Thread: Suwari Waza
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:17 AM   #9
Gerardo Torres
Location: SF Bay Area
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 176
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Re: Suwari Waza

My best advice for suwari waza is: don't do it. It's just bad for your knees and body. It's one of those things we do because we're told to do it (aka "tradition"), but other than "tempering the spirit through physical punishment" there is little to no martial benefit from training suwari waza that cannot be achieved standing. Mind you, I did a lot of suwariwaza in aikido... I'm just doing less and less of it these days as I try to avoid destroying my body like so many aikido veterans have.

If you must practice suwariwaza, some bits of advice:

Keep posture straight focusing balance from the spine rather than being double weighted and shift weight from knee to knee. This will relieve pressure from the knees as you move as the weight is better distributed and controlled.

Wear knee pads so knees don't grind too hard on the floor (not too thick ones as they might prop your posture back).

Keep everything connected; activate legs and arms connected to center, so when you move everything moves together. Do not move from the hips, move from the center in a connected manner. Connected legs (and arms) make you stronger and more efficient, so you don't tax individual body parts as much while moving. If you know how, spiraling and opening/closing the legs instead of just flexing would make you even stronger and more efficient.

Keep eyes up (don't look down on the floor in front of you). This will help you keep good posture.

Remain "active", as you move in suwari waza; do not let your hips go up and down too much as you walk, instead maintain hips at the same horizontal level as much as possible. (The same applies to tachi-waza btw: don't let the hips go up and down as you move.) Going from rest (letting the butt rest on or near the heels) then raising to a full step puts a lot of stress on the muscles and knees. Even if you're just sitting seiza, don't slouch or let the weight rest, remain "active" in a "ready" position; think of the iai-goshi posture which is a combative "ready" position.

Last edited by Gerardo Torres : 07-17-2013 at 11:20 AM.
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