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Old 09-08-2011, 10:22 PM   #1
Michael Varin
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Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Out of curiosity...

Do you like to keep your weight on one foot (front or back), or equally weight both feet?

If you weight one foot, is it consistent (front/back) or does it depend on your activity/movement? And roughly, what is the percentage distribution (e.g. 60% - 40%)?

Oh, yeah. And the important one, Why?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-08-2011, 11:13 PM   #2
Janet Rosen
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

My habit, if I"m not being mindful, is to have somewhat less wt on the side w/ the Very Bad Knee (TM).
Being mindful....I can't think of a specific rule of thumb (er, toe?) I follow but try to just adapt as each situation seems to call for. Maybe badly, I'm not sure.... :-p

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Old 09-08-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Well when you are moving, the foot that is moving necessarily has no weight on it. Since you are moving most of the time in Aikido, it seems like a bit of a moot point to me. When you are standing in a relaxed posture before performing a technique, you ought to be balanced, which suggests something close to 50% on each foot. Not sure of the exact percentages, and I'm not sure if it really matters. I think you are better off just feeling it than worrying about numbers.

If you are really interested, I suggest you bring 2 sets of scales into the dojo and have your sensei stand with one foot on each. Then add up the results and calculate each one as a percentage of the total. Then you will have your answer.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:51 AM   #4
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

would that be analog or digital scales?

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:57 AM   #5
robin_jet_alt
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Tim Ruijs wrote: View Post
would that be analog or digital scales?
either.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:18 AM   #6
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Your balance to front and back foot changes continously during a technique, so it is not a matter of fixed value per foot...
Important is that you can move your centre fluently either by weight shift or step and the balance changes accordingly. At certain stages of some techniques you will notice the balance very well, but I would not focus on this aspect that much. Keep your centre moving freely!

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:20 AM   #7
Michael Varin
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Maybe I should have called this thread "can anyone actually feel their body?"

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:37 AM   #8
Tim Ruijs
 
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

No, not really. You ask a good question, but to answer by text alone is pretty hard. There are some exercises to feel your balance, or unbalance for that matter. Ask your teacher, he will probably know a few.

When I relate your question why to the necessity of changing balance and not the absolute distribution:
You can use your balance shift to change ma ai (distance) and be faster on the rebound than you would have been stepping backwards and step forwards again (you see this a lot working with weapons). Basically it is the technical phyiscal part of kimusubi/ma ai. Well, I think so anyway.

Last edited by Tim Ruijs : 09-09-2011 at 03:40 AM.

In a real fight:
* If you make a bad decision, you die.
* If you don't decide anything, you die.
Aikido teaches you how to decide.
www.aikido-makato.nl
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:47 AM   #9
Mario Tobias
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

I use 60-40 front foot- back foot. This is to ensure it's easier to move, be more stable and have that spring in your movements. Similar to suwariwaza kokyuho, your pelvis should be pushed forward/out and not collapsed. similar principle imho.

how to determine if you are 60% in front foot is if you can stand with the front foot alone while pulling up your back foot in hanmi.

my sensei says even when turning tenkai or tenkan that the final position should still be 60-40 forward after moving. I had difficulty doing this at first since I was only focussing on hara while turning and was wobbling. How to overcome this is to transfer your focus/imagination to hara + front knee and you will find the forward stance to be very, very repeatable even after turning movements.

Last edited by Mario Tobias : 09-09-2011 at 05:54 AM.
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:06 AM   #10
chillzATL
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

I don't really think about it. I just focus on keeping my body in balance against whatever is going on and not getting myself in a position where I'm stuck.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:32 AM   #11
gregstec
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

IMO, you are always equally balanced between both feet - and when you move, you move center and feet follow - you never shift weight to move the foot -

As far as the question of feeling your body is concerned, absolutely - that is a basic requirement of mind and body coordination, which is essential to any internal skill.

Greg
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:54 AM   #12
Abasan
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

You ever feel the weight is not on your feet, but is somewhere in between? It's a whole lot easier moving one point than 2...

