jGDMGyS-veHGQNQHs-WoXG3Do?feat=directlink ?

David:
Neither of these images displays what I'm talking about. In the first, uke has something resembling what I'm talking about, but it's because kuzushi has already occurred, and O'Sensei has an erect posture, not what I am referring to. In the second, O'Sensei is leaned slightly forward, but is clearly in the midst of his movement and technique and is not displaying the posture I'm referring to.

Typically, I see this posture before engagement, at an intermediate step with a pause when technique is done step-wise or "kihon" as they say, and quite often as a finishing posture. Also, it is quite prevalent in many videos of Iwama weapons kata.

Regards,

Jim

ChrisHein
01-15-2013, 11:56 PM
http://www.aiki-shuren-dojo.com/images/Ethan_roberta.png

This is the kind of posture you are talking about, right (the guy finishing his tsuki in front). With the back hip sticking out . I think it actually comes from the step wise way of learning Iwama Aikido. Because there are so many pauses in between the movements, there is a tendency to lean into the back hip. When I watch Saito Sensei do Aikido, it's not very pronounced, however many of his students do it a lot. It's like the bokken bounce at the end of the suburi, Saito sensei's is noticeable, but his student's is much more so.

Demetrio Cereijo
01-16-2013, 04:54 AM
Saito Morihiro (as I was told by Paolo Corallini) called it the 'Donald Duck Posture' and considered it incorrect.

robin_jet_alt
01-16-2013, 05:42 AM
Saito Morihiro (as I was told by Paolo Corallini) called it the 'Donald Duck Posture' and considered it incorrect.

This is interesting considering I have often noticed it about his son to a certain extent. I really appreciate Hitohiro's aikido, but I have sometimes wondered about this aspect of his posture.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/blog/media/hitohiro_saito_12.jpg

Demetrio Cereijo
01-16-2013, 05:54 AM
I suspect Hitohiro posture has its cause in his tanren bo work.

Here is a clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB5f0HBZ3aY) of practitioners of his style which I think explains what I mean.

Carl Thompson
01-16-2013, 08:05 AM
Saito Morihiro (as I was told by Paolo Corallini) called it the 'Donald Duck Posture' and considered it incorrect.

I also heard this from other teachers in Iwama (albeit without the Disney reference). While I think angling the body as a whole is sometimes necessary, there should be no kinks or "blockages".

Carl

robin_jet_alt
01-16-2013, 04:52 PM
I also heard this from other teachers in Iwama (albeit without the Disney reference). While I think angling the body as a whole is sometimes necessary, there should be no kinks or "blockages".

Carl

So angled body as a whole is good, but bum sticking out is bad? When you say angled body, are you referring to the type of posture in Demetrio's video? If that posture is a good thing, what advantages does it offer? (this is a serious question, not a challenge)

JimClark
01-16-2013, 05:52 PM
I suspect Hitohiro posture has its cause in his tanren bo work.

Here is a clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB5f0HBZ3aY) of practitioners of his style which I think explains what I mean.

This is exactly the posture I'm talking about in my original post/question, which still stands.

What is the purpose/benefit of this posture? Does anyone have an explanation?

To me it looks too forward biased and the bent torso does not facilitate rotation about your body axis without excessive head movement. Again, there is no disrespect intended, I'm just looking for information.

Cheers,

Jim

ronin_10562
01-17-2013, 01:40 AM
I'll take a stab at it. From my understanding the balance is still 50/50 however the pelvis is tilted downward. There exists a photo of O Sensei demonstrating a similar stance but not to that extreme. I had seen it on the AikiJournal by Stan Pranin. I cant seem to find it now.

I have found that posture is powerful. Try this test, take your normal stance and intercept a overhead attack don't redirect it and have your partner lean into it. Now try it with your pelvis tilted down, if you've done it correctly there is a large difference in the outcome. Good luck

Dazaifoo
01-17-2013, 01:57 AM
I was at a seminar in Kumamoto some months back and received a few corrections on my stance from Hitohira Saito Sensei. By way of background, I have been practicing Iwama style since the early 90s and have seen numerous little tweaks and changes come and go over the years.

