Friday, May 08, 2009

Unbendable... foot?

We saw in the previous unbendable arm articles that orenaite is not just an elbow extension trick . Although you can do the unbendable arm trick without it, the wrist posture affects orenaite. Actually, the unbendable arm is just part of a whole-body coordination trick.
There are two primary ways of using the unbendable arm in aikido – as a separator or as a connector – and each way has its own distinct leg/foot posture associated with it...
  • When using the arm as a separator, you want the same foot weightbearing as the arm that is weightbearing. We call this 'same-hand-stuck-foot.' This lets you create a ground path through one side of your body without involving your center, and the effect of this is that the other side of your body (the unstuck, non-weightbearing side), along with your center, remains mobile. This type of unbendable arm action is a much weaker pushing action, but is much more mobile. In fact, the posture is designed so that if you take too much force, it just pushes you out of the way. You might call this something like “yin hand.”
  • When using the arm as a connector through which to apply force, you want the opposite foot weightbearing, so that the ground path from contact palm to weightbearing foot passes through the center of the body. We call this foot setup 'same-hand-same-foot,' and it is a much stronger, much more stable pushing position but it lacks mobility. Because the center is involved with the pushing action and opposite sides of the body are bound up, mobility is very limited. You could call this, “yang hand.”
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282
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