Thursday, April 02, 2009

Falling out of the way

Aikido is about avoidance, evasion - getting out of the way. Thus this month's dojo focus - "Get out 'da way!" First thing that I want to mention about gett'n out 'da way, is that you usually want to fall out of the way instead of stepping out of the way. Obviously you don't fall all to the way to the ground, as in ukemi, but you want your evasive motion to be powered by gravity because it is far easier and faster to turn a leg off and drop out of the way than it is to jump or lunge or push yourself out of the way with your legs.
So, how do you do it? Take wakiashi (sidestep) as an example:
  • Starting in shizentai (natural upright posture) with your feet side-by-side and about hip-width apart or maybe a little closer.
  • Turn off the muscles in the leg closest to the direction you want to go. You begin to collapse to that side.
  • pick up the foot on the side toward which you are collapsing.
  • When your hips or center have moved about as far as you want them to, put that foot back down (ball of foot first) right under your center and catch your fall.
  • As your center starts to rise over the foot you just put down, draw your other leg back under your center so that you end in shizentai, just like you started.
Falling out of the way - not stepping.
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1 comment:

  1. Neat exercise.

    In playing with it I noticed that if I am even slightly unbalanced -- say 55% weight on one leg -- when I turn off the muscles in the 55% leg rather than shifting to that side I just end up nailing it to the floor. Of course moving the 45% leg is easy, but I like the idea of focussing on getting my natural stance really 50-50 and then making a late decision which way to move.


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