PDA

View Full Version : Back foot flat?


Please visit our sponsor:
 

AikiWeb Sponsored Links - Place your Aikido link here for only $10!


justinm
07-01-2003, 08:18 AM
This question is primarily targeted at all yoshinkan folks out there: Which part of your rear foot do you keep most connection on the floor with - inside edge, outside edge, both?

Does this change as your stance lengthens?

Thanks
Justin

Ron Tisdale
07-01-2003, 09:54 AM
I make most contact with the ball of the foot (big toe) with both feet...but I try to keep the whole foot in some contact at all times. Because I'm not the most flexible person out there, my back heel comes off the mat much more than it should. I've never really thought about it as an "edge" kind of thing...but since the big toe is on the inside edge, I guess that's what gets the most contact. My goal would be to keep the whole foot in contact, but then, I'm flatfooted, so...

Ron

SmilingNage
07-01-2003, 01:55 PM
That depends on how you throw, some styles throw from hanmi, some use a sword stance(both feet facing the same way). Keeping the whole foot in contact with the mat is what has been stressed to me. I dont train in yoshinkan, so my comments arent contributing much.

aikidodragongio
07-01-2003, 02:13 PM
The whole concept behind the foot being behind and "flat" is that it is your step-off point. While all your weight is centered it is distributed between the front leg and anchored on that back leg. So, to answer your question, it should be your whole foot that connects with the floor. However, that's what works for me and that's what I was taught, others may beg to differ :o)

camel
07-01-2003, 05:48 PM
Not sure if this will be much use to you, as I'm not training in Yoshinkan, but at the Aikikai dojo I train at here in Japan, we're taught to keep the heels of both feet slightly off the mat at all times. The way it was explained to me was that one should think of their heels as being off the mat just enough for a piece of paper to be able to slide underneath. Needless to say, it's quite difficult.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-01-2003, 09:58 PM
Sorry Brett, but that sounds a little crazy to me. Since there is no way to put most or all of your weight into one foot with the heel slightly off the floor for more than an off-balanced moment, that pretty much limits you to stances where your weight is somewhere between both feet. While this may be a good position for cranking and twisting, it's a position of virtual immobility. In order to step or slide, you need to be able to let your weight sink completely into one foot, probably mostly in the heel or in the mid-foot. If you don't plant your whole foot, or at least mostly solidly through the heel, you simply can't move, except to lurch or stagger. The only other way to attain some balance on the ball of one foot is to raise up into a ballet postion. This is just basic physics.

In general, I would say since mobility is what makes Aikido work, nitpicky details about how one stands two-footed are more important for quasi-static and slo-mo drills than for actually doing business in a dynamic scenario/event. In a fluid situation, one's weight will almost always be on one foot or transitioning from one to the other.

camel
07-01-2003, 10:25 PM
No need to be sorry, just passing along what I've been told/shown. It may sound crazy, but I've seen fairly strong evidence that some people can move quite well like that.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-01-2003, 10:36 PM
I question whether you have actually seen people move quite well like that, since I'm contending that it is probably impossible. People have told you that, then you have seen them move. Since I assume you weren't on the floor looking for the paper-width crack beneath the heels, I'm suspcious. It is possible to move and act almost purely on the balls of the feet, but it is more of a bouncing, dancing kind of movement, where the weight is dropped into both feet or one momentarily, a la boxing. If the Aikidoka you've seen aren't bouncing around, their weight is often in their mid-foot and/or heels, or they are not moving their feet. It's physics.

camel
07-01-2003, 10:53 PM
Okay, maybe I'm not explaining it correctly. I did not mean to imply that the weight was constantly on the balls of the feet. Rather, I was simply told to keep the ends of my heels just a touch off the mat. The majority of the foot is in constant contact with the mat, just not the heel itself. Also, bear in mind that my Japanese is very poor, as is my teacher's English, so the probability of miscommunication was quite high, although he went to great gesticulating lengths to make sure I understood. Perhaps I didn't. Either way, I've been trying to utilize this idea in my training, and have not noticed any of the adverse effects you mention.