Sensei told me to keep my feet closer together than what I had originally been trained to do and my knees bent, lowering myself down. The butt out position was a result of the deeper closer stance. And it was also not so much just the rear out, it was also the belly out and sinking down. Sensei said, and I'm pretty sure I understood this well enough, that this was a way to train roppho, the infamous six directions of much debate. Hmmmnn.

The man could move, no question of that. I ended up flat on my back often enough to prove that to myself.

Now, by coincidence, I have been looking up a lot of information recently on bayonet technique, both traditional European rifles form and Japanese Jukenjutsu, looking for some connection with Iwama weapons. I know of no Aikido teachers who regularly train with Mokuju, the wooden bayonet, so I became curious.

It seems that sometime in the 1890s the Japanese military changed the style of bayonet training to a form which utilized spear techniques from different Japanese ryu. Now, I've looked at photos from that time and can't really see any radical difference in stance or attack between Japanese and European/American bayonet methods. In general, Japanese techniques tend to a more upright posture, and from World War II and onward American methods prefer a crouching position.

That said, I did notice in some pictures of the American bayonet a distinct rear end out approach to the thrust. More noticeable in the use of shorter carbines equipped with bayonet than with the longer rifles of old. As an Iwama guy, I find that kind of interesting.

http://i1250.photobucket.com/albums/hh528/Ex-Daijin/derbutt_zps4378f43c.jpg

I haven't found a solid representation of Jukenjutsu with the rear out just yet. Some images in Google image search hint at it in bouts but just as many feature a straighter more upright posture.

Additionally, I have seen pictures of Ueshiba doing the tail out position in technique, used as proof of Iwama stance. I have also seen plenty of pictures of him standing upright with no twist at all. As an Iwama practioner all I can say at this point is go figure.:)

Carl Thompson
01-17-2013, 08:56 AM
So angled body as a whole is good, but bum sticking out is bad? When you say angled body, are you referring to the type of posture in Demetrio's video? If that posture is a good thing, what advantages does it offer? (this is a serious question, not a challenge)

No worries Robin, and no, I was not referring to the video (to be honest, I hadn't actually watched it).

I was specifically commenting on Demetrio's post about the "Donald Duck" posture, which if I understood correctly, referred to Chris Hein's post about the "back hip sticking out" and leaning back into the hip. It would appear that Saito sensei considered this incorrect, as do other prominent teachers.

By angling the body as a whole, I meant moving it while keeping it connected. So my feeling is that within reason, we can tilt and manoeuvre the body however we like according to certain ingrained principles, of which one is not breaking connections. This includes the area around the lower back.

As for the posture etc in Demetrio's video link... I've never trained with Hitohira Sensei, but I'm not sure if some parts are representational of his normal teaching. I'd extend that to the photo Chris Hein posted, since the instructor highlighted is a prominent student of Saito Sensei, whom I've heard give salient advice on posture.

Carl

Demetrio Cereijo
01-17-2013, 10:22 AM
Hi Scott,

Have you seen this (http://kenshi247.net/blog/2010/04/19/kenjutsu-kyohan-part-2-jukenjutsu/)?

Hi Carl,

I was not qualifiyng Weisgard Sensei posture as the "Donald Duck Posture" (DDP) as this one (http://www.iwama-ryu-tr.org/image/hitohiro1.jpg) other pic of Saito H Sensei is not DDP also.

DDP is the bum sticking out, like the people in the clip I linked,

Carl Thompson
01-17-2013, 03:47 PM
Hi Carl,

I was not qualifiyng Weisgard Sensei posture as the "Donald Duck Posture" (DDP) as this one (http://www.iwama-ryu-tr.org/image/hitohiro1.jpg) other pic of Saito H Sensei is not DDP also.

DDP is the bum sticking out, like the people in the clip I linked,

Thanks for clarifying.

Ethan Weisgard
01-20-2013, 06:13 AM
Hello all,

Since it is (amongst others) my posterior on the line (so to speak) then I will put in my two yen's worth. Having your pictures out there on the net does leave you as a sort of sitting duck..
Sorry, I couldn't help myself - too much coffee!

By the way, we Iwama folk refer to it as the Iwama Duck :-) So we are well aware of the position as well as the problem.

I can't believe I am writing about my possible protruding posterior on Aikiweb :-)
There's always a first time for everything!

The position we are talking about occurs when you engage the front hip - and this movement becomes over-emphasized.

