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.