PeterR
07-01-2003, 10:55 PM
I'm going to disagree big time here. In the various forms of shizentai (natural stance) your weight is between the feet and the paper thin wedge under the heel sounds about right. From this stance you have an incredible amount of mobility. Of course during the thrust in any of eight directions (basic Shodokan unsoku practice) requires weight to be shifted to one foot or the other but the whole foot does not have to be firmly placed on the ground. Moreover, that shift is only transitory during the moment of the thrust. Shizentai is maintained immediately after the thrust and of course after the movement is completed.

Tsukuri one of the most effective means of rapidly closing distance is in effect a planned, off-balanced, lurch. You just finish in ----- you guessed it shizentai.

I doubt very much anyone can move nearly as effectively with one of both heels firmly placed.
Sorry Brett, but that sounds a little crazy to me. Since there is no way to put most or all of your weight into one foot with the heel slightly off the floor for more than an off-balanced moment, that pretty much limits you to stances where your weight is somewhere between both feet. While this may be a good position for cranking and twisting, it's a position of virtual immobility. In order to step or slide, you need to be able to let your weight sink completely into one foot, probably mostly in the heel or in the mid-foot. If you don't plant your whole foot, or at least mostly solidly through the heel, you simply can't move, except to lurch or stagger. The only other way to attain some balance on the ball of one foot is to raise up into a ballet postion. This is just basic physics.

In general, I would say since mobility is what makes Aikido work, nitpicky details about how one stands two-footed are more important for quasi-static and slo-mo drills than for actually doing business in a dynamic scenario/event. In a fluid situation, one's weight will almost always be on one foot or transitioning from one to the other.

aubrey bannah
07-02-2003, 02:06 AM
Your big toe

Kevin Wilbanks
07-02-2003, 06:43 AM
I'm going to disagree big time here. In the various forms of shizentai (natural stance) your weight is between the feet and the paper thin wedge under the heel sounds about right. From this stance you have an incredible amount of mobility. Of course during the thrust in any of eight directions (basic Shodokan unsoku practice) requires weight to be shifted to one foot or the other but the whole foot does not have to be firmly placed on the ground. Moreover, that shift is only transitory during the moment of the thrust. Shizentai is maintained immediately after the thrust and of course after the movement is completed.

Tsukuri one of the most effective means of rapidly closing distance is in effect a planned, off-balanced, lurch. You just finish in ----- you guessed it shizentai.

I doubt very much anyone can move nearly as effectively with one of both heels firmly placed.
Try standing on one foot with the heel paperwidth high off the ground and you should be able to see what I mean. Without contorting your body and limbs around as if on a high wire, it doesn't work. It's an inherently unbalanced position.

I experimented with what you said, and it does indeed seem like lurching about, trying to reorient the weight between both feet - basically being precariously off-balance much of the time. I don't like the idea of 'planning' ahead, even as far ahead as it takes to lurch. One thing I have learned from martial interactions is that plans almost never work, because by the time they are executed, the situation has changed and the plan is too old. I take this as the whole point behind no-mind and developing spontaneous responsive capabilities. By the time my planned lurch is completed, I may well have wished I hadn't lurched, or wish I was in a more inherently balanced and adaptive position where I could change direction without going through 4 weight-shifting steps. When I contrast this with the capability to be balanced on one or both feet, throughout each step, I can't imagine how someone could prescribe that movement style for a martial art where balance is important.

As far as speed goes, the movement method you propose is almost certainly slower in a dynamic, improvisational situation, because you have to transfer the weight from between the feet onto one to start to take a step or slide, and when you finish a step, you have to move the weight back between the feet and find a two-point balance. That's two extra actions that the guy who is simply planted and balanced in one foot and steps into a position of balance on the other foot doesn't have to make.

Ron Tisdale
07-02-2003, 07:31 AM
Kevin,

Read some of Shioda Sensei's books, or check out the nearest shodokan or yoshinkan dojo with a 5th dan or better instructor. You'll find that the physical practise of some remarkable aikidoka doesn't adhere to your "physics".

Ron (the proof is in the pudding) Tisdale

Good Eating

Kevin Wilbanks
07-02-2003, 09:27 AM
If there's a sensible explanation for physics-defying biomechanics in the book, and you understand it, why not summarize?

As far as the pudding goes, how am I going to be able to tell if their heels are a paper-width high off the ground? I could imagine working something out with high-speed video, force plates, and possibly computer analysis tools, but I'm afraid I have neither the qualifications nor the equipment.

