View Full Version : Flat-footed

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04-28-2003, 06:54 AM
Hi everyone.

Sorry about posting this in the anonymous section, but my confirmation email isn't coming through. I think it's because of the email service.

Anyway, I am thinking about taking up aikido and was worried about being slightly unfit and unflexible, yet these questions have been answered in other posts. My only remaining question now is this; Will my being flat-footed provide me with a disadvantage in Aikido? I have never been excellent at sports and I that being flat-footed has always brought me down in comparison to others around me.

If anyone knows of a flat-footed person training in Aikido, or can give me an educated answer (or guess), it would be greatly appreciated.

Greg Jennings
04-28-2003, 07:07 AM
While I'm not a podiatrist, I can't see how being flat-footed would have *anything* to do with being able to do aikido well.


04-28-2003, 07:08 AM
I have a good friend who has one foot that is quite flat (and a deformed ankle) and it hasn't stopped her one bit. As a matter of fact, she is quite talented in her ability to take very hard ukemi. Other foot problems can get in the way (bunions for suwariwaza for example). Ask your podiatrist if there are any restrictions for you.

Best wishes, and I hope you enjoy aikido!

04-28-2003, 07:35 AM
I think the beauty of aikido is the ability to adapt it to your body size and form (since it is predomiantly about blending and not about specific technique.) I used to train with someone who only had one hand and it made very little diffence.

Also unlike most sports, aikido isn't about being the best. The question is about being better i.e. if you are doing it for self-defence it doesn't matter if you are the best fighter, only whether you are better training in aikido than not training in it. This is why improvement is better than winning.


Ron Tisdale
04-28-2003, 10:08 AM
I'm flat footed, and have problems with both ankles. Its troublesome sometimes (read pain, discompfort) but nothing that can't be dealt with. Get on the mat, train, see how it goes...


04-28-2003, 07:36 PM
I have bad feet. Didn't get out of leg braces until I was eight. Almost got turned down by the draft for flat feet, but they didn't want me to miss the fun. Don't worry, go train. You might want to learn to skip rope though.

ted murphy
05-06-2003, 12:56 PM
I have pretty flat feet myself.

My first couple months of Aikido found me having problems with my instep. At first it was hurting so bad I could not stand up straight after dojo but then later on it was a dull ache that went away shortly, then now it hardly ever happens unless I'm really pushing myself. Also, sometimes when I got tired I ended up doing bad pivots cause I was unable to do it on the balls of my feet.
I'm also quite big which most likely contributed to things.

I still do not pivot as well as I would like but I think that could easily be overcome if I worked on it more than I currently am.

Positive attitude and time spent training will overcome most anything- including flat feet.


John Boswell
05-06-2003, 02:25 PM
Me <---- also flat footed.

Be on the look-out for your knees. Flat feet have a tendency to throw off: ankles, knees, hips and it all leads to back trouble.

Personally, I wear two knee braces (ace brand) and this has helped alot. Stretching also will help greatly, both before and after class, as well as during the week.

Lastly, we DO have a Podiatrist that studies Aikido at my dojo. Doctors can make specially made arch supports designed for your foot which will help correct the problem. He also told me that arches can be re-built now through surgery. If you have the means to do so, I'd talk to a doctor. The sooner the better, obviously. But thought I'd mention it as well.

Good luck! I've been training for a year now and enjoy it very much! Be careful, but don't let your feet hold ya back... so to speak. ;)

05-06-2003, 09:46 PM
People actually could get disgusted on how flat my feet are. Not just that I don't have any arch, my instep is actually wider than my foot. Kind like a duck's feet, without the webbing.

This does not stop me from Aikido. In fact this one thing that I thought would give me problems has actually been an advantage. How? When I stand normally, I actually stand towards the center.

I usually overcompensate the way I stand towards the outside, more weight on the foot-sword, because of the flat feet. Only last year I realize that this is not good. One should stand towards the inside, towards the center. In other words I should just be natural and accept my flat feet.

I still have trouble running long distances though...