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Old 03-18-2007, 04:01 AM   #1
kokyu
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kata for ashi sabaki

I was fortunate to attend a seminar recently by Kubota Ikuhiro Sensei. He spend quite a bit of time teaching various kata for improving one's ashi sabaki (foot movement). Having been to a number of seminars by different sensei, this is the first time I have encountered such exercises in Aikido... although I know that some of the sword schools have specific exercises for ashi sabaki.

Does anyone have more information about exercises for ashi sabaki?

Thanks
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Old 03-19-2007, 11:54 AM   #2
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

All Aikido techniques are excersises for unsoku. Just focus on the feet.
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Old 03-19-2007, 12:40 PM   #3
Marc Abrams
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

We have a kata for foot work and foot work exercises at Shin-Budo Kai. Imaizumi Sensei even produced a 2 volume DVD on Aikido centered around footwork. For more information, you can go to the website at www.shinbudokai.com

marc abrams
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Old 03-19-2007, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

At he beginning of every class in Shodokan we have set exercises to improve/develop Unsoko, among other things.

LC

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Old 03-19-2007, 03:14 PM   #5
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

We are not a Shodokan school (though my Sensei's first decade of aikido was Shodokan), but do the footwork exercises at the beginning of each class, and regularly go through the junanahon beginner's kata that also focuses heavily on footwork with technique. They are remarkably effective teaching tools in my experience.

Cheers,

Paul
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Old 03-20-2007, 01:46 AM   #6
Amir Krause
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

In Korindo we dedicate a lot of our time for Tai-Sabaki practice, one of the things it teaches is foot-work though the more important thing is actually moving from the center and using your own body in an harmonious nature.
We practice Tai-Sabaki for 5-10 minutes every lesson, just give you the feeling of how important it is considered to be. In Korindo Aikido, the Tai-Sabaki is considered as one of the 3 fundamentals of the learning methodology (along with Kata - techniques, and Randori - free play).

Amir
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Old 03-20-2007, 02:48 AM   #7
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
I was fortunate to attend a seminar recently by Kubota Ikuhiro Sensei. He spend quite a bit of time teaching various kata for improving one's ashi sabaki (foot movement). Having been to a number of seminars by different sensei, this is the first time I have encountered such exercises in Aikido... although I know that some of the sword schools have specific exercises for ashi sabaki.

Does anyone have more information about exercises for ashi sabaki?

Thanks
With regards to ashi sabaki, from my experience only the Shodokan, Yoshinkan and Judo school incorporate ashi-sabaki into their formal syllabus (i.e, you have grading on it).

Yoshinkan ashi sabaki comes in the form of kihon dosa. Surprise, surprise... Judo also do ashi sabaki, but my coach just call it leg movement. He doesn't have a Japanese name for it.

In my opinion, the Shodokan and Judo ashi sabaki is quite similar. Over to you Larry "ShodoThug" Camejo for further comment.

Boon.

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Old 03-20-2007, 07:09 AM   #8
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

Quote:
Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
I was fortunate to attend a seminar recently by Kubota Ikuhiro Sensei. He spend quite a bit of time teaching various kata for improving one's ashi sabaki (foot movement). Having been to a number of seminars by different sensei, this is the first time I have encountered such exercises in Aikido... although I know that some of the sword schools have specific exercises for ashi sabaki.

Does anyone have more information about exercises for ashi sabaki?

Thanks
Hiroshi Tada has a whole load of exercises and spends at least one third of any seminar teaching them. He starts from shizentai (natural posture with the feet side by side slightly apart) and goes into hamni and the movements go in eight directions, starting from either foot. You can imagine all the combinations. He regards this training as absolutely crucial to the success of any partner practice.

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Old 03-20-2007, 09:34 AM   #9
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Xu Wenfung wrote: View Post
In my opinion, the Shodokan and Judo ashi sabaki is quite similar. Boon.
Hi Boon,

I've never done the Judo Ashi sabaki exercises in my little bit of Judo training but since Tomiki was very high ranked in Judo I can see where the similarity would come from. Jujutsu folks I've encountered also do these sorts of exercises apparently.