Kevin (the saying is "the proof of the pudding is in the taste") Wilbanks

Roger Mouton
07-02-2003, 10:27 AM
Not looking to fuel a debate but simply adding more information/viewpoints for relavent discussion..

Another martial art that uses a light-heal foot technique is Fencing.

Beginners are commonly taught to completely raise heal of their back foot. As people progress they often get closer to the paper standard or even to just maintaining most of the weight on the ball. The front foot seems to take care of itself as you are typically leaning forward or backing up (which tends to put you on your toes). Granted, Fencing is brutally linear but wasted vertical motion (ie bobbing) is frowned upon and good fencers are usually very smooth and very fast.

As to Aikido, to execute a tenkan, if you are not already on the ball of the pivet foot you may already be too late.

As to the original question, I don't know about yoshinkan folks but a ballet instructor I have been fortunate enough to study stretch and bar work from would insist that you try to keep the weight centered across all the toes (neigher inside or outside edge)so that your ankle bears weight in proper alignment. This helps your knees too.

(to those of you who got to the bottom of my post..)

Hi,

I am new here, to what appears to be a good place. I found you guys a couple of years ago when I started studying Aikido but I didn't stay as the terminology blew me away. I tried you out again last weekend and found that I only have to look things up occaisionally so I have signed on.

Best regards,

Roger

aikidodragongio
07-02-2003, 10:37 AM
Alright, here's what it comes down to. The rear foot is flat for the purpose of establishing a strong Kamae. It also helps you learn to keep your posture both in the beginning of a throw and at the end of a throw. During a technique, however, of course you're going to keep your feet live. If you kept that foot planted for all your techniques it would be like dragging an anchor behind you.

Ron Tisdale
07-02-2003, 12:54 PM
If there's a sensible explanation for physics-defying biomechanics in the book, and you understand it, why not summarize?
a) you can read

b) I don't do physics, nor do I play a physicist on tv

c) Note: I said "your 'physics'"...

d) I have no intent on getting into one of the pissing matches you regularly engage in (in my opinion only, I'm sure you're a very nice guy)
As far as the pudding goes, how am I going to be able to tell if their heels are a paper-width high off the ground? I could imagine working something out with high-speed video, force plates, and possibly computer analysis tools, but I'm afraid I have neither the qualifications nor the equipment.
Ah, not qualified? hmmm...

And I am not the one who talked about "paper-width" anything...
Kevin (the saying is "the proof of the pudding is in the taste") Wilbanks
Ron (there are a couple of variations of the saying...now our illustrious readers have two of them) Tisdale

Kevin Wilbanks
07-02-2003, 01:51 PM
Ron,

If you don't want to get into a pissing match, why did you reply to my posts using vague dismissive tactics and not engage the content?

Telling someone to go read a book is a bit lame. If you understand the book well enough to know that it contains information to correct or contradict what I say, then you should be able convery the information briefly in your own words. If not, how do you know it would even be useful to refer me there?

Likewise, telling me to go watch some advanced people who purportedly espouse never putting the weight in the heels is also lame. I could be positively amazed, and afterwards they could tell me they never put more than an ounce of bodyweight on their heels throughout, but it would still prove nothing. If I'm not just going to blindly take your word for it, I'm not going to take theirs.

As far as how nice I am or am not, I don't see how that's relevant to the discussion.

As far as the pudding sayings go, they may both be commonly used, but only one makes any sense.

Roger,

If you take a look at some Ikeda Sensei videos, you will see him pivoting on his heels. I've never seen him move "too late".

Also, I am aware that fencers and kendoka stay up on their toes. However, as you say, their movement is mostly linear, not spontaneously omnidirectional. Even more important, they don't really have to absorb or transfer much force when they strike or block, they are just looking for a light tap. I just don't see how one can push or throw someone, especially with certain techniques like koshinage, with virtually all the weight on the balls of the feet.

Alfonso
07-02-2003, 03:57 PM
wow, let's get religious about this ok?

I mean, goading a Yoshinkai about foot placement?

You troublemaker...

PeterR
07-02-2003, 06:58 PM
Another martial art that uses a light-heal foot technique is Fencing.
Did a bit of that in university - damm was I bad.

When people talk about the paper thin wedge it is imagery - what they mean is probably better described as Roger did. Weight is not distributed evenly but rather forward.

