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theninthwave 11-15-2004 12:27 PM

Learning to Walk
 
How should I walk? Stepping, my leg makes a crescent, a slight one. My hips move more dramatically. It's as if I'm keeping my stance as I move, swinging the legs around into stance position. Sliding, I'm trying to keep the soles of my feet attached to the Earth. The ball of the foot becomes the pivot point. One leg keeps it's posture as it moves to its new place. Same with tan-kon. There is this outward, circular movement of the leg. One of my instructors saw me doing this and pointed it out, suggesting I cut the circle, stepping in a straighter line to make a more efficient, direct movement. Same with tan-kon: make it more of a step back instead of a slight swing. I see the logic of it, and usually try to follow instruction, but it doesn't feel right. Is it because I've been doing it one way for...I can't say for so long...for more than 4 years now...but the way I've been doing it from the beginning? How do you walk? Some changes are hard to make.

graham butt 11-15-2004 12:33 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
How do I walk...................... Normally.... Naturally!

Matt Molloy 11-15-2004 12:36 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Hmmm.

Don't walk. Boogie! :D

Cheers,

Matt.

aikidojones 11-15-2004 01:53 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
I agree that however it feels natural is usually the best way to practice walking (for martial art or otherwise). However, if you're really concerned about it, there are orthopedic specialists who can look at at from a stuctural perspective and examine the wear on your shoes to determine if you have any habits which will actually be harmful in the long run. Might be worth checking out if you're really worried.

p00kiethebear 11-15-2004 09:11 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

How should I walk?
Like this

graham butt 11-16-2004 04:39 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
HAHAHA, Good idea Nathan, imagind trying irimi nage walking like that!

Graham.

Zoli Elo 11-17-2004 05:19 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

Matt Leone wrote:
How should I walk? Stepping, my leg makes a crescent, a slight one. My hips move more dramatically. It's as if I'm keeping my stance as I move, swinging the legs around into stance position. Sliding, I'm trying to keep the soles of my feet attached to the Earth. The ball of the foot becomes the pivot point. One leg keeps it's posture as it moves to its new place. Same with tan-kon. There is this outward, circular movement of the leg. One of my instructors saw me doing this and pointed it out, suggesting I cut the circle, stepping in a straighter line to make a more efficient, direct movement. Same with tan-kon: make it more of a step back instead of a slight swing. I see the logic of it, and usually try to follow instruction, but it doesn't feel right. Is it because I've been doing it one way for...I can't say for so long...for more than 4 years now...but the way I've been doing it from the beginning? How do you walk? Some changes are hard to make.

What they are having you do is ipsilateral walking (nanban aruki - 南蛮行 ?) that is the old way of walking [in Japan]. Other methods of walking work just fine, but if the old method is used at your dojo, just keep at it. Best of luck.

IvLabush 08-16-2013 06:21 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
It's nice that you mentioned nanba aruki. I'd like to ask about it in aikido. Some aikido teachers or maybe shihans use it, isn't? I don't practice aikido that's why I can't ask directly.

lbb 08-16-2013 09:04 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
"Left foot, right foot, your body will follow. They call it 'walking'."

Dan Richards 08-16-2013 09:52 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
If the body is following the feet, that's a particularly poor way of "walking." I'd call that more along the lines of repeated stumbling. A lot of people do it, especially in Western culture. I'd be careful, too, using the idea of "natural," because if you're not starting with a proper reference point, everything else gets thrown out of whack. Sort of like not tuning a guitar correctly, and then expecting that just playing naturally will give better results.

I think it's important to have some basic reference points that are in tune and aligned.

theninthwave, there's a lot of ways to approach relearning to walk. One I could suggest on a practical level is riding a bike. A bike is a great tool for a number of things. The position of the body on a bike is good because the hips remain stable, the abdominal area centered, and the legs have a feeling of being suspended. And with that, the legs are free to move. Also the circular/spiraling movement of the legs from pedaling gives a lot of insight into the "pedaling" motion that legs and feet are patterning when someone moves gracefully and with ease - as if they're floating.

Ride a bike for awhile, even a stationary bike, and you'll notice a few core things that enhance walking: a strengthened abdominal center - which results in a more centered and aligned core. Also, with a stronger core, the muscles in the back will relax, as they're not being improperly used to compensate for the lack of a weak center. You'll also notice you're posture is more aligned. And you'll have the feeling that you're using you're body to move - that you're hips are more settled and stable on the horizontal plane relative to the ground.