To add visuals to the concept I found this vid on youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DF_Y6YbvnA The first part - Unsoku Undo is the basic footwork and posture practice. The second part is an exercise in using tegatana (handblade) along with basic footwork.

Similar to Yoshinkan's Kihon Kozo, Shodokan also has a few basic drills that deal with proper footwork, postural alignment, power generation etc. I think these basic practices are a major similarity between the 2 methods.

Just my 2 cents.
LC

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Old 03-21-2007, 12:59 AM   #10
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Hi Boon,

I've never done the Judo Ashi sabaki exercises in my little bit of Judo training but since Tomiki was very high ranked in Judo I can see where the similarity would come from. Jujutsu folks I've encountered also do these sorts of exercises apparently.

To add visuals to the concept I found this vid on youtube - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DF_Y6YbvnA The first part - Unsoku Undo is the basic footwork and posture practice. The second part is an exercise in using tegatana (handblade) along with basic footwork.

Similar to Yoshinkan's Kihon Kozo, Shodokan also has a few basic drills that deal with proper footwork, postural alignment, power generation etc. I think these basic practices are a major similarity between the 2 methods.

Just my 2 cents.
LC
Yes yes yes to the video. That was what I did when I did Shodokan. The video sure bring back memories. And by the way, Judo ashi sabaki syllabus is more limited relative to Shodokan. I remember doing lots of ashi sabaki drills during my tenure as a Shodothuglet (TM).

Boon.

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Old 03-21-2007, 07:57 AM   #11
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Hiroshi Tada has a whole load of exercises and spends at least one third of any seminar teaching them. He starts from shizentai (natural posture with the feet side by side slightly apart) and goes into hamni and the movements go in eight directions, starting from either foot. You can imagine all the combinations. He regards this training as absolutely crucial to the success of any partner practice.
Dear Professor Goldsbury,

I believe Kubota Sensei was a student of Tada Sensei, so the exercises I witnessed would be very similar to the those taught by Tada Sensei. Unfortunately, I missed Tada Sensei's annual seminars at Hombu Dojo while I was there

Would you happen to know of any on-line or book references to Tada Sensei's feet exercises?

Thank you
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:08 PM   #12
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

Quote:
Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
To add visuals to the concept I found this vid on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DF_Y6YbvnA The first part - Unsoku Undo is the basic footwork and posture practice. The second part is an exercise in using tegatana (handblade) along with basic footwork.
Very interesting video. 'Unsoku undo' is quite similar to what I was taught, but the range of movements was more extensive... I guess it boils down to the school's emphasis on kata... although the Aikikai schools I've visited do not seem to focus on empty-hand kata...
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Old 03-24-2007, 06:28 AM   #13
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
Very interesting video. 'Unsoku undo' is quite similar to what I was taught, but the range of movements was more extensive... I guess it boils down to the school's emphasis on kata... although the Aikikai schools I've visited do not seem to focus on empty-hand kata...
Hi Soon,

I'm not sure if I'd designate the stuff we do in Kihon kozo (Basic Practices?) as kata per se. We do them as exercises to build the base fundamentals of motion for Aikido waza and for correct movement and posture in a kata and randori environment. All of the base movements found in Unsoku and Tegatana dousa are expanded upon to create the movements commonly seen when executing tai sabaki, waza and other movements of Aikido.

All the kihon kozo exercises build on each other, Unsoku (footwork) is the foundation for the next exercise, tegatana dousa (handblade movements e.g. strikes, thrusts, turns and twists) while using proper footwork, which then becomes the foundation for tegatana awase (moving ma ai, metsuke and footwork practice using tegatana) which then leads to sei chu sen no bogyo (metsuke, attack, reaction and entering exercise using tegatana and footwork) and onwards to the other kihon exercises.

Kata is a preset movement routine with a preset form, so in that light I'd say that Unsoku and Tegatana Dousa are kata, but the exercises that they operate as the foundation for are not preset, since they are designed to build reactions based on the unknown. There is no "focus on empty handed kata" however as you put it. Our fundamental kata, the Randori no kata is really based on a sword but is executed using tegatana or tanto.

I hope this clarifies.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 03-24-2007 at 06:32 AM.

