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Old 01-26-2006, 03:32 AM   #26
kohaku
 
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Dojo: Shudokan Aikido, Preston
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

mark,
i am not taking sides in this conversation in the least. but i agree with you in regards to roosvelt freeman. roosevelt you attitude seems to be lacking somewhat, it is not just about how you do things, i feel that the idea of these forums was to get various input from differing styles of aikido, not to come on and blindly say "what i am doing is best, you are all wrong" which is what you are sounding like. perhaps you should speak to YOUR sensei and ask him for guidance in what seems to be a rather large attitude problem in regards to aikido and fellow aikidoka.

just a thought
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:14 AM   #27
Mark Uttech
Dojo: Yoshin-ji Aikido of Marshall
Location: Wisconsin
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

When you go for a walk in the woods, and you are on uneven ground, I don't think you will think about the 'heels' or 'balls' of your feet too much. I think you will lose yourself in 'discovery'.
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Old 01-26-2006, 06:34 AM   #28
Ascendedskater25
Dojo: Minds Eye Dojo
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

I have nothing to say on this thread that s helpful (I'm not an Aikido practitioner) but i think arguing isn't helping him very much either.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:09 AM   #29
Doug Wyatt
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Location: Mtn View, CA
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Try standing in a relaxed way, with your feet about shoulder's width apart. For this exercize, keep you knees locked & legs straight. If you lift your toes, so you're standing on your heels, your hips shift backwards. Raise your toes enough and it's very hard to balance - try holding this posture for 10 seconds. Very hard! If you do the opposite, raise your heels, so you're up on your toes, your hips shift forward. Because you can push against the ground with your toes, it's much easier to keep your balance and not topple forward. You can probably hold this position indefinitely. What do you train on? Tatami? Canvas? Wrestling mat? Gymnastics mat? Some surfaces are much more forgiving for pivoting on; sticky surfaces kinda beg for pivoting on the heels to save your knees. I would suggest stretching your calf muscles and achilles tendon. At least that way, you can keep your weight forward even if you lift your heels. Good luck.
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Old 01-27-2006, 05:40 AM   #30
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
Location: Devon
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Quote:
Doug Wyatt wrote:
Try standing in a relaxed way, with your feet about shoulder's width apart. For this exercize, keep you knees locked & legs straight. If you lift your toes, so you're standing on your heels, your hips shift backwards. Raise your toes enough and it's very hard to balance - try holding this posture for 10 seconds. Very hard! If you do the opposite, raise your heels, so you're up on your toes, your hips shift forward. Because you can push against the ground with your toes, it's much easier to keep your balance and not topple forward. You can probably hold this position indefinitely. What do you train on? Tatami? Canvas? Wrestling mat? Gymnastics mat? Some surfaces are much more forgiving for pivoting on; sticky surfaces kinda beg for pivoting on the heels to save your knees. I would suggest stretching your calf muscles and achilles tendon. At least that way, you can keep your weight forward even if you lift your heels. Good luck.
Valid points Doug, however you may want to try this:
Stand in a relaxed way on your feet as you naturally would stand, it should be possible to maintain perfect balance for approximately a lifetime ( give or take the odd over-indulgence in alcohol ).
Now if you want to change direction ( say 180 degrees starting in aikido posture ) shift your weight towards your back foot enough to facilitate raising the front foot off the ground, just enough to turn it. Turn the toes of the front foot towards those of the back foot, so just for an intant you are 'pigeon toed'. At this point move your weight over onto the foot that you've turned. This allows the 'back' foot to lift enough to redirect - which it will do on its own ( try it - you'll see ). You are now facing in the oposite direction. No need to rely on surfaces/friction, just good balance, posture and relaxation, no strain or chance of injury.
I have been using this method for many years, and it seem to continue to be effective.

Cheers
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 01-27-2006, 07:49 AM   #31
Jorge Garcia
Dojo: Shudokan School of Aikido
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

You wrote,
"Thanks again for all your various perspectives on this, and I must admit a little regret at the hostility that the question seems to have brought out of some.'

