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Old 01-06-2003, 10:54 AM   #1
akiy's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 6,011
Tai Sabaki

Hi folks,

So, what's your definition of "tai sabaki"?

What importance does it have in your aikido training?

-- Jun

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Old 01-06-2003, 02:16 PM   #2
Doug Mathieu
Dojo: Aikido Bozankan
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 64

I think Tai Sabaki encompases all the aspects of the physical body movement you do during a technique. This includes stepping, centering, leading, etc. This would not include things like breathing, energy flow or doing something in isolation like using arms and shoulders without your complete body being involved.

Our Shihan sometimes has us do excersises and will say no tai sabaki because we are just doing a grip strength thing or practicing kotegaeshi hand work.

He also complains the most about our poor tai sabaki and not doing enough tai sabaki while doing techniques.

It can be confusing because I would like to know what aspect of tai sabaki is lacking for example not centered enough? or maybe didn't use enough hip?

I believe it is highly important in our training.
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Old 01-06-2003, 02:50 PM   #3
Lyle Bogin
Dojo: Shin Budo Kai
Location: Manhattan
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 588
Never heard of it.

"The martial arts progress from the complex to the simple."
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Old 01-06-2003, 03:19 PM   #4
Dojo: Kenshinkai Yoshinkan Aikido
Location: Portsmouth
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 450
Simply "Body Movement", although that is definitely over simplification. Maybe "WHOLE Body Movement" is better!

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Old 01-06-2003, 03:24 PM   #5
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Re: Tai Sabaki

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
So, what's your definition of "tai sabaki"?

What importance does it have in your aikido training?
Where I train, we translate 'tai sabaki' as 'body handling', but what we usually mean by that is avoidance. Essentially just "getting off the line" of an attack.

Its very important, especially in randori where its a fundamental building-block. One of the most basic of our (tanto) randori drills is called 'tai sabaki no renshu', and is an excercise in avoidance (especially in relation to timing and maai).


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Old 01-06-2003, 04:03 PM   #6
Nick P.
Nick P.'s Avatar
Dojo: Sukagawa Aikido Club of Montreal
Location: Montreal
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 642
Our Sensei was taught that body movement (of which there are fundamentally four, he was taught) is the basis of all Aikido techniques; your hands do little more than kokyu-ho up or down.

Can of course combine several tai sabaki into one move; if uke attacks with enough gusto...katate dori kaiten nage comes to mind.

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Old 01-06-2003, 04:28 PM   #7
MikeE's Avatar
Dojo: Midwest Center For Movement & Aikido Bukou Dojos
Location: Hudson, WI
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 407
I think tai sabaki means:

Movement of the body in a path that leads to proper execution of technique while remaining in a safe position.

It seems very subjective.

Mike Ellefson
Midwest Center
For Movement &
Aikido Bukou
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Old 01-06-2003, 06:48 PM   #8
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 53
Here's my two cents on this subject:

As I understand it, Tai Sabaki is proper body movement - simply put. If your body posture & dynamics are not congruent with the principle of Aiki, then you will not be able to respond effectively to your opponent with Aikido. Weapons practice is a very effective way to train your body in Tai Sabaki (Suburi for instance).

If you think of this broadly, every physical endeavour has it's own 'Tai Sabaki' - whether it's hitting a baseball, Olympic powerlifting, or dancing - and they also have certain traits in common(Relaxation, centering (balance), proper breathing (Kokyu-ho), timing (Maai), etc).

I also think that Kokyu is an integral aspect of Tai Sabaki, as no movement within Aikido is complete without it. To paraphrase Patrick Cassidy Sensei,'first you must have Tai Sabaki (w/Kokyu), then Ki No Musubi, only with both will you be able to perform with Aiki', or essentially, Tai Sabaki(w/Kokyu) + Ki No Musubi = Aikido, in that order. This was very enlightening for me and I thought I'd share it with everyone else here.

I tend to think of Aikido as the Algebra of the Martial arts: though specifics change (with different systems), the proper form (principles), etc. do not. Meditate on that awhile...

I hope this helps in some way!

~Ward F. Ward
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Old 01-06-2003, 08:04 PM   #9
PeterR's Avatar
Dojo: Shodokan Honbu (Osaka)
Location: Himeji, Japan
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 3,319
Re: Tai Sabaki

Jun Akiyama (akiy) wrote:
Hi folks,

So, what's your definition of "tai sabaki"?

What importance does it have in your aikido training?
It is everything. Without it - your Aikido will not work.

Tai sabaki is getting off-line.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 01-07-2003, 07:01 PM   #10
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
Location: Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 427
~~Sounds like the 1st and 2nd principles I work with: off-line and dynamic yeilding (yielding to a position of optimum advantage). Never discussed or trained under that particular term, though if this is what it is then it is essential to all martial arts~~

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