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Old 10-03-2003, 08:42 AM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
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using legs/feet

~~Hi all!

Tell me, if you're training and somewhere in the movement your leg/foot naturally finds intself in a position to trip, sweep, clip, lock or pin your partner's leg/foot do you take advantage of that or feel that you've messed up and this is 'wrong' in Aikido practice?


~~Paula~~
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:22 AM   #2
jxa127
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Hi Paula,

During my most recent rank test, I used my leg to trip my uke. We were doing jiyu waza (single attacker, any attack) and my initial blending movement set me up for a trip, so I took it.

I don't see anything wrong with this as long as one's uke can take the fall.

Regards,

-Drew

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-Drew Ames
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:44 AM   #3
DaveO
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Hi Paula!

I suppose using the leg to trip/sweep an attacker isn't 'correct' in shin-shin (ironic, don't you think? ), but I've never exactly been one to worry about what 'correct' is (heh heh heh). We don't do them for kumi-waza of course; but I've been known to drop the odd leg in during randori and other forms of free practice. The thing I've noticed is, this may be a bit of a downfall in many dojos' training systems - since the legs are largely ignored in training, the aikidoist may develop a bit of a blind spot towards them, concentrating on the torso and arms, forgetting that two very versatile and powerful limbs are within range as well.

I've done this one a couple times during randori: as uke comes in, I slide forward so my fore leg crosses behind his forward leg, while performing a sort of deep sayu. I lower the forward leg; the bending knee causes his knee to bend, and with uke already moving to deal with my extended arm, he finds one of his pins suddenly gone and winds up staring at the ceiling.

Kinda hard to describe; but it works to a certain extent; sort of a variation of the 'high-low-high' philosophy of attack in some forms of martial arts.

Cheers!

Answers are only easy when they're incomplete.
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:03 AM   #4
ChristianBoddum
 
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Hi Dave !

If I get it right ?

after tenkan you should be in position to

bend ukes knee - kind of collapse by bending your knee into his knee from the back side.

If this is the one - I do it too, but not often,I know it's there and it works,that's enough for me,I'll sometimes demonstrate it but it locks me too so it's only an option.

yours - Chr.B.
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:08 AM   #5
ChristianBoddum
 
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By the way -

I sometimes try to sneak in a legsweep,

but find it very hard to get away with on good dokas,they seem to stand in a way that

makes it hard to make legsweeps work !
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Old 10-03-2003, 10:13 AM   #6
akiy
 
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Hi Paula,

I often use my legs and feet for kuzushi purposes. Last night, I did a pretty interesting reversal on our senior student by affecting his ankle...

-- Jun

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Old 10-03-2003, 11:32 AM   #7
MikeE
 
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If it's there I use it. Like Jun alluded to it can be a great way to get someone moving the way you want or to position for a nice koshinage.

Mike Ellefson
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:40 PM   #8
L. Camejo
 
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Interesting.

When I train Judo, leg sweeps are par for the course for kuzushi etc, but when I train Aikido I think the idea is to execute technique by utilizing correct body positioning, timing, kuzushi and tsukuri. If I end up using my legs to sweep to make a technique work (which happens every now and then, especially in hard randori ), I consider it a personal loss, since if I am doing things correctly I should not need to rely on leg locking to make my technique effective.

Having said this though, I believe it is unwise to remain unaware of the application of the feet in applying Aikido techniqe. When teaching things along a more "self defence" slant I remind people that the legs are available for application of kuzushi, atemi waza and whatever else one may think of.

I guess I just tend to separate the two, attempting to truly internalise and apply a technique during kata and randori without having to rely on my legs to do what my positioning and balance breaking should have done in the first place.

Have also seen what happens when an applied leg does not work as well, even more embarassing as Tori is now on one leg and not in the best place to maintain his own balance and centre and Uke takes Tori to the floor instead.

Just some thoughts.

L.C.

Last edited by L. Camejo : 10-03-2003 at 02:43 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 10-03-2003, 02:57 PM   #9
PhilJ
 
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Using something to 'make a technique work' does imply something may be missing, and I think that applies to any body part(s) you choose to use.

I agree with the rest: if it's there, use it, so long as the technique follows the basic principles of aikido.

*Phil

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Old 10-03-2003, 10:39 PM   #10
Bogeyman
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I tend to use my legs during takedowns more than most people that I train with but it could be a result of my stance being too wide. I have studied othe arts that do use sweeps and leg throws though.

E
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Old 12-30-2006, 06:27 AM   #11
kokyu
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote:
Hi Paula,

I often use my legs and feet for kuzushi purposes. Last night, I did a pretty interesting reversal on our senior student by affecting his ankle...

-- Jun
I recently attended a seminar where the use of legs was pointed out to me - actually, it was a bit of a revelation... I am hoping to extend this thread to 'catalog' the use for legs for kuzushi...