In a forum like this one, there are people of varying levels of maturity. That is to be understood. Whenever you ask a technical question though, you have to be careful because every Tom, Dick, and Harry will give you an opinion but on a forum like this one, there is no way to tell how much experience they have and whether or not they know what they are talking about. There is a freedom here for both competent and incompetent Aikidoists to give their opinions and they aren't necessarily competent because they think they are.
It might be more efficient if you asked those kinds of questions of someone you respect like your Sensei or a senior student because sorting out the wheat from the tares here is a tough job.
Best wishes,

"It is the philosophy that gives meaning to the method of training."
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Old 01-27-2006, 07:53 AM   #32
Dirk Hanss
 
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

I just was captured by the phrase of the "correct way", as I was told there is no "correct" way in aikido. There are many variations and you have to choose the best one for the actual situation, you body, the given underground etc.

I wondered if this is true even for a simple 180 turn. I stood up in the pffice and tried, how I do it.

You see usually if you pivot on the balls you are much more stable, as someone told us before. But un standard kamae your heels are in line, your toes are not. So if you just turn on the heels, you are in a correct kamae just in the opposite direction, if you only turn on the balls, you either do not turn enough or your legs are crossed.

So either you adjust feet - if you are allowed to move feet or you have to switch pivoting from heel to balls and back.

I usually first turn my front foot on the heel, so that front toes are exacts in front of the back foot toes. My body already turns a bit. The I pivot on the balls so that I stand the same way in the opposite direction. In the end I correct again the (new) front foot by turning a little but on the heel. I think this is very stable and practicable, while it is not the only possible solution. And IMHO the major purpose for this exercise is learning to move without your feet being cemented to the soil.

So you might just turn by some 165 (estimated, i.e. not a complete half turn) or by side stepping to adjust crossed legs, etc.

I just guess, purists could face some problems, but maybe I have overseen something, have I?

Kind regards Dirk
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:33 AM   #33
bratzo_barrena
Dojo: Aikido Goshin Dojo
Location: Doral
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Dirk,
you made a very good point most people don't notice.
The only problem is do not align your heels in you stance, for the reason you said. From this aligment, when you turn 180 on your "balls" (of the feet of course), which are the balls under the big toes, your legs turn out crossed.
In your stance align these balls, so you can turn on them and your legs don't get crossed. So you keep good posture and balance while turning.

Bratzo Barrena
Instructor
Aikido Goshin Dojo
Doral, FL
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Old 01-27-2006, 08:48 AM   #34
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

This seems a little slow (due to the complication of shifting weight back and forth), and also doesn't seem to account for turning the foot, knee, and hip as one unit, which makes a relatively weak movement into a much stronger (and safer) one. Typically yoshinkan folk like to keep the weight forward at all times, so that entering movements require no shifting of weight. Just my thoughts...
Best,
Ron
Quote:
Mark Freeman wrote:
Valid points Doug, however you may want to try this:
Stand in a relaxed way on your feet as you naturally would stand, it should be possible to maintain perfect balance for approximately a lifetime ( give or take the odd over-indulgence in alcohol ).
Now if you want to change direction ( say 180 degrees starting in aikido posture ) shift your weight towards your back foot enough to facilitate raising the front foot off the ground, just enough to turn it. Turn the toes of the front foot towards those of the back foot, so just for an intant you are 'pigeon toed'. At this point move your weight over onto the foot that you've turned. This allows the 'back' foot to lift enough to redirect - which it will do on its own ( try it - you'll see ). You are now facing in the oposite direction. No need to rely on surfaces/friction, just good balance, posture and relaxation, no strain or chance of injury.
I have been using this method for many years, and it seem to continue to be effective.

Cheers
Mark

Last edited by Ron Tisdale : 01-27-2006 at 08:50 AM.

