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Old 11-15-2004, 11:27 AM   #1
theninthwave
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Learning to Walk

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.

Last edited by theninthwave : 11-15-2004 at 11:33 AM.
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Old 11-15-2004, 11:33 AM   #2
graham butt
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Re: Learning to Walk

How do I walk...................... Normally.... Naturally!
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Old 11-15-2004, 11:36 AM   #3
Matt Molloy
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Re: Learning to Walk

Hmmm.

Don't walk. Boogie!

Cheers,

Matt.
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Old 11-15-2004, 12:53 PM   #4
aikidojones
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Re: Learning to Walk

I agree that however it feels natural is usually the best way to practice walking (for martial art or otherwise). However, if you're really concerned about it, there are orthopedic specialists who can look at at from a stuctural perspective and examine the wear on your shoes to determine if you have any habits which will actually be harmful in the long run. Might be worth checking out if you're really worried.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:11 PM   #5
p00kiethebear
 
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
How should I walk?
Like this

"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity"
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Old 11-16-2004, 03:39 PM   #6
graham butt
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Re: Learning to Walk

HAHAHA, Good idea Nathan, imagind trying irimi nage walking like that!

Graham.
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Old 11-17-2004, 04:19 AM   #7
Zoli Elo
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
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.

Last edited by Zoli Elo : 11-17-2004 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:21 AM   #8
IvLabush
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Re: Learning to Walk

It's nice that you mentioned nanba aruki. I'd like to ask about it in aikido. Some aikido teachers or maybe shihans use it, isn't? I don't practice aikido that's why I can't ask directly.

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Old 08-16-2013, 08:04 AM   #9
lbb
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Re: Learning to Walk

"Left foot, right foot, your body will follow. They call it 'walking'."
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:52 AM   #10
Dan Richards
 
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Re: Learning to Walk

If the body is following the feet, that's a particularly poor way of "walking." I'd call that more along the lines of repeated stumbling. A lot of people do it, especially in Western culture. I'd be careful, too, using the idea of "natural," because if you're not starting with a proper reference point, everything else gets thrown out of whack. Sort of like not tuning a guitar correctly, and then expecting that just playing naturally will give better results.

I think it's important to have some basic reference points that are in tune and aligned.

theninthwave, there's a lot of ways to approach relearning to walk. One I could suggest on a practical level is riding a bike. A bike is a great tool for a number of things. The position of the body on a bike is good because the hips remain stable, the abdominal area centered, and the legs have a feeling of being suspended. And with that, the legs are free to move. Also the circular/spiraling movement of the legs from pedaling gives a lot of insight into the "pedaling" motion that legs and feet are patterning when someone moves gracefully and with ease - as if they're floating.

Ride a bike for awhile, even a stationary bike, and you'll notice a few core things that enhance walking: a strengthened abdominal center - which results in a more centered and aligned core. Also, with a stronger core, the muscles in the back will relax, as they're not being improperly used to compensate for the lack of a weak center. You'll also notice you're posture is more aligned. And you'll have the feeling that you're using you're body to move - that you're hips are more settled and stable on the horizontal plane relative to the ground.

Walking, when done with intrinsic strength, and with better alignment - not only with the body structure, but also the relationship between the various moving parts - is effortless and powerful.

I think it's good you brought up such a basic topic, and that you're willing and wanting to re-examine and explore.

My 2. Cheers...

Last edited by Dan Richards : 08-16-2013 at 08:55 AM.

Dan Richards - Aiki Research

"Budo must always reflect its surroundings. If it isn't newer and stronger, it isn't valid." - Shoji Nishio
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Old 08-16-2013, 03:24 PM   #11
ken king
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
Ivan Labushevskiy wrote: View Post
It's nice that you mentioned nanba aruki. I'd like to ask about it in aikido. Some aikido teachers or maybe shihans use it, isn't? I don't practice aikido that's why I can't ask directly.
I seem to remember my first aikido instructor talk about "nanba aruki"( he actually just called it samurai walking) a decade or so ago but I don't remember much. Are there any videos floating around that demonstrate this?

Every day, life is training, every day, budo is life
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:04 PM   #12
miso
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Re: Learning to Walk

Most people walk with their hands.

The OP is talking about noticing that their gait has changed.

The way you walk has to be as easily changeable as anything else you do. Practice them all. Slip into naturalness. If you walk around like a samurai/swordsman/martial artist don't be surprised if people aren't exactly friendly.
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Old 08-16-2013, 05:45 PM   #13
bkedelen
 
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote: View Post
Most people walk with their hands.
You have beautifully articulated an important point. Learning not to walk with my hands (or as you might point out, to only walk with them if I so choose) has been one of the more dramatic upgrades I have made to my martial arts.
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:03 PM   #14
IvLabush
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
Kenneth King wrote: View Post
Are there any videos floating around that demonstrate this?
I like those three.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BfIyM-cb20
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vke1N0k9xs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6JNY49vGC8
The last one brings me memories about aikido that I read many years ago. Ueshiba sensei students talk that he moved too fast in crowd. They can't catch him. The answer is in the last video as for me.

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Old 08-17-2013, 10:59 AM   #15
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Learning to Walk

Thank you for sharing these...much food for thought.

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Old 08-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #16
Dan Rubin
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
Ivan Labushevskiy wrote: View Post
Ueshiba sensei students talk that he moved too fast in crowd. They can't catch him.
Don't forget that O Sensei wasn't carrying any luggage, his students were.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:32 AM   #17
IvLabush
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Re: Learning to Walk

I use to carry some luggage 'cause I don't have a car. As for me nanba aruki is "energy saving mode" of walking. Of course it gives other things but it's too complex and description will looks like an article about nanba aruki.

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Old 08-19-2013, 10:45 AM   #18
jonreading
 
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Re: Learning to Walk

Best aikido answer I have heard/felt/seen - release the front knee, squeeze the back knee under the pelvis. This should place tori in an pillar posture (shizentai) feet comfortably spaced and relatively even. The rear foot continues by releasing the knee and pushing with the [now] rear foot. Think tori fune but changing feet forward. My hips turn very little; my hips bones turn within my pelvis, which stays pretty still. Bottom line, no John Wayne.

Best description non-aikido - dragon stepping.

Dan Messisco Sensei does a great walking segment in his seminars.

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Old 08-22-2013, 06:54 PM   #19
dps
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
Matt Leone wrote: View Post
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.
Sounds like bagua walking,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSUEZ2K5hvI

dps

Last edited by dps : 08-22-2013 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:47 PM   #20
bkedelen
 
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Re: Learning to Walk

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
Dan Messisco Sensei does a great walking segment in his seminars.
Dan Messisco and Kuroda Tetsuzan are the examples I use to develop my walking. Its a hell of a thing to walk away from a grasping attacker knowing there is nothing they can do to stop you.

Last edited by bkedelen : 08-22-2013 at 11:50 PM.
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