In aikido as we learned it in Iwama, when striking or thrusting forward weight distribution should be slightly forward, and the front hip is engaged, to transfer energy forward and outward, so slightly more than 50-50 weight distribution is called for. The front foot should be more weighted than the rear at the intended time of impact, but you should at all times be in a posture from which you can move immediately in any direction without having to re-distribute your weight.

Structural integrity is very important: a nice, clean line in the body from ground up to the head with a slight forward inclination is what we should strive for, to channel energy outwards and forward.

The problem occurs when you over-commit and your posture "breaks" from your waist up, causing the upper body to tip forward, and thereby disconnect from your lower body. This often happens if your stance is too upright (feet too close). This is when you end up with your rear end sticking out.

In the old days (1960s-1970s and early 80s) a very wide stance was used, with quite a lot of forward inclination (much like the diagram pictures of old bayonet techniques shown on this thread). .

This stance is strong, but it locks you into a position from which you cannot move unless redistributing your weight. My first Sensei - Takeji Tomita Sensei (based in Stockholm, Sweden) - told us that this deep, forward-leaning stance was based on you as uchi -tachi or uchi-jo, committing fully to your attack. Uke-tachi or Uke-jo (the role of sempai/sensei) could assume a more upright, mobile stance, as this was the more advanced role in weapons training. In the old days the kohai would only be allowed to be the attacker for years, before progressing to the defensive role.

If you notice O-Sensei in the old films, he is almost always in a quite natural stance during his execution of techniques, also in his zanshin at the end of techniques, be they tai jutsu or bukiwaza.
I noticed that Saito Sensei also went from a quite deep, forward-leaning posture in the 1970s and 80s into a more natural upright posture later on. I see this as a natural progression in Saito Sensei's own training.

We were also told in the 1970s and 80s to keep the rear leg straight (this killed my back for several years). Noticing Saito Sensei's slightly bent rear leg when I began training under him in the mid 1980s, I tried to assume this attitude in my training and found my back appreciated the change quite a lot.

So to sum it all up: structural integrity should by all means be kept. We do try to engage the forward hip when striking and thrusting forward, but overemphasis of this position causes the aforementioned affliction - quack quack...

In aiki,
Ethan Weisgard

robin_jet_alt
01-20-2013, 07:29 PM
Thanks Ethan :)

Ethan Weisgard
01-21-2013, 06:42 AM
You're welcome :-)

Alex Megann
01-21-2013, 07:25 AM
A student of Saito Sensei's, Tony Sargeant, used to refer to the "Iwama pelvic tilt", though he wasn't sure whether this derived directly from the example of O-Sensei or from Saito's physical condition.

I find it striking that the characteristic stance in the Iwama tradition is very different from the kamae adopted in the Yoshinkan, which is much more square and tends to a pronounced bend in the front knee. I recall reading an article where Gozo Shioda gently ridiculed the posture of students at Iwama, as he felt that Saito Sensei (for whom I believe he held a deep respect) was restricted in his body movement by his long-term injuries, but his able-bodied students tried to copy him exactly.

I have seen some "Iwama-style" people standing in what seems to me an exaggerated caricature of Saito Sensei's posture, with the front leg almost straight and the weight towards the rear, and often with the backside sticking out.

Mind you, I have seen this amplification of distinctive attributions in the Ki Society too: third-generation students often look much more different in their posture and movements from what would be considered "normal" in the Aikikai than Tohei Sensei ever did.

Alex

NagaBaba
01-21-2013, 01:00 PM
Are you talking about this DDP posture?
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/sites/default/files/styles/c05-free/public/img/adm34_3.jpg

http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/sites/default/files/styles/c05-free/public/img/adm34_3.jpg

sakumeikan
01-21-2013, 02:15 PM
Dear All,
Any body out there an ex student of the Hunchback of Notre Dame?If there was by chance somebody currently teaching whose posture wise resembled old Quasimodo would the students copy the teacher???Cheers, Joe.

[

Carl Thompson
01-21-2013, 02:44 PM
So to sum it all up: structural integrity should by all means be kept. We do try to engage the forward hip when striking and thrusting forward, but overemphasis of this position causes the aforementioned affliction - quack quack...