Kevin;

You don't plan the lurch - you are sensitive to timing and ma ai and MOVE when the situation demands it. A rooted stance is not going to give you that level of responsiveness. Lurch is probably not the best word to use as it denotes a certain clumsiness but you watch a good Shodan or just about any Nidan (don't need 5th Dan for this Ron) in the Shodokan system you will see the speed, grace and pure explosiveness of tsukuri.

Coincidently I have been introducing tsukuri to my beginners over the last few weeks mainly to get their tanto attacks to have a bit more bite. Nishio-san may be seriously cute when she is tanto (well anytime but I digress) but you want to cry with the timidity. Huge improvement once she undertood how to explode.

RonRagusa
07-02-2003, 08:18 PM
Consentrating your weight at your center and keeping it off your feet allows you to assume a low, stable, centered stance and still retain a remarkable degree of freedom of movement. It also allows you to move without first having to raise yourself up in order to get your weight off your feet.

After years of training, I have found that it largely doesn't matter what parts of your feet are on the mat at any given instant. What does matter, at least from an ability to move standpoint, is how you control the distribution of your weight.

Kevin Wilbanks
07-02-2003, 10:10 PM
I'm still not sure what we are talking about here. If we're talking about a movement prescription which contends that one never allows the weight to rest in the heels, that's one thing, if we're talking about generally favoring resting on the balls of the feet when a somewhat static hamni is reached it's quite another.

Given a pause in a two-footed stance, I can see how the ball-footed stance would allow one to spring off the back foot, harnessing the stretch-shortening cycle (i.e., plyometric calf power) to move forward with good power. I am willing to entertain the possibility that in this situation, the "off-the-line" speed one could attain would be better than a foot-planted movement strategy. However, in a continuously active randori situation, I see the opportunities for setting up in this position as very limited. The question is, is the additional power available via using the stretch-shortening cyle worth all the trouble. It seems the main effect of keeping the heel up would be to waste energy and induce calf muscle fatigue.

The way I learned to move in Aikido was to be as balanced as possible at all times. We even did drills in which we would walk around and sensei would clap or shout and we would have to freeze to see if we were balanced in mid-stride. The idea behind this style of movement is to walk as though one was stepping on tall, precarious pillars, and all weight must flow as downwards as possible. Moving from one foot to another in this scheme is more a matter of falling or sinking downward into the receiving foot, not leaping with calf power. This style of movement can also be very fast, but one is never off-balance, and the possibilities for altering trajectory during transferrence of the weight from one foot to another are greater, I think. Most importantly, one can be balanced and powerful on one foot or two, and during the transfer of weight, the power of the dropping weight is able to be harnessed and transmitted horizontally - not just in the direction of horizontal center travel. In a calf-powered quasi leap, if one is on the upward arc, there is little power, and on other side of the arc, there is almost no power available to transmit in any direction other than the direction of the leap.

I think that both types of movement have their place. As to who uses which when, and to what effect, I'd like to see some high-speed video analysis, as opposed to just listening to theories.

C. Emerson
07-02-2003, 10:28 PM
The big toe is the secret, I think some masters would tell you the same.

-Chad

aubrey bannah
07-03-2003, 01:28 AM
Another view

http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~yoshinryu/eng-chushinryoku.html

aubrey bannah
07-03-2003, 01:33 AM
Sorry,

http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~yoshinryu/eng-

chushinryoku.html

Kevin Wilbanks
07-03-2003, 07:02 AM
Most importantly, one can be balanced and powerful on one foot or two, and during the transfer of weight, the power of the dropping weight is able to be harnessed and transmitted horizontally - not just in the direction of horizontal center travel. In a calf-powered quasi leap, if one is on the upward arc, there is little power, and on other side of the arc, there is almost no power available to transmit in any direction other than the direction of the leap.
Looking back, I don't think this is quite right. The problem with a leaping step is basically that nage's body is not solidly connected to the ground, therefore one is limited during that space of time to pushing, pulling, or whatever with the airborne mass of the body. If the other object is of similar or larger mass, guess what happens? With solid foot planting, one can use oneself as a gravitational conduit, harnessing the weight of the earth. Even boxers who dance around on their toes most of the time, plant their heel(s) at key moments in order to land solid punches... Ali knocking out Liston which many thought was fake comes to mind.

