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Old 06-29-2016, 06:41 AM   #1
Brian Sutton
Location: Roswell Ga.
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 51
United_States
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Protecting toes.

Any footwear suggestions that don't hinder movement that work well for protecting toes on the mat.
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Old 06-29-2016, 07:39 AM   #2
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 741
Canada
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Re: Protecting toes.

Protect from what?
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Old 06-29-2016, 08:12 AM   #3
Brian Sutton
Location: Roswell Ga.
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 51
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Re: Protecting toes.

From that bird that usually flys into the dojo with a golf ball in it's mouth, dropping it on people's toes.
You know, the usual stuff..
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Old 06-29-2016, 10:25 AM   #4
Walter Martindale
Location: Cambridge, ON
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 741
Canada
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Re: Protecting toes.

Sorry, I'm at a loss. I've done 8 years of judo and 17 years of aikido and never wore anything on my feet during training.

Training surfaces are usually a "no footwear" zone specifically to protect the feet of the participants and to protect the mats from the stuff that you can carry around on the soles of footwear without being aware of it... (sand, poop, spit, other dirt)... Wear something to the edge of the mat, and take them off before stepping on.

If you're training outdoors, that's another question...
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Old 06-29-2016, 03:24 PM   #5
Garth Jones
Dojo: Allegheny Aikido
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 160
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Re: Protecting toes.

I have trained with people who have worn socks because of some sort of skin condition - but the socks are worn to protect the skin of the feet and/or the mat and other people from whatever might come off of the feet. Also, I have sometimes seen elderly Japanese teachers wear tabi (split toe) socks on the mat because their feet are always cold.

But Walter is right - I've never seen (in 28 years of aikido) a mat that wasn't a no-footwear space. I certainly never allow shoes on the mat, for all the reasons Walter states.
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:21 PM   #6
rugwithlegs
Dojo: Open Sky Aikikai
Location: Durham, NC
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 431
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Re: Protecting toes.

Well, following a cyst on my Achilles that had me unable to walk for a month, I was ordered to wear shoes by my wife's friend. And my wife outranks me. No choice.

Our head teacher also teaches Tai Chi, and they wear shoes for that class. As a person who crossed the lines between Tai Chi and Aikido, I had a number of flat soled shoes.

Seiza is harder with shoes. I couldn't feel as clearly when I stepped on skin or hair.

I have broken toes on the mat, usually with a technique where uke fell when I went down one on knee with the ankle exposed.

If I sit on my heel, the ankle is covered.

If I throw more forcefully away, then my ankle and toes are safer than if I do a down-to-the-knee variation slowly and with less momentum and don't get uke clear of my foot.

I am tall enough in the torso that I can get away with seiza rather than shikko dachi stance (up on the toes of both feet.)

If I never drop down, practice more standing pins or projections from standing, then my feet are safest.

Coming up on three decades of practice, and the arthritis in my big toes was already developing in my feet from years of running and skiing, soccer, and a few uke landing on the back of my ankle and cracking my toes. I don't know what shoes offer, but prevention is a very good idea.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:59 AM   #7
lbb
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,137
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Re: Protecting toes.

The appropriate solution depends on what you're protecting, what you're protecting it from, and what is allowed in the dojo. Depending on the problem, however, you may find that the solution lies outside the dojo, in better foot care, stretching, etc.
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Old 06-30-2016, 10:28 AM   #8
PeterR
 
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Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,318
Japan
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Re: Protecting toes.

Ah yes - my old steel toed wiki boots

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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