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Old 03-24-2007, 07:18 PM   #14
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Larry Camejo wrote: View Post
Hi Soon,
Kata is a preset movement routine with a preset form, so in that light I'd say that Unsoku and Tegatana Dousa are kata, but the exercises that they operate as the foundation for are not preset, since they are designed to build reactions based on the unknown. There is no "focus on empty handed kata" however as you put it. Our fundamental kata, the Randori no kata is really based on a sword but is executed using tegatana or tanto.
Larry,

Thanks for the explanation.

When I said 'focus on empty handed kata', what I meant to say is that schools I've seen, and which taught a wide-range of pre-set forms, tended to do so in weapons practice (e.g. jo kata, ken suburi, etc), and not so much on movements with empty hand.

My main 'influences' have been the Ki Society and Aikikai... so it's a different and interesting way of training, always good to see how others like the Shodokan and Yoshinkan do things... after all, we are all trying to reach the same peak, just following different paths up the same mountain (or so I think)
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Old 03-24-2007, 07:27 PM   #15
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

A great amount of focus is put on the cornerstep in my study; obviously due to it's great importance in the irimi philosophy. Other than that - sensei has only really demonstrated improvements onto our natural footwork during the techniques. I can only remember katate tori shihonage requiring some tweaking in my experience so far.
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Old 04-13-2007, 05:46 AM   #16
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

I tend not to think to much about my feet, my arms etc....we don't think to much about them when we do everyday things like walking, writing.....if you start thinking of Ai Ki as an everyday occurrence then all you have to do is walk out of th way!
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Old 04-13-2007, 07:41 AM   #17
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
Dear Professor Goldsbury,

I believe Kubota Sensei was a student of Tada Sensei, so the exercises I witnessed would be very similar to the those taught by Tada Sensei. Unfortunately, I missed Tada Sensei's annual seminars at Hombu Dojo while I was there

Would you happen to know of any on-line or book references to Tada Sensei's feet exercises?

Thank you
Sorry for the delay in replying. I have been away in Europe. I attended one of Tada Sensei's recent seminars at the Hombu and it was not so satisfactory. There were too many people and not enough time. Try his website at Tada.gr.jp, where you have the choice of Italian or Japanese. I know of no book references and Tada Sensei is another Hombu Shihan, like the late Seigo Yamaguchi and Sadateru Arikawa, who is not keen on videotaping his training seminars.

Footwork is actually a crucial aspect of the aikido of all these three shihans, but Tada Sensei appears to be the only one who has attempted to teach it systematically and this is a relatively recent happening. I have mixed feeling about his teaching method.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-26-2007, 04:20 AM   #18
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
Try his website at Tada.gr.jp, where you have the choice of Italian or Japanese.

Footwork is actually a crucial aspect of the aikido of all these three shihans, but Tada Sensei appears to be the only one who has attempted to teach it systematically and this is a relatively recent happening. I have mixed feeling about his teaching method.
Dear Professor Goldsbury,

Sorry for the late reply, but I've had difficulty accessing the website over the past 2 weeks (thanks Jun)

I tried Tada Sensei's website at http://www.tada.gr.jp, and found the following:

足捌の稽古

①送足 ②継足 ③継足大 ④送足で他線に移動 ⑤他線に片足を進め継足移動 ⑥継足で他線に移動 ⑦ 他線に片足を進め継足大で移動 ⑧半身の切換
⑨転換 イその場で ロ送足転換 ハ継足転換 ニ後足を軸とする後転換
⑩回転、45度から270度まで ⑪歩足 ⑫半身より七通りの移動

ashi sabaki keiko

(1) okuri ashi (2) tsugi ashi (3) large tsugi ashi (4) moving to another line via okuri ashi (5) continuing to another line with feet in line, moving in tsugi ashi (6) moving to another line via tsugi ashi (7) continuing to another line with feet in line, moving in large tsugi ashi (8) sekkan (?) hanmi (not sure what this is)

(9) tenkan (i) on the spot (ii) okuri ashi tenkan (iii) tsugi ashi tenkan (iv) doing ushiro tenkan with the back leg as the axis

(10) tenkan (i) 45 degree to 270 degree

(11) ayumi ashi

(12) moving in 7 ways from hanmi

I think I understand most of the descriptions, although I remember we came back to the same spot... which is not possible if we keep on doing okuri ashi or tsugi ashi... I guess we must have reversed the foot movement... not sure what sekkan or 7 ways from hanmi is though...

