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Old 04-23-2010, 08:05 AM   #1
dps
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How do you take a step in Aikido?

If you are in a left stance and start your movement do you;

transfer all your weight to the leg you are pushing off on, push off then transfer weight that so that both legs are weighted?

or

push off on one leg and slide the other leg without a transfer of weight to the "push off leg"?

David
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:45 AM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I'll play w/ and vary the weight shifts depending on where I am, who is connected to me or not, and where I'm going.

Janet Rosen
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:04 PM   #3
Amassus
 
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I think this is a really interesting question.
I have been focussing on what happens to my weight when going through the taisabaki movements at the start of each class.
I'm trying to keep my weight evenly spread over both legs as much as I can, but some movements are harder to do this with than others.
Then, of course, have uke attached to you in some way and the weight distribution thing gets even harder.
I have noticed that if I get it right, my effect on uke is powerful and I can move him or her around effortlessly.

I hope other people comment on this one.

Dean.

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Old 04-24-2010, 01:51 PM   #4
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I use a different footwork. It's similar to the second variation you describe. I learned it while doing xing yi, and I really do think it's best.

I weight the front leg, and drop from there. In other words, I put the majority of my weight on the forward leg, when I want to move forward I simply pick the front foot up, no weight shift, and fall. As I'm falling I accelerate my motion from the back leg. When I land I'll be lower then I started, I then pull the back foot to a shoulder width or less postion, and I'm ready to go again.

This movement is stupid fast. There is no weight shift so there is no lost time, and no telegraphing of my motion.

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Old 04-24-2010, 02:23 PM   #5
dps
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
Chris Hein wrote: View Post
, I then pull the back foot to a shoulder width or less postion, and I'm ready to go again.
When you do this does it raise your center up.

David
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:15 PM   #6
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I personal try to move the same I do in sheiko. That is to move from the hips, try to keep my weight balanced, back arched etc etc.

MM
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:09 PM   #7
dps
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
Maggie Schill wrote: View Post
I personal try to move the same I do in sheiko. That is to move from the hips, try to keep my weight balanced, back arched etc etc.
Do you transfer all your weight to the leg you are pushing off on, or keep weight on your front let?

David
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:39 PM   #8
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
When you do this does it raise your center up.

David
Only if I choose to raise it. My center will lower as I move, when I finnish it will be lower then when I started. After I bring the foot up, I can choose to raise my center or not.

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Old 04-24-2010, 11:28 PM   #9
dps
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

The analogy used when I was first taught was ice skating or rolling skating, push off with one leg without removing weight from the lead leg, which without skates on leads to a controlled fall. It is fast but once you start, your direction is committed and you can't change it until your movement is done.

The second method gives you more stability throughout the movement and ability to change direction for a longer period of time. This to me appears to give you more options in dealing with a resistant uke.

David

Last edited by dps : 04-24-2010 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:49 PM   #10
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

You can change direction in motion via the back leg.

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Old 04-25-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
Do you transfer all your weight to the leg you are pushing off on, or keep weight on your front let?

David
that's hard to say now that i think about it. lol
i guess most of the weight is on the back foot. but ultimately the goal is to keep you hips evenly centered over you weight. I try not to take my feet off the floor actually. If i have to step instead of slide i try to keep contact with the balls of my feet at all time. when a step is taken i have to lower my center to ensure not too much weight is on any given leg, and so i'm balanced and not top heavy. i don't like to have the majority of my weight on any given leg. i guess. just like sheiko.

Last edited by RED : 04-25-2010 at 03:01 PM.

MM
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Old 04-26-2010, 04:51 AM   #12
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Depends on what technique I am doing and where uke is which leg is substantial and which one isn't.

As soon as I find a rule in Aikido someone shows me a variation where it just ain't so.

How does your sensei/dojocho teach it?

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 04-26-2010, 03:01 PM   #13
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

It depends on what you are going to do.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:06 PM   #14
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Option 2...?