Steven
07-03-2003, 08:46 AM
Sorry,

http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~yoshinryu/eng-

chushinryoku.html
http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~yoshinryu/eng-chushinryoku.html

C. Emerson
07-03-2003, 09:39 AM
Kevin, right on.

Ron Tisdale
07-18-2003, 09:06 AM
Good post Steven! There is an interesting coincidence with the "internal" arts of China...some of those proponants also speak of not getting the power from planting and pushing off of the back heel.

RT

Peter Malecek
07-25-2003, 06:21 PM
Justin,

In answer to your original question, at the Yoshinkan we were taught to maintain a flat back foot in both Kamae and during movements involving extension eg. Hiriki No Yosei ichi (Jun sp?).

At the time this seemed all but impossible to achieve while at the same time maintaining the correct hip position (Note: I was convinced that Chida sensei had a different anatomy to that possessed by us mere morons... oops... I ment mortals ). However, over the years my back foot seems to have adapted and now I too end extensions with 70% of my weight on the front foot, hips square with a flat back foot, as instructed (and just think that only tok me 14 years to master - 17 years if you count the 3 years poor Kimeda sensei had the misfortune to have me as a student).

Like a lot of things that we do in Yoshinkai, the flat back foot seems (at least to me) to be a learning aide in that by trying to end in a solid position with a flat braced back foot we practice,/strive for/and may even achieve, balance throughout the technique (but of course I could be wrong).

As for the rest of the thread, I will now go back and read it thuroughly. I've been away for a while (yet another country to live and practice in). I've missed you guys.

Pete

NagaBaba
07-26-2003, 01:08 PM
I'm not big fanatic of Yoshinkan stance and flat back foot. While it is good for very beginners in static exercises, in dynamic practice and particularly in randori one simply can't use all mechanic of creating power.

If you throw somebody for real, you discover that you must use your hips in the way that back foot push and hips turn and that mechanism create power that is transmitted to attacker. However, if your back foot stay flat, angle of the turning hips is limited, and you can't use maximum capacity of your body. Also direction of back foot is not the same that direction of your center - so this is not unified body.

In order to develop maximum power from hips, one must follow a turn of his hips by turning his back foot. This will raise wheel and will add more power cos not only angel of turning hips will be larger, but also back foot will create additional power by working as a kind of spring. In fact it will be only one small part of spring created by unified body where all relaxed joints will work together in the same direction.

This position is very easy preserved in dynamic practice; in fact boxers do it alike.

aikidodragongio
07-27-2003, 12:54 AM
I beg to differ. I've felt a lot of energy being exerted in using this Kamae. My sensei taught us that one of the keys to Yoshinkai was realizing that you start in Kamae and you end in Kamae. As for the extention of your aiki, it comes (I know, it sounds cliche but...) from within. Even when I practice in the Aikikai dojo I find myself coming back to the Kihon Dosa that I learned in Yoshinkai and to this day it has not failed me.

In using Yoshinkai Kamae I can tenkan a lot easier. Also, as Pete Malacek stated, after studying this "style" for so long it does become natural to place that weight forward. Lastly, in randori and in Jiwu-waza it is still possible to maintain this kamae naturally and use it with its full potential. Just look at the videos which show Chida Sensei or those with Utada. You will see the force with which they execute throws and all ending in Kamae. Others may beg to differ just as I have.

Peter Malecek
07-27-2003, 04:34 PM
Szczepan

You don't have to be a fanatic Yoshinkan person (there are enough of them already)but it never hurts to look at what other folks are doing (afterall Aikido is Aikido is Aikido if its done well).

I think you will find that far from being good only for beginners in static excercises maintaining balance is key (no pun intended)during dynamic moves, since you want to be the the axis around which the unstable thing (i.e. uke) spins. Please note that this does not mean you are standing still, since you may very well be moving, but rather that you are stable and thus in control relative to uke who is unstable (this is not a reference to uke's mental state although there have been times .....). As far as I can remember most of the stuff that was stressed at the Yoshinkan was aimed at developing balance during techniques be it during kihon dosa, kihon waza, or ju waza. By being balanced you have a stable base from which to deliver force, be it force you generate or uke's force that you redirect.