Draw strength from stillness. Learn to act without acting. And never underestimate a samurai cat.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:14 PM   #13
graham christian
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

I would say forget the body and concentrate on centre. Keep weight in centre and you will find the key to instantly realigning balance.

Regards.G.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:28 PM   #14
Janet Rosen
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Well when you are moving, the foot that is moving necessarily has no weight on it. Since you are moving most of the time in Aikido, it seems like a bit of a moot point to me. When you are standing in a relaxed posture before performing a technique, you ought to be balanced, which suggests something close to 50% on each foot. Not sure of the exact percentages, and I'm not sure if it really matters. I think you are better off just feeling it than worrying about numbers.

If you are really interested, I suggest you bring 2 sets of scales into the dojo and have your sensei stand with one foot on each. Then add up the results and calculate each one as a percentage of the total. Then you will have your answer.
You can't move unless one foot is totally unweighted? Sure you can if you are willing to keep it in contact with the ground

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
Gerardo Torres
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
IMO, you are always equally balanced between both feet - and when you move, you move center and feet follow - you never shift weight to move the foot -
This. ^

So "50-50" weight distribution, so to speak (as to where the center is or should be with respect to the feet that is another matter).

As to why, I was taught through various demonstrations and tests that this is the most effective way at keeping balance through martial movement. This is particularly evident in weapons training: keeping equal weight distribution and balance allows equally effective movement in any direction against multiple attackers, faster transitioning between offense and defense, better handling of long weapons, etc. In empty hand interactions, weight shifts are a common exploit.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #16
grondahl
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Gerardo Torres wrote: View Post
So "50-50" weight distribution, so to speak (as to where the center is or should be with respect to the feet that is another matter).
50-50 reguires weight transfer (internal or external) or keeping the legs "powered up" so that you can "explode" with both legs. I think that you can be perfectly centered with 100% of the weight on one foot and that keeping a little more weight one foot actually makes you more mobile. Aikido kihon waza normaly make uke unable to move by putting him in a position where the weight is 50-50, why would we do the same thing to ourselves as nage?

Last edited by grondahl : 09-09-2011 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:12 PM   #17
gregstec
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
50-50 reguires weight transfer (internal or external) or keeping the legs "powered up" so that you can "explode" with both legs. I think that you can be perfectly centered with 100% of the weight on one foot and that keeping a little more weight one foot actually makes you more mobile. Aikido kihon waza normaly make uke unable to move by putting him in a position where the weight is 50-50, why would we do the same thing to ourselves as nage?
IMO, this appears backward - if you put uke on both feet equally, you just gave him his balance back - granted, you might still unbalance him that way by shifting his center back on his heels or forward on his toes, but that is still not as good as getting someone off-balance by getting them heavy on one foot -

If I am uke, and as nage you present me with your weight on one foot when I attack, and when we connect, you as nage are screwed - I will lock you up on that foot and you are going nowhere, but maybe down - sorry.

Greg
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:23 PM   #18
grondahl
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Greg Steckel wrote: View Post
IMO, this appears backward - if you put uke on both feet equally, you just gave him his balance back - granted, you might still unbalance him that way by shifting his center back on his heels or forward on his toes, but that is still not as good as getting someone off-balance by getting them heavy on one foot -

If I am uke, and as nage you present me with your weight on one foot when I attack, and when we connect, you as nage are screwed - I will lock you up on that foot and you are going nowhere, but maybe down - sorry.
Of course uke will have his center over hi´s toes or heels. I would say that the kihon waza will make uke double weigthted, if you try to break the balance of someone and only locks one leg, the other one is free to move and an active uke will regain balance.

There are kihon judo waza (O soto gari) where you lock the balance to one leg and swep the other but I dont think that that´s the case with aikido kihon.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:48 PM   #19
Mary Eastland
 
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Ron always reminds us:"no weight on your feet!"
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #20
Janet Rosen
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
Of course uke will have his center over hi´s toes or heels. I would say that the kihon waza will make uke double weigthted, if you try to break the balance of someone and only locks one leg, the other one is free to move and an active uke will regain balance.