Thanks Ethan

I'd just like to tally that with this:

Are you talking about this DDP posture?
http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/sites/default/files/styles/c05-free/public/img/adm34_3.jpg

http://www.aikidotakemusu.org/sites/default/files/styles/c05-free/public/img/adm34_3.jpg

Osensei in Iwama. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but the defining point of the DDP is something that is not always easy to see. I think the DDP has an actual kink, or exaggerated curve in the lower back, turning the hips down and the sacrum up. Osensei isn't doing that here and Ethan's explanation prohibits it.

Carl

Dazaifoo
01-22-2013, 07:00 PM
Excellent breakdown Ethan, thank you! This fills in some gaps in my knowledge that have been bugging me for a while.

phitruong
01-22-2013, 08:02 PM
So to sum it all up: structural integrity should by all means be kept. We do try to engage the forward hip when striking and thrusting forward, but overemphasis of this position causes the aforementioned affliction - quack quack...


being meaning to ask, why engage the forward hip? just curious.

Ethan Weisgard
01-26-2013, 12:10 PM
Scott - you're welcome. I'm glad I could be of help.

Phi - to answer your question: first of all, the forward hip is engaged to put more power in to the strike.

Furthermore, the weapons forms in Aiki Ken and Aiki Jo as taught in Iwama are based on the concept of "riai". Riai (ri meaning principle, and ai meaning harmony or fitting together) is the term that refers to the concept that O-Sensei emphasized in his teaching in Iwama: that the weapons forms and the tai jutsu forms fit together; the movements and the postures and positions are all the same. Saito Sensei always referred to O-Sensei saying that when using the ken or jo you should think of doing tai jutsu, and vice versa. So when we throw in tai jutsu, for instance in Irimi Nage, we engage the front hip before the downward throwing movement of the arcing arm. This creates a very strong and stable hip position and gives great power for the throw. It's the same movement in the lower body as the (Iwama) basic shomen uchi suburi. This is one of the reasons why all our basic suburi strikes, both with jo as well as ken, go down to the horizontal position, even though they are called "men uchi." Saito Sensei always said "Tsuyoi koshi wo tsukuru tame ni..." "To create strong hips."

My understanding is that if you are cutting with a live blade you can probably cut through most anything with ease, as long as you have a reasonably stable form. But the bokken should also be considered a weapon in itself, and in order to create a maximum power output in our strikes we put the hip into the strikes (as well as our tsuki and other basic attacks). If you try practicing tanren uchi it is very evident that there is a big difference in your strikes when you fully engage the front hip from when you stand in a position with your hips forward (horizontal).

Please understand that this is the way we were taught in Iwama by Saito Sensei, with his references to how he learned it from O-Sensei. There are of course many other ways of doing these forms that all have their own merits - of equal value. There is no single right way of doing things. I'm just trying my best to train the way I was taught, to understand it and to transmit it to those who wish to learn it the way I did.

In aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Ethan Weisgard
01-27-2013, 03:22 AM
Dear all,

This question of engaging the hips made me think of the term often usen in Japanese: "koshi wo ireru" - to "put in" the hip/hips. We sometimes use the term "put your back into it" when we want to emphasize the concept of putting some oomph into a physical effort. For the sake of experimenting, I googled the term in Japanese - in romaji. The following text popped up. It is from a group that dance Nihon Buyo. A fascinating read, by the way.

http://performingarts.jp/E/art_interview/1.html

"Is the use of the lower back and hips one of the elements in the aesthetic beauty of Nihon Buyo?
Well, we speak of ďapplying the lower back and hipsĒ (koshi wo ireru) in Nihon Buyo, but I donít think even the greatest master can explain what that means in a word. It isnít simply a matter of the lower back and hips (koshi) coming into play when you take a bent-knee stance, but you might say it gives you more stability, or that it plants you more firmly on the ground. An example of applying the lower back and hips (koshi wo ireru) can be seen in the familiar scene in Sumo wrestling when one wrestler tries to lift another but he canít be moved. It is if the wrestler has suddenly become heavier and canít be lifted. That wrestler canít be picked up because he is in a state of applying the lower back and hips. Another example is when you try to carry a cup that is filled to the brim with water without spilling it. We instinctively lower our center of gravity as we walk with the cup, donít we? That is also a state of applying the lower back and hips. It is hard to explain in words but it is a sense we Japanese as an agrarian people have acquired naturally."

