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Old 10-27-2004, 02:13 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7
Foot work

I just started training, and I noticed that the footwork for tenkan and shihonage (right after the spin) ends up such that the lead foot is twisted away at a weird angle. I think a better way to desribe this is that the inside edge of your foot is exposed frontward.

This leaves me at an awkward and unstable position, and doesn't seem to make much sense. Seems to be bad for the knees too. Am I doing this correctly?

Sorry, I know it is difficult to communicate what I am talking about using words.

Robert Lawrence
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:32 PM   #2
Dojo: Aikido of Midland
Location: Midland Texas
Join Date: Dec 2000
Posts: 1,652
Re: Foot work

It does not sound right. Check with your sensei. Generally, the feet are aligned or slightly turned outward.
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Old 10-27-2004, 02:38 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 7
Re: Foot work

I found a picture on the web that shows the position I am referring to: http://www.aikidodaiwa.com/classes.htm - the picture of the last instructor.

Notice the angle of the lead foot.

If anyone can comment, I'd appreciate it. I'll also ask my sensei when I go to class. Thanks.
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Old 10-27-2004, 03:12 PM   #4
ChristianBoddum's Avatar
Dojo: Aarhus AiKiKai
Location: Aarhus,Denmark
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 263
Re: Foot work

Hi !

When doing shihonage as a cut (the first cut)
your left foot crosses the centerline ,with the heel pointing slightly forwards,for a split second ,
if you make this step too narrow you will not get out of
ukes way ,and you will be unstable even if it is only a split second.
If the step is too narrow you will have difficulty in taking ukes balance before the turn ,so if the step is wide enough you will probably also find that itīs easier to take uke's balance,
remember to keep contact - there should be no "air" between you and ukes arm when you turn.

I say this from a Nishio-style shihonage,footwork differs in different styles ,so I hope you can use this information.

yours - Chr.B.

Last edited by ChristianBoddum : 10-27-2004 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 10-27-2004, 05:35 PM   #5
Dojo: Roppongi Yoshinkan Aikido / Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan
Location: Tokyo
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 571
Re: Foot work

Hi Robert,

In Yoshinkan this would be correct. There is a possibility that you have it twisted too far, which would be bad for the knee, but there should be some forward facing of the inside of both feet.

One way to think of it would be if you drew a line from the back of the front foot and from the front of the back foot they would interesect at a ninety degree angle just in front of the back foot. The actual degree of "forward facing inside foot part" is about 45 degrees. We would then say push your knee straight forward over your big toe and your belt should be over the front foots heel, with your outside hip pushed forward as well. And the bag leg would be straight in a line all the way to the top of your head, which would give you a forward feeling.

In the beginning this is a little uncomfortable and the balance seems weird, but once you get it it is a very strong forward stance.

Of course...this might not apply in the style you are studying...


Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 10-27-2004, 08:54 PM   #6
Lan Powers
Dojo: Aikido of Midland, Midland TX
Location: Midland Tx
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 660
Re: Foot work

we open our foot in a very similar manner to force the hips to gain full movement.
Feels stable to me, but I have a limited amount of experience.
Helps to get your cut of the ukes wrist aimed down his centerline of his back, too.(safety,safety)

Play nice, practice hard, but remember, this is a MARTIAL art!
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Old 10-28-2004, 10:01 PM   #7
Lyle Laizure
Lyle Laizure's Avatar
Dojo: Hinode Dojo LLC
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 561
Re: Foot work

IMO if the foot is turned to a position that it is uncomfortable and you are off balance this is not good. Try keeping your weight more on the balls of your feet. This will allow your feet to pivot easier (this saves on knee wear) it will also allow you to change directions more quickly.

Lyle Laizure
Deru kugi wa uta reru
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Old 10-29-2004, 06:08 AM   #8
Dojo: Bristol North Aikido Dojo
Location: Bristol
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 647
Re: Foot work

Lyle Laizure wrote:
IMO if the foot is turned to a position that it is uncomfortable and you are off balance this is not good. Try keeping your weight more on the balls of your feet. This will allow your feet to pivot easier (this saves on knee wear) it will also allow you to change directions more quickly.
Good point.

I think this applies to all elements of practice. If it feels painful or forced then something is wrong.

Before the deluge starts from the 'is pain necessary to learn aikido stalwarts' of course there are few who's aikido is perfect ...Not me for starters, so often there will be discomfort because we are learning but hopefully we move towards practice that is smooth, natural, flowing and painfree.

The point about saving knee wear is very appropriate too, if the foot is turned at a right angle to the force of the bodies movement the knee will also be turned. Definitely a recipe for disaster over time!

Specifically to foot position - we practice moving from kamae to kamae...start with correct foot positioning and finish with correct positioning. Maybe others insist on the same?

With respect to the lady in the photo...I've seen a lot worse and photos are a nightmare for capturing and magnifying the slightest of errors!


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