Walking, when done with intrinsic strength, and with better alignment - not only with the body structure, but also the relationship between the various moving parts - is effortless and powerful.

I think it's good you brought up such a basic topic, and that you're willing and wanting to re-examine and explore.

My 2. Cheers...

ken king 08-16-2013 04:24 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

Ivan Labushevskiy wrote: (Post 328976)
It's nice that you mentioned nanba aruki. I'd like to ask about it in aikido. Some aikido teachers or maybe shihans use it, isn't? I don't practice aikido that's why I can't ask directly.

I seem to remember my first aikido instructor talk about "nanba aruki"( he actually just called it samurai walking) a decade or so ago but I don't remember much. Are there any videos floating around that demonstrate this?

miso 08-16-2013 06:04 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Most people walk with their hands.

The OP is talking about noticing that their gait has changed.

The way you walk has to be as easily changeable as anything else you do. Practice them all. Slip into naturalness. If you walk around like a samurai/swordsman/martial artist don't be surprised if people aren't exactly friendly.

bkedelen 08-16-2013 06:45 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

Mark Johnston wrote: (Post 329005)
Most people walk with their hands.

You have beautifully articulated an important point. Learning not to walk with my hands (or as you might point out, to only walk with them if I so choose) has been one of the more dramatic upgrades I have made to my martial arts.

IvLabush 08-17-2013 12:03 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

Kenneth King wrote: (Post 329004)
Are there any videos floating around that demonstrate this?

I like those three.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BfIyM-cb20
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vke1N0k9xs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6JNY49vGC8
The last one brings me memories about aikido that I read many years ago. Ueshiba sensei students talk that he moved too fast in crowd. They can't catch him. The answer is in the last video as for me.

Mary Eastland 08-17-2013 11:59 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Thank you for sharing these...much food for thought.

Dan Rubin 08-18-2013 09:22 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

Ivan Labushevskiy wrote: (Post 329007)
Ueshiba sensei students talk that he moved too fast in crowd. They can't catch him.

Don't forget that O Sensei wasn't carrying any luggage, his students were.

IvLabush 08-18-2013 09:32 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
I use to carry some luggage 'cause I don't have a car. As for me nanba aruki is "energy saving mode" of walking. Of course it gives other things but it's too complex and description will looks like an article about nanba aruki.

jonreading 08-19-2013 11:45 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Best aikido answer I have heard/felt/seen - release the front knee, squeeze the back knee under the pelvis. This should place tori in an pillar posture (shizentai) feet comfortably spaced and relatively even. The rear foot continues by releasing the knee and pushing with the [now] rear foot. Think tori fune but changing feet forward. My hips turn very little; my hips bones turn within my pelvis, which stays pretty still. Bottom line, no John Wayne.

Best description non-aikido - dragon stepping.

Dan Messisco Sensei does a great walking segment in his seminars.

dps 08-22-2013 07:54 PM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

Matt Leone wrote: (Post 86772)
How should I walk? Stepping, my leg makes a crescent, a slight one. My hips move more dramatically. It's as if I'm keeping my stance as I move, swinging the legs around into stance position. Sliding, I'm trying to keep the soles of my feet attached to the Earth. The ball of the foot becomes the pivot point. One leg keeps it's posture as it moves to its new place. Same with tan-kon. There is this outward, circular movement of the leg. One of my instructors saw me doing this and pointed it out, suggesting I cut the circle, stepping in a straighter line to make a more efficient, direct movement. Same with tan-kon: make it more of a step back instead of a slight swing. I see the logic of it, and usually try to follow instruction, but it doesn't feel right. Is it because I've been doing it one way for...I can't say for so long...for more than 4 years now...but the way I've been doing it from the beginning? How do you walk? Some changes are hard to make.

Sounds like bagua walking,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSUEZ2K5hvI

dps

bkedelen 08-23-2013 12:47 AM

Re: Learning to Walk
 
Quote:

Jon Reading wrote: (Post 329028)
Dan Messisco Sensei does a great walking segment in his seminars.

Dan Messisco and Kuroda Tetsuzan are the examples I use to develop my walking. Its a hell of a thing to walk away from a grasping attacker knowing there is nothing they can do to stop you.


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