Im wondering if I can visualize exactly what the question is as the term "push off" is used quite frequently.

If you are "pushing off", would you not be unbalanced? If I was to put it into words, which often confuses me:

-Starting in strong balanced Kumii (60%+ on front foot)
-Pull hip & ki/center into/toward the front leg, and the hip is pulling the back leg with it. Your front leg bends slightly, depending on how large your stance was since your hips and head dont move up/down
-Rotate hip to pull back leg forward and use only as much leg muscles (front & back) as you need in order to position your previous back foot in its new front foot kumii position
-End with feet, hips, ki/center in strong balanced kumii.

I'm new, so I'm not trying to give advice. I'm just adding my 2cents and seeing what I can learn from the topic.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:38 PM   #15
CurtisK
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I hope I'm not being too literal im my above post. I see many people indicating it depends on the movement or technique. From the information given by OP I could only presume that the movement in question was identified in the subject: "take a step". Being new, I recognize this as an independant, complete in itself, movement. Of course you must adjust accordingly to all other energy sources in your system of interaction if there is other stuff going on.

However, again perhaps because I'm new, I can only see the basics. The basics tell me there should be little pushing if any at all from your back leg. As I keep being reminded by my Aikidoka (its easier said than done for me sometimes), you can always muscle your through a movement, but you shouldnt need to for Aikido.
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Old 04-27-2010, 06:55 AM   #16
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
Cherie Cornmesser wrote: View Post
It depends on what you are going to do.
That. Devoid of context, there's not a lot of point in going into the details of which muscle contracts as which toe is unweighted etc.
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Old 04-27-2010, 07:07 AM   #17
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I make sure that the ground is driving my hips, via my leg, every time I move, regardless of direction. Other than that I make sure that my weight never passes over the center of the lead foot. If I'm doing those things, stance, weight distributions, etc, tend to not matter.
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Old 04-27-2010, 02:16 PM   #18
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

I totally and completely agree with Jason. It's not a matter of semantics, either, what he posted. (BTW Jason, why haven't we met?)

If you focus on where your weight is distributed while training, that's probably what you will develop. If you focus on how to generate movement and power without undue effort, that's possibly what you will develop. The extent of development of these things is, of course, variable and depends on how much and how efficently you train.

Movement predicated on isolated muscle effort will always be constrained by the performance of the muscle in question.

Movement predicated on a well-connected body that sources power from the ground up can take advantage of, but does not rely on, isolated muscle capability. The caveat is that doing this is much harder to do than meets the eye, and definitely is not intuitive.

Good luck in your training and search for instruction.

John
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:07 PM   #19
dps
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
John Brockington wrote: View Post
I totally and completely agree with Jason. It's not a matter of semantics, either, what he posted. (BTW Jason, why haven't we met?)

If you focus on where your weight is distributed while training, that's probably what you will develop. If you focus on how to generate movement and power without undue effort, that's possibly what you will develop. The extent of development of these things is, of course, variable and depends on how much and how efficently you train.

Movement predicated on isolated muscle effort will always be constrained by the performance of the muscle in question.

Movement predicated on a well-connected body that sources power from the ground up can take advantage of, but does not rely on, isolated muscle capability. The caveat is that doing this is much harder to do than meets the eye, and definitely is not intuitive.

Good luck in your training and search for instruction.

John
How would you teach a beginner how to move/ What would you tell him/her?

David
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:00 PM   #20
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
How would you teach a beginner how to move/ What would you tell him/her?
First, I would explain walking to them. I discovered this after I pulled a hamstring and it confirmed -- in more ordinary terms -- what I had gleaned in observing movement in practice. When we walk efficiently, we DO NOT push off the back leg. I mean you can, but it is not efficient.

