Monday, March 14, 2011

Balls of the feet, heels slightly brushing

Damn! I just hate it when I get busted on the most basic fundamentals - the stuff that I tell my students during every class from day #1 - the stuff that I thought I was doing pretty good on.
It's not that I have a problem accepting correction.  It's just that it makes me so mad at myself that I'd kick myself in the butt if I could get good leverage!
That's just what happened at the judo clinic at Union University a couple of weekends ago.  We were working on a footsweep drill that we all do in all of our classes as warmup, and what's the first thing that all of the pros from OKC called me on?  Walking on my heels.  Crikey!  Of course I know not to do that!
Our official mantra that we tell our students is, "Weight on balls of feet with heels and little toes slightly brushing the mat for balance."  I like to tell my students, "Imagine there is a thumbtack taped to your heel and your little toe so that you don't want to put weight on those areas."  We practice the walking exercises and the footsweep drills at the beginning of every aikido and judo class with that as an emphasis.
But I still allowed myself to become so lax on this that the guys that we imported to teach us their  awesomeness had to waste their time correcting me on the first lesson of the first day.  Crikey!
If you're one of my students, prepare yourself for an emphasis on this.  I know if they're catching me on this then you're likely making the same mistake.  I figure to duct tape beans to the bottoms of our heels for a while till we're ingrained with this.  (I'm such a nice sensei that I don't want to use real thumbtacks;-)

[photo courtesy of slayer23]

Patrick Parker
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