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 01-29-2006, 08:52 AM   #35
Mark Freeman
Dojo: Dartington
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Hi Ron,

I agree about it seeming a bit slow, anything is when you first do it. Trying to describe something that is done naturally and often very qickly, is virtually impossible, because you start breaking it down for 'explanation'.
My own aikido practice is based around 'co-ordination' and maintaining co ordination whether uke or nage, practicing slow of full on.
I can't comment on the yoshinkan method, but the shifting of weight is constantly happening when walking, turning etc. Keeping weight forward sounds good to me, as does having a light posture. As long as I keep my co-ordination I can do aikido effectively.
I find these technical type discussions difficult, as I don't think they are very useful.Text is too limiting. If we both spent 2 minutes on the mat we could show each other what we mean and we would both 'get' it in a moment.
Anyway, thanks for your comments.
Cheers
Mark

Success is having what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have.
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:44 AM   #36
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

You're welcome. I think having these discussions is good for me at least. The more effort I put into verbalizing the concepts and movements, the better my understanding on the mat gets. It gives me cues I can use to 'check' myself as I'm moving. Of course, at some point you have to put all that away and just 'do'.

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 02-01-2006, 08:50 AM   #37
roosvelt
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
You're welcome. I think having these discussions is good for me at least. The more effort I put into verbalizing the concepts and movements, the better my understanding on the mat gets. It gives me cues I can use to 'check' myself as I'm moving. Of course, at some point you have to put all that away and just 'do'.

Best,
Ron
Ron, I agree with this point and the way you do turns.

You do what you say. You say what you do. Otherwise, you just confuse yourself and others students. I never trust someone who claims to do differently than what they say.

Regards.
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Old 02-01-2006, 09:11 AM   #38
Edwin Neal
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

don't worry too much about your feet... just move naturally... i don't think about my feet at all anymore when doing aikido, but i did practice more of the pivot on balls approach to begin with...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-01-2006, 11:11 AM   #39
Amir Krause
Dojo: Shirokan Dojo / Tel Aviv Israel
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Like I wrote previously, the 180 degree turn Tai-Sabaki in Korindo Aikido is taught on the hills for beginners, as one becomes more proficient, the turn becomes full feet and one may even turn on balls of one feet if necessary.

Quote:
Try standing in a relaxed way, with your feet about shoulder's width apart. For this exercise, keep you knees locked & legs straight. If you lift your toes, so you're standing on your heels, your hips shift backwards
I don't buy this explanation - turning with straight legs is basically wrong, anything you learn from this position does not necessarily carry on for other positions.

On the other hand, I have no expectations to be able to explain our 180 degree turn, not without lots of pictures (actually - my sensei wrote a book and has made all the necessary pictures - but I can't publish them - bummer).

The basics for the 180 degree Tai-Sabaki are:
The source of the turn should be the waist.
One should turn from one Kamea to the opposite Kamea with the opposite side leading.
No steps are allowed - only turning.

Now, turning on the heels, it is easier to keep your legs bent at the knee, and your center low, it is also easier to feel the waist generating the turn.
turning on the the toes makes going low and generating the turn from the heap much harder.

Hence our way of teaching 180 turns is from the heel, not from the ball of feet.

Amir
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Old 02-02-2006, 12:06 AM   #40
kokyu
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
Like I wrote previously, the 180 degree turn Tai-Sabaki in Korindo Aikido is taught on the hills for beginners, as one becomes more proficient, the turn becomes full feet and one may even turn on balls of one feet if necessary. Amir
Well.. I haven't looked at footwork as much as I should have, and I always thought that turning on the balls of the feet was the way to go - you can see a good example of this by watching Osawa Hayato Sensei (the son of the former dojo cho of the Aikikai Hombu Dojo).

Having said this though, I happened to watch the DVD by Ikeda Hiroshi Sensei and he did mention practicing turning on the heels as well. So, I guess it's an alternative.

Whatever works best for you
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Old 02-02-2006, 01:05 AM   #41
Edwin Neal
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

we don't stress to much about kamae or stuff like that... more emphasis is placed on relaxed, natural movements... if it feels awkward it is somewhat suspect, but not necessarily wrong... different body types have various movements and limits... i have very long toes and kiza was very diffucult for me early on...

Edwin Neal


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Old 02-02-2006, 05:12 AM   #42
david evans
Dojo: Newcastle Iwama Aikido
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Re: VERY Basic Footwork Question

Nicholas,

Ask yourself this question: when you walk, do you proceed heel to toe, or toe to heel? The answer to this will be the answer to your question.

No movement should be unnatural to you.

David.
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