When we walk we begin by a sway off the hip center from the stance leg, in a slight topple forward and as the torso recovers upright, it communicates that recovery momentum to the swing leg, which swings freely forward until it meets the ground and becomes the new stance leg. The new stance leg compresses taking up slack and then translates our weight in a pivot from the ground with the hip acting as a swivel. The former stance leg becomes a prop leg, losing weight as it also stretches out until, when it reaches its natural stretch limit a reflex causes the legal flexor arc to fire, shortening the leg allowing it to lose contact with the ground in time with the complete loss of weight, causing it to swing freely as the new swing leg... etc. etc

Martial movement compresses the stance leg more, and consequently with more spiral of the hip and torso dominating, the prop leg is slid -- dragging it, essentially, lightly from the hip instead of swinging from it freely. The stretch reflex coordination is still present, but has to be retuned to do that effectively but the basics are otherwise the same.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-28-2010, 06:48 AM   #21
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

David (and Curtis)-

There is a simple drill, rather than discussion, which I think may help you with this.

One person stands upright, preferably on a smooth surface such as a dojo mat. Helper person kneels behind them and firmly grabs upright person's ankles or gi pants at the ankle level.

Upright person walks while kneeling person provides as much steady resistance as possible, mainly body weight, not fighting the walker but just giving steady, maximum resistance. This is similar to "obi-walking" which some people practice by holding the obi rather than ankles. But resistance at the ankles is much more demanding, I think.

If you rely on conventional walking methodology, you won't move much. You will find, I think, that you must figure out a way to use the ground as a beginning for movement, rather than your hip flexors.

If you want to make this even more challenging, add people who resist you at the same time as the ankle person, but at other parts of your body- forehead, chest, shoulders are all fun. This is a tremendous workout, but really makes you think about (and train) movement in ways that again, are not intuitive, but require constant force coming from the ground while moving.

You will probably find that one of the key places where things get really rough is when you attempt to "swing" a leg forward. You can't do that with this drill.

Play around with the mechanics of this, and have fun!

John
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:34 AM   #22
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
David Skaggs wrote: View Post
How would you teach a beginner how to move/ What would you tell him/her?

David
I'm assuming the entire context of this thread relates to moving in aikido and the whole notion of "moving from your center".

One neat little drill that I picked up is to have people pair up and get a jo. They face off and put the jo between them, hara to hara. Nage walking forward, Uke walking backwards. Basically nage's job is to move Uke with the jo. Because of where the jo is placed, the only way to do this is to move from the hips/center first and naturally you have to feel that connection between the ground and the hips to do that. On the receiving end Uke is basically doing the same thing, in reverse. They do this down and back a few times focusing on maintaining a steady consistent pressure between themselves with the jo and feeling the ground driving them in their respective directions.

At first they'll probably drop their stance down lower (not a bad thing) than they're used to and move unnaturally, but after a while that sort of fixes itself and they'll get back to feeling like they're moving normally, but they'll definitely have a solid feel for what it means to "move from your center". It also helps clean up footwork if they're used to shuffling their feet a lot.
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Old 04-28-2010, 07:37 AM   #23
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Quote:
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I totally and completely agree with Jason. It's not a matter of semantics, either, what he posted. (BTW Jason, why haven't we met?)
Hi John. I'm sure we'll get together soon. We've tried a few times but it just hasn't worked out yet. The trek from Alabama to Atlanta is a bear! I'm looking forward to meeting everyone out your way though.
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Old 04-28-2010, 10:46 AM   #24
John Brockington
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

Jason-

Looking forward to the meetup!

We once tried a variation on the jo drill you mentioned, using instead two shorter dowels/hanbo lengths more or less at each side of the hara, but all the same premises otherwise. I thought it added a little something, perhaps just a more direct connection of each hip/side to uke, rather than such an isolated point of the jo/hara.

But it's hard to argue with the ability of some of the people who have trained with the method you gave, and the 2 hanbo version may just be splitting hairs.

John
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:43 AM   #25
Chicko Xerri
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Re: How do you take a step in Aikido?

With consideration. Half a step is required to establish the advantage or to execute any technique with Aikido. Any thing more is an exaggeration.
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