Although I confess I didn't completely follow the description in your post, there is one point you make that is interesting. You may find that by training to bring your hips around with a flat back foot, you can increase you flexibility and thus the arc over which you can deliver the power from your thighs, buttocks and hips precisely because it is so difficult to do at first (this at least has been my experience).

As for throwing for real we do it all the time, come on over and give it a try (although I'm not completely sure, your name sounds like we're not that far apart, at least geographically speaking).

All the Best

Pete

PS.

The invitation is open to anyone out there who is passing through Prague this summer.

justinm
07-28-2003, 07:51 AM
I feel in Yoshinkan we focus more in the down direction, and also focus more in the stability of the base than in the amount of horizontal power we can generate from hip movement (hip rotation being primarily in the horizontal direction). It is more common to hear talk of a strong posture through the legs than maximising the generation of power through the rotation of the hips. The basic yoshinkan kamae does not emphasise the use of hip movement to generate power (after all, the hips should be square to the front) in the same way as aikikai.

The most obvious example of this that I see is sokumen iriminage/kokyonage. In yoshinkan aikido the hips should be square to the front for the final throw, with the power coming from the legs, feet and weight drop - the hips move forward and down. However in aikikai, I think the hips are used much more in a horizontal rotation to do a more projected throw, with much less down direction. Receiving these throws can be quite different for uke.

Peter Malecek
08-03-2003, 03:36 PM
Justin,

I agree with what you've written as far as strong posture etc., but don't forget that some of the kihon dosa movements (e.g Hiriki No Yosei Ni) involve significant horizontal rotation. Although the rotation involves the hips remaining square with the shoulders the hips (and shoulders) should come around 180 degrees during each half/phase of the movement. Remember how tough this was to do at first, i.e. before you developed flexibility in your hips.

As for Kamae, the flat back foot hips and shoulders square position also tends to be difficult for beginners who have not developed flexibility in the hips ( I was once told that one of the reasons I couldn't do it naturally, i.e slip into it without adjusting, was that I still lacked flexibility in the hips - the other reason involved something about having the attention span of a small bug.....).

Flexibility in the hips allows you to take advantage of the power generated by the large muscle groups in the legs when executing techniques(it also allows you to look cool on the dance floor - talk about the additional benfits of martial arts training !!!).



Think about the end to many Yoshinkai throws (i.e . hips and shoulders square, hips low with back foot extended). Imagine the loss of power if you didn't/couldn't hold the hips square(a problem if you're not flexible enough) - all that power generated could not be applied.

Anyhow enough tech. talk. This stuff is alot easier to do than it is to describe. Justin, I travel to the UK quite a bit due to work, where is the Shinwakai? As long as its' near London I'd love to drop by when I'm next in town on business (too much work not enough aikido is not the way I want to go through life).

Regards

Abasan
08-03-2003, 11:00 PM
Justin,

I always thought that Sokumen nage was akin to a lunge with a blade/spear more then a reverse clothsline type.

It felt like i use less energy that way.

So in yoshinkai you actually drop down with your body weight? What if you were short and light? And your uke is tall and erm heavy?

justinm
08-04-2003, 08:47 AM
Hi Peter,

I still have that hip flexibility challenge!

We are in Maidenhead on Tuesdays and Windsor on Mondays, both around 40 minutes train out of west London. You are welcome anytime, if that is not too far for you. Drop me a note next time you are in the UK and have a spare evening! Unfortunately the chances of me getting back to Prague in the near future are slim, but if I do....

Justin

Ron Tisdale
08-04-2003, 09:27 AM
I've noticed that smaller people can often get as great an effect from the sharpness of their movement...Indeed, that sharpness and precision seems to generate a more powerfull throw than larger, more muscular people do.

The more important point is that at the time you apply your power, uke should already be off-balance, so not much physical effort should be needed anyway. I don't know how common this is, but on many throws I don't think just straight down, but rather forward and down on an angle. The force of the throw goes in a diagonal line into the ground behind uke. There are some throws involving turning (opening the body) and going to one or two knees down where the drop is almost vertical. Shomenuchi aikinage is a good example of this. I do love the look on uke's face looking up at you the first time they experience this...

Ron

justinm
08-04-2003, 09:33 AM
I think aikikai practitioners tend to use more of a 'whiplash' movement through the hips to generate power, whereas yoshinkan practitioners tend to use a direct hip entry, with the legs providing a more direct power.