May I ask why you have mixed feelings about his teaching method?

Thanks very much
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Old 04-28-2007, 09:32 PM   #19
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
I know of no book references and Tada Sensei is another Hombu Shihan, like the late Seigo Yamaguchi and Sadateru Arikawa, who is not keen on videotaping his training seminars.
True... but I wonder how much of their styles are reflected in their student? For example, Yasuno Sensei/Nakao Sensei/Tissier Sensei were all deshi of Yamaguchi Sensei. I know some people who have trained under both Yamaguchi Sensei and Yasuno Sensei... just wondering how much of Yamaguchi Sensei's style is reflected in their styles...

Just like Kubota Sensei/Irie Sensei are students of Tada Sensei... Up till now, I believe that Aikido is a personal thing and each person's Aikido is a reflection of their personality... but how much of Tada Sensei can be seen in Kubota Sensei/Irie Sensei?

Just some thoughts
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:48 AM   #20
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
Dear Professor Goldsbury,

May I ask why you have mixed feelings about his teaching method?

Thanks very much
On the one hand, it is the only systematic attempt to teach footwork without holding a bokken or jo that I have encountered in aikido. It is also a new development, in the sense that when I first encountered Tada Sensei in Hiroshima in the 1980s, he never taught any individual training apart from his renowned sequence of breathing exercises.

On the other hand, the teaching method is very traditional, in the sense that (1) you have to master the exercises by constant repetition until they have been so internalized that you can do them without thinking, and also (2) you yourself have to relate them to aikido waza and the principles that lie behind them. Thus, even Japanese, who have many years experience of aikido, find the exercises difficult to master.

So, last year Tada Sensei himself observed to me that members of 'town dojo' (i.e., not students in university dojo, who practise more intensively), have difficulties with these ashi sabaki exercises. But he never questioned his own role of shihan as 'teacher as model', with only the necessary amount of explanation.

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Old 04-30-2007, 04:58 AM   #21
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Soon-Kian Phang wrote: View Post
True... but I wonder how much of their styles are reflected in their student? For example, Yasuno Sensei/Nakao Sensei/Tissier Sensei were all deshi of Yamaguchi Sensei. I know some people who have trained under both Yamaguchi Sensei and Yasuno Sensei... just wondering how much of Yamaguchi Sensei's style is reflected in their styles...

Just like Kubota Sensei/Irie Sensei are students of Tada Sensei... Up till now, I believe that Aikido is a personal thing and each person's Aikido is a reflection of their personality... but how much of Tada Sensei can be seen in Kubota Sensei/Irie Sensei?

Just some thoughts
In general, very little.

However, I am not sure what point you are making here. For reasons of their own, the three shihans I mentioned never wrote anything or made tapes, so the only way you could ever experience their aikido is going to classes and seminars. Thus, your observations about their so-called students would fit, except that the shihans themselves did not consider it their business to produce 'replicas' of their aikido in those who trained under their direction. Accordingly, any similarities are fortuitous.

Why is this? Well, my own opinion is that these three shihans tried as much as possible to reproduce Morihei Ueshiba's own teaching methodology, such as it was.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 04-30-2007, 07:32 AM   #22
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Re: kata for ashi sabaki

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Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
However, I am not sure what point you are making here
As you mentioned, these shihan never wrote anything or made tapes... what I was trying to say is that even though we could not experience them firsthand, I was wondering how different it is when we learn from their students. I would hope that some of their style and insight would be transmitted via their students... otherwise it's a real loss that their understanding, after so many years of devoted training, doesn't get passed down to the next generation of Aikido students...

Unfortunately, I can't tell how much of their teaching is a direct transmission of their Sensei's style... I have met some people who trained under Yamaguchi Sensei and are now training at Yasuno Sensei's class... just wished I could have asked them how different the two Shihan's Aikido are...

Just my humble thoughts...
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