There are kihon judo waza (O soto gari) where you lock the balance to one leg and swep the other but I dont think that that´s the case with aikido kihon.
I disagree. In my experience there are many times uke feels loaded entirely on one leg but is depending on me as nage for support; there is an unweighted leg because uke's center of gravity is so far off that leg that it is useless to him. I have certainly felt that way as uke sometimes and have also done it as nage so that all I had to do was release my support and down he went. To me having a fair amount of weight on each of two legs is a hallmark of stability

Janet Rosen
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:33 PM   #21
gregstec
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Janet Rosen wrote: View Post
I disagree. In my experience there are many times uke feels loaded entirely on one leg but is depending on me as nage for support; there is an unweighted leg because uke's center of gravity is so far off that leg that it is useless to him. I have certainly felt that way as uke sometimes and have also done it as nage so that all I had to do was release my support and down he went. To me having a fair amount of weight on each of two legs is a hallmark of stability
Ditto

Greg
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Old 09-09-2011, 09:36 PM   #22
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Using force plates at a training camp recently I was stunned to discover that most aikidoka there were unaware of weight changes of up to 5kgs (or more) when asked to stand evenly. Digging a bit further in the scientific literature it seem this is true in elite athletes as well (ballet and football plays) looking at centre of preassure studies.
Its stunning because induced weight shifts of this order are enough to create a topple i.e. kuzushi and yet its below the level of perception of most.
Its been a real where to from here moment, some clues are lurking in the IS community I think

dan

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Old 09-10-2011, 03:19 AM   #23
Michael Varin
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Interesting and unexpected... This thread shows how out of touch people are with their bodies!

Keeping both feet equally weighted obviously slows your ability to move.

Movement may be directed from the center, but all power and movement come from the feet and our connection with the Earth.

To think that weight distribution is unimportant or that it doesn't matter in movement is almost silly to me.

I can do a simple tenkan with a variety of weight distributions and it will totally change the quality of the movement.

I personally feel that it is advantageous to keep most of your weight on one foot.

Quote:
Mary Eastland wrote:
Ron always reminds us:"no weight on your feet!"
What do you think that means?

-Michael
"Through aiki we can feel the mind of the enemy who comes to attack and are thus able to respond immediately." - M. Mochizuki
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:59 AM   #24
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post

Quote:
Mary Eastland[/quote wrote:
Ron always reminds us:"no weight on your feet!"
What do you think that means?
Hi Michael -

It's a metaphor.

Walk across a room. Were you aware of carrying your own weight? Did you have to shift your weight from foot to foot in any noticeable way as you walked?

When you let your weight sink to your feet, no matter the distribution pattern, in order to move you have to raise up and shift your weight before you can move laterally. That takes time. Having "no weight on your feet" allows you to initiate lateral movement without first having to move up in order to shift your weight.

I keep my weight centered at one point and don't "plant" myself to await the attack. So even though I appear motionless, I'm always moving. It's easier to change direction than it is to initiate motion from a standstill.

Best,

Ron

Last edited by RonRagusa : 09-10-2011 at 07:01 AM.

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:01 AM   #25
gregstec
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Re: Weight Distribution: Standing and In Movement

Quote:
Michael Varin wrote: View Post
Interesting and unexpected... This thread shows how out of touch people are with their bodies!

Keeping both feet equally weighted obviously slows your ability to move.

Movement may be directed from the center, but all power and movement come from the feet and our connection with the Earth.

To think that weight distribution is unimportant or that it doesn't matter in movement is almost silly to me.

I can do a simple tenkan with a variety of weight distributions and it will totally change the quality of the movement.

I personally feel that it is advantageous to keep most of your weight on one foot.

What do you think that means?
What Ron said - plus all power and movement does not come from the ground. All up energy comes from the ground and all down energy comes from gravity - now here is a novel idea, try moving your body by using this down energy instead of always using up energy.

Greg
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