I just wanted to share this with you.

In aiki,

Ethan Weisgard

Ethan Weisgard
01-27-2013, 04:00 AM
One more interesting article regarding Koshi is found here.
http://www.hicom.edu/Resources/Documents/koshiArticle.pdf

Very interesting article, indeed!
I will leave the hips alone, now, unless I may be allowed to make a reference to the acronym of Ellis Amdur's highly recommendable book Hidden In Plain Sight :-)

In aiki,
Ethan

Carl Thompson
02-03-2013, 03:29 PM
Resurrecting the thread before it gets too old...

...and also taking the opportunity to thank Ethan for some interesting articles. Meanwhile, on another thread I noticed this, originally about feet but inevitably connected to other parts of the body:


Doing warmups is a great time to work on this, so is funakogi undo. In funakogi undo, when you drive your hips, you don't just want that motion to go forwards. Doing so makes the rear foot get light. You need to keep both feet heavy as you perform the motion. Part of that is how you drive the hips forward and back and how you involve the lower back. When driving the hips forward, the motion to drive the lower hips forward doesn't mean that you roll the hips forward with the lower back.

If you do, you will find that drives the motion upwards and makes the rear foot light. Also, I find that leaves my lower back fatigued rather than the hips. Instead drive them forwards by opening the hips. You will feel your legs want to open up too, but don't let them.

Carl

Stephen Nichol
02-03-2013, 10:19 PM
Iwama style student checking in here: Ethan's explanation is spot on.

I can say that my Sensei is very aware of this 'duck butt' and corresponding 'chicken leg' aspects of incorrect posture. We have many instructors who trained with Saito Sensei at various times during his life and like those who train with any instructor for a period of time they take away that portion of what they learned and do their best to pass it on. I can see what appears to be this 'pronounced forward lean' in some of these teachers and in some it is more so than in others. In a few it is not present at all. However I can assure you from getting a hold of all of them, they are very balanced, very solid and very smooth and quick (not that this thread implied otherwise ;) ).

From these teachers who studied with Saito Senei for a few years to even decades... we still see 'variations' within Iwama style Aikido. It is simply another product of when one trained with a teacher and the emphasis they picked up on at that time. If that student was unable to return and train with Saito Sensei after a point when his form changed then they would not have the opportunity to adopt it and feel it for themselves and decide if it is better for them and their Aiki.

My Sensei is patient and works hard to correct us with protruding back side or the over extended/forward leaning aspects that people are discussing here. She insists on a very upright posture through all movements with strong hip in all Taijitsu and Bukiwaza as they are complimentary. Even though she demonstrates it... somehow every now and then we students perceive it differently or our bodies simply do not follow what our eyes and minds are trying to translate and tell it what to do in following Sensei. :o

Re-iterating what Ethan posted: I have found that people have their preferences and Iwama style is not the 'way' some people would learn about Aikido. It is just one more way, nothing more or less. Even within Iwama style there are 'flavors' taken from periods of time in Saito Senei's teaching. As with all Aikido, it makes it more interesting and just means taking time to study up and learn about it all and understand how these 'variations' come about. ;)

JimClark
02-14-2013, 07:14 PM
This thread is kind of petering out and I appreciate all the info shared on the topic. I now think I understand the genesis and persistence of the posture. This was just posted today by Aikido Journal (although it may be a re-posting).

http://store.aikidojournal.com/hitoh...ing-kokyunage/

Hmmm.....

Alex Megann
02-15-2013, 07:48 AM
This was just posted today by Aikido Journal (although it may be a re-posting).

http://store.aikidojournal.com/hitohiro-saito-demonstrating-kokyunage

Hmmm.....

Yes, I saw that clip this morning too. I was surprised how much the posture of the ukes varied - the first and second guys in particular had the pronounced "Iwama" rearward positioning of the hips, and all of them seemed to do it more than Hitohiro Sensei himself.

The other thing that the clip reminded me of is the signature Iwama ukemi, where uke is projected horizontally and falls quite heavily. I first saw this in old films of Saito senior with Bruce Klickstein, and at the time I was very impressed by the athletic ukemi, but I wonder how sustainable this way of falling is into middle and later age.

By the way, what is the badge on Hitohiro's back? Does everyone in the Shuren-Kai wear this?

Alex