There is a strong downward movement in sokumen iriminage in its basic form, however only applied once uke is already controlled and their balance taken. I'd compare that movement more to a sword cut than a lunge, however there are several movements that make up the technique so it is difficult to discuss online, as we might be talking about different moments. There is a hip turn as part of the balance taking, however this is not to throw uke but to place them in a position where the body drop can be applied effectively . That hip turn is also synchronised with uke trying to recover following the first attack, so there is little hip power needed. The ukemi is pretty much straight down in a rear breakfall.

Size is only relevent in the opening of the technique - once they are at your height, it doesn't matter what that is. I'd even argue that a lunge requires more strength than a vertical cut, where gravity can do most of the work.

However, I would agree that at a more advanced level, I have seen sokumen iriminage applied more as a lunge, with more leg power used to take uke in an upward direction, rather than relying on uke's recovery for this, although this is usually for a specific application (eg entering under a shomen attack). Even in this case, though, there is little lateral power applied in the actual throw.

& I didn't plan to write so much!!

justinm
08-04-2003, 09:38 AM
Hi Ron - it took so long for me to get the last contribution out that we crossed somewhere in the ether.

I'd agree with what you said about the diagonal direction...

Justin

Ron Tisdale
08-04-2003, 11:20 AM
Good posts Justin,

Who do you train with in the UK? Some good yoshinkan folks there, David Rubens and others. I don't see David online much anymore, if you run into him, tell him I said hello...

I agree with you about the whipping motion of the hips in some aikikai schools. Very powerfull, but a bit different from what I ususally do. I did notice that overall flexibility adds to that power...Donovan Waite is a good example of this. Man, can he whip!

I have used that kind of power in sokomen iriminage, but it feels more like pushing than whipping when I do it. With a good uke, you can put them horizontal, and *then* do the down...quite a nice throw.

Ron

justinm
08-04-2003, 02:44 PM
I've trained with David Rubens a few times, mainly at seminars, but I doubt he'd recognise me! I'll certainly pass on your hello though, next time I see him. My first yoshinkan experience was with Tony Yates, although most of my training has been with the Kenshinkai crowd (Garry Masters, Malcolm Crawford, Roger Bish, Terry Harrison), as well as my own instructor, Jack Poole.

It sure is fun when you get a good uke!

Nathan Pereira
08-06-2003, 05:48 AM
Peter Malecek,

If you are ever in London you are welcome to come and train at our dojo. My teacher is Paul Stephens a 5th Dan ex-hombu instructor. We try to follow the Aikido of Takeno Sensei and my teacher and a couple of students have just returned from a five week trip to his dojo for the second time. We just happen to have another guy named Peter from your neck of the woods as well so if he is typical of your countryman it will be a pleasure to have you.

Let me know and I came give you the exact class times and location.

Cheers

Nathan

Peter Malecek
08-24-2003, 04:25 PM
Justin,Nathan,

Thanks for the invite.

I think I may have trained with Paul Stephens back when I first came to the UK from Japan. If he's the guy I'm thinking of he was just about to go over to Japan (it was back in 1991).

Takeno is a great teacher and gifted aikidoka/budoka. Rob Mustard took me up to Yamanashi to get thrashed by Takeno right after I got my shodan (something about learning humility - I don't remember much about humility being taught, but there sure was a lot of hands on work with gravity).

I still get a kick out of looking at pictures from the old days, seeing the precise kihon dosa being done by people who where 5th/6th dan and above, clearly world class aikidoka who understood that, "you start with the basics and end with the basics".

I'm next in London in October, I'll be sure to look you guys up.

Sorry for getting off topic Jun, all this Yoshinkai talk made me get all misty.

Nathan Pereira
09-02-2003, 01:46 AM
Peter,

Paul did indeed go out to Japan in about '91 and stayed for nearly 5 years.I remember it well as that was the year I started. He knows R. Mustard very well too. Never met him myself but Paul talks his Aikido up big time. I think after getting battered senseless by Takano Sensei so much he has learnt a thing or too. Getting thrashed in Yamanashi by Takano sensei sounds about par for the course. Believe it or not but Takano sensei has got even better and now gives even more of a thrashing, but you can't help but get up smiling [if you get up].

We start at a new dojo in October so if you decide to visit I can send you directions.

Nathan