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Old 01-18-2007, 09:15 AM   #87
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,568
Re: Baseline skillset

Mike Sigman wrote:
Paul Rodrigo wrote:
There it is again, the "power comes from the big toe" idea that Shioda hinted at but didnt explain. Would you be willing to expound on that a little further now, Mike, or would it be too far from the theme of baseline skills?
I just tried to think of a quick way to explain what it is, but it's tricky without the understanding of the baseline skills that lead up to it. Let's just say that it is one of the supplemental ways to store and use power. ... It's one of the choices of things you want to specialize in
Shioda explained it and illustrated it as shown below. He said the big toe was the key to centering power (chushin ryoku) which is the necessary prerequisite for focussed power (shuchu ryoku) or breath power (kokyu ryoku).

Mike suggested:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Someone pushes you and you let that push go unimpeded (as much as possible) through you to the back leg. That would be simple grounding. If you keep their push lined up with the ground while you go backward and down a couple of inches (to allow you to "store" in the leg, waist, and hopefully tanden joints) and then you return directly into their push
Mike thus advocates in his "basic skillset" exercise precisely the reverse of what Shioda was talking about with the Big Toe chushin power, which is on the front (irimi) leg.

Shioda even shows it on the back cover of Total Aikido:

He makes clear in the the illustration and text of "Dynamic Aikido" (p. 82) the centering power in the big toe is on the forward foot in the direction of the irimi, NOT in the rear "grounding" footand in the direction opposite the irimi of the technique, which as Mike suggests, is directly in-line with the attacking force .

The illustration and narrative specify the right (forward) big toe as the focus of power, even when performing ikkyo urawaza, as depicted.

I very often have to correct students whose irimi in their technique is incomplete because they stop with the feet about shoulder width apart in hanmi and weight fairly evenly distributed. By showing them how to, just as Shioda depicts, rotate the weight from the front heel to the ball of the front big toe (drawing the rear leg up under, as the hip pulls it forward). They gain an additional six inches of extension forward -- with a total movement of the body.

Most importantly it is performed (as Shioda illustrates) without any significant rear leg spring or push (as Mike suggests). It is a motion of the whole body (weight transfer - taijuuido) pivoting dropping (slightly) forward and then rising to center itself over the forward ball of the big toe. The rear leg merely travels sliding along the ground.

It also raises uke's connection a further two inches or so and the tanden travels in an rising, forward arc, like extending from chudan to seigan with the sword. It is the exact same mechanics for the hip and torso as is applied with the wrist and forearm in seated kokyu dosa.

Chushin weight distribution is on the rear leg big toe in situations where the rear hip is the one making the irimi. In a gyakku munetsuki iriminage, for instance, the forward leg and hip are in line with, but giving way to, the attack, while the rear hip is initially advancing in irimi Even though the rear leg may not change position at all, its weight distribution changes from heel to toe. Thus, the rear big toe is momentarily the focus as the center point of the irimi/tenkan in receiving the attack.

The rear leg is off-line and merely forms the pivot. It cannot transmit reaction force to the attack from the ground. If it were bearing the force of attack with ground reaction, the hip would have to be in-line and would not be free to turn forward in irimi. As soon as the receiving irimi/tenkan is made, the reverse irimi/tenkan begins on the forward hip and leg with the same sort of weight transfer described above. The ball of the big toe on the front (irimi) foot again becomes the focus to make the throw.


Erick Mead
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