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Old 02-09-2012, 04:55 AM   #4
Mario Tobias
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 261
Re: Help! Blackbelts vs Sensei!

Sensei always knows best.

As for the front forward foot, your sensei is correct. 45 degrees is too much. It just needs to be just a little tilted off the center line.

And the technical reason for this is very trivial. The more you twist your front foot outward, the more difficult it is to use your hara if you need to twist it the opposite way, or same way even. Twist it 90 degrees you can't even twist from your center. Do this as an experiment to see what I'm talking about.

Essentially your front foot is locking your hara the more you twist your foot outward which is not recommended . This might mean your techniques might look that you are using more upper body strength rather than using center. More use of hara = more power. Very simple really but not easy!

The 45 degrees can work IMHO if you stand on the balls of your feet and focus on the big toes if you want to twist, otherwise you get locked out. This takes a lot of practice though.

Also do suburi/jo practice for tenkai and tenkan since its a different feeling. You might think you're pretty good with empty handed tenkai or tenkan but you'll scratch your head if you start weapons practice since you will be stumbling badly at first.

Another one of my "secrets" is when you are doing tenkai or tenkan, FOCUS your mind on the front knee and it'll be automatic 60/40 weighting after turning.

So bottomline, there is no correct way but IMHO the recommended stance is where you 1) can maximize use/twist of your hara and 2) feel balanced when you do basic footwork with or without weapons. If your stance doesn't meet the above 2 requirements then at least you know how to improve it.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 02-09-2012 at 05:04 AM.
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