1) When doing shihonage, I was cautioned not to step forward with my inner leg (the leg closest to uke) unless uke was off-balanced, otherwise she could just sweep out her leg and knock me off balance
2) When doing ikkyo omote, I was cautioned not to step forward too early as uke could grab hold (or strike) my inner leg and cause me to lose balance
2) I was also shown a variation of kokyunage, where tori would knee uke at the back of the knee, to make uke lose balance
3) Another type used the hands.. from shomenuchi, tori would block and then suddenly drop down, using the hands in a scissoring motion to cut the knees and ankles of uke in opposing directions, causing uke to fall down

Would appreciate others sharing in detail on how they use the legs (or hands) on uke's leg(s) to effect kuzushi... Thanks
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:21 AM   #12
SeiserL
 
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Re: using legs/feet

IMHO, if just during training under a Sensei, use it if its part of the technique demonstrated. Initially I try to rigidly stay within the box or curriculum offered.

If it presents itself during more free form practice, then by all means.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-30-2006, 02:28 PM   #13
Kevin Wilbanks
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Re: using legs/feet

The way I was taught, irimi and kokyu nage movements are both usually "tripping" in a sense, as nage gets bent over your thigh by the arm/upper body movement - one over the inside, one over the outside - as you step way into or through their space. If you want these moves to really work, a lot of the time it seems the leg has to be there to trip them, as knocking someone over by just pushing your arm into someones face/neck area seems like a pretty low percentage finesse move. Coincidentally, I just visited a dojo where someone asked me whether I did judo because he wasn't used to being bent over the leg so extremely during these movements.

At my home dojo, we also practiced a step between the legs from behind and extend the leg 'tripping' movement. I've never seen stepping on and pinning the foot in Aikido. I have seen the shin pushing trip mentioned above rarely, and occasionally techniques where you squat down and manipulate the lower leg with the hands. "Aiki nage" is a standard technique where you trip uke with your whole body.

I think reaps usually aren't considered good Aikido because tipping over while on one foot represents too much jeopardy to one's balance. It probably wouldn't be a good technique for multi attackers and I think that is sort of a litmus test for Aikido techniques. Since Aikido doesn't have ground fighting, a high premium is placed on remaining standing.
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Old 12-30-2006, 07:43 PM   #14
kokyu
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
If it presents itself during more free form practice, then by all means.
From the comments, it appears that tripping is more of a randori thing than a technique that's part of the curriculum... I've never seen it in the books... but I thought some Sensei might do it fairly regularly as part of their 'trademark' move... for example, when I was demonstrating the scissoring technique described above, I was asked if I had seen a particular Sensei in action...

BTW, I recently purchased 'Aikido Weapons Techniques' and wanted to thank you for co-writing the interesting book... only thing I wondered was why the ken suburi was not included
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:00 PM   #15
SeiserL
 
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote:
BTW, I recently purchased 'Aikido Weapons Techniques' and wanted to thank you for co-writing the interesting book... only thing I wondered was why the ken suburi was not included
Thanks for the kind word.
We (Tenshinkai) don't practice the ken-suburi much and had a very limited length/space available to us. We had to be more representative than inclusive. Did our best to hopefully provide a useful resource.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 12-30-2006, 08:04 PM   #16
raul rodrigo
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Kevin Wilbanks wrote:
I think reaps usually aren't considered good Aikido because tipping over while on one foot represents too much jeopardy to one's balance. It probably wouldn't be a good technique for multi attackers and I think that is sort of a litmus test for Aikido techniques. Since Aikido doesn't have ground fighting, a high premium is placed on remaining standing.
I've seen video of Seigo Yamaguchi shihan, Tissier and Yasuno all doing irimi nage with an accompanying leg sweep. Doesnt seem to jeopardize their balance at all.
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Old 12-30-2006, 10:57 PM   #17
L. Camejo
 
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Re: using legs/feet

Hi Raul,

Any chance of those videos being available online?

One does not necessarily lose balance when doing a foot sweep but one does stand on one leg which creates a much greater chance for unbalance and also causes one to stop moving until the other foot is planted. As indicated before, having the foot planted while doing a sweep is not too good for multiple attacker training since you become static for the time it takes to completed the sweep and open to attack by another person.

Lastly, many techniques if executed with poor posture (whether one sweeps or have both feet planted) can result in balance disruption if the Uke is resisting and trying to reveal the holes in Tori's technique. Happens a lot when folks hold onto their partner and pull while falling for irimi nage for example.

Just some thoughts.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 12-31-2006, 05:08 AM   #18
raul rodrigo
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote:
Any chance of those videos being available online?:

Not that I know of, but I'll see what I can dig up. I agree that doing a technique with one foot off the ground is in general a bad idea, balance wise. Its just that there are sensei who break these rules without much effort. I can't do the leg-sweep irimi nage, either, but my teacher can. Its something i'm still working on, among many many things.

I have also seen film of Saotome engaging in a randori and about to throw one uke with irimi nage when another uke attacks from behind. Saotome stops the irimi nage motion, takes out the second uke with a karate side kick, and then completes the irimi nage. Not something I'd recommend for your plain vanilla aikidoka, but interesting just the same.
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Old 12-31-2006, 06:23 AM   #19
kokyu
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
Not that I know of, but I'll see what I can dig up. I agree that doing a technique with one foot off the ground is in general a bad idea, balance wise. Its just that there are sensei who break these rules without much effort. I can't do the leg-sweep irimi nage, either, but my teacher can. Its something i'm still working on, among many many things.

I have also seen film of Saotome engaging in a randori and about to throw one uke with irimi nage when another uke attacks from behind. Saotome stops the irimi nage motion, takes out the second uke with a karate side kick, and then completes the irimi nage. Not something I'd recommend for your plain vanilla aikidoka, but interesting just the same.
Raul, I'd also be interested in seeing a clip as well...

I think your second comment probably hits on why certain sensei do leg sweeps/trips (or in this case a karate kick)... I'm guessing they are use their training in other martial arts to create a 'mixed' technique.. I'm not a judoka (although I hope to try judo a few years from now), but I understand there is a group of judo waza called ashi barai which focuses on foot sweeps... adding it to kokyu ho/irimi nage could add oomph to the technique...

Having said this though, there is this interesting article on foot techniques from Hombu Dojo that was pointed out in an older thread

Last edited by kokyu : 12-31-2006 at 06:28 AM.
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Old 12-31-2006, 06:41 AM   #20
kokyu
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Re: using legs/feet

There's also mention of taking ukemi from ashi barai in this excerpt from Kanai Sensei's unpublished book on Technical Aikido

In addition, a certain ki society mentions ashi barai, ashi sukui and zenpo-nage ashi-tori
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Old 12-31-2006, 09:11 AM   #21
raul rodrigo
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Re: using legs/feet

In this clip from the 2003 Boulder seminar, Tissier does the irimi nage with a sweep at the 1:30 mark and then again at the 1:50 mark. His sweep is relatively high and goes for both legs. From what I recall of the Yamaguchi version of the same waza, the sweep was lower, more subtle, and went for only one foot. Tissier's first art was judo after all and he should be comfortable with sweeps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax-_d...elated&search=
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Old 12-31-2006, 04:03 PM   #22
L. Camejo
 
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote:
In this clip from the 2003 Boulder seminar, Tissier does the irimi nage with a sweep at the 1:30 mark and then again at the 1:50 mark. His sweep is relatively high and goes for both legs. From what I recall of the Yamaguchi version of the same waza, the sweep was lower, more subtle, and went for only one foot. Tissier's first art was judo after all and he should be comfortable with sweeps.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax-_d...elated&search=
Saw the vid. It was pretty much what I expected, an application of osoto gari (major outer reap) while executing irimi nage (aigamae ate). We do this a lot in Jujutsu class. Works well if Tori has total control of Uke's balance by fully controlling the head and spine, but then if this is the case one would not need a foot sweep to throw Uke anyway. If one does not have good kuzushi this technique is easily countered however, either with a variety of what some folks call kokyu nage (e.g. sumi otoshi) or via the use of a sacrifice technique like Yoko Otoshi (in a Judo/Jujutsu context). This also applies if the waza was attempted purely Judo style also.

From my perspective (being Shodokan where Tomiki was strict to keep Judo and Aikido waza separate) the application of the foot sweep here is really an application of Judo/Jujutsu waza and not Aiki waza. However in a free practice environment I guess it is applicable and the opportunity does appear quite regularly. In our method the need for the sweep is negated by deep, penetrating kuzushi at the point of touching Uke, placing him completely off balance by the time he completes his attacking step. In this case the sweep just slows the technique down as Uke's own intertia is often enough to effect a throw.

I often use the counters I outlined above in both Aikido and Jujutsu to ensure that folks maintain proper footing and posture when executing throws like Irimi Nage and not get taken down into a grappling position on the floor or get caught in their partner's guard.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:13 AM   #23
Ron Tisdale
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Re: using legs/feet

Mainline Daito ryu uses sweeps as well...and they are definately aiki in their use of them. Some require very precise timing. As always, proper kuzushi is key against larger, stronger partners.

Best,
Ron

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Old 01-02-2007, 08:57 AM   #24
raul rodrigo
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Re: using legs/feet

I agree with Larry C that the Tissier osoto gari cum irimi nage looks more like a judo waza inserted into an aikido movement--not something that looks "very aiki" in and of itself. The Yamaguchi version that I have seen, on the other hand, looks pretty clean and "sweet," if I can call it that. From what I have seen, a lot of what Yamaguchi did had that quality of clean, effortless elegance.
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Old 01-02-2007, 09:28 AM   #25
kokyu
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Re: using legs/feet

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Mainline Daito ryu uses sweeps as well...and they are definately aiki in their use of them. Some require very precise timing. As always, proper kuzushi is key against larger, stronger partners.

Best,
Ron
This might have been asked somewhere else, but where do we draw the line between something being 'aiki' and 'not aiki'?

Also, does Omiya Shiro Sensei's book 'The Hidden Roots of Aikido: Aiki Jujutsu Daitoryu' cover sweeps?

This is off tangent... but I was having dinner with a shihan some time ago and he claimed that students of kobudo try to preserve the art, rather than evolve it... but I don't think Aikido is a kobudo, so it's got to evolve right? But which way? By integrating techniques from other arts such as Judo and Karate? By integrating within Aikido itself (which we can see with groups that fuse aspects of the Ki Society and Aikikai)?
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