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#236737 - 03/11/06 01:53 AM Re: footwork mechanics [Re: Borrek]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina
Nishiyama Sensei told us in a seminar that "the ankles control body movement", and if you watch Shotokan players, they don't "bounce up and down", but raise and lower their ankles while using their knees as a sort of a spring to dart in and out. That kind of footwork and "deep angle" of the center is necessary for a "full body contraction" that should accompany every punch. Remember that the attack, if fully committed will only occur once, and if you practice with the Ikken Hisatsu philosophy (to kill with one stroke), that makes perfect sense.

Some of these clowns bounce up and down like they got free passes on a trampoline, which is usually why they're no good in fighting. You can move your entire body the full length of your step, from front foot to back foot without ever moving your feet, so "up and down" gets you nothing... using the ankles to spring forward, however, gets you an entry into your target.

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

#236738 - 03/11/06 07:53 AM Re: footwork mechanics [Re: wristtwister]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
The ankles do provide for direction of the movement...but it's not where power is generated. In my opinion. here's proof: lock your back knee and then step forward. that isolates your ankle/calf to generate the power. now try it with your rear knee bent. now you are using all of the leg to generate power.

bouncing up and down slightly is a sport sparring tactic of misdirection. It's effective if you make the slight bounces erratic and unpredictable. but thats not really on-topic.

do you think there is any sort of dynamic tension between each leg when stepping?

#236739 - 03/11/06 03:21 PM Re: footwork mechanics [Re: Ed_Morris]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
For years & years, I was taught (& taught) the crescent step-through (Rear foot movement curving toward the forward foot & then back out again). I was told that this prevented the up-down motion (which is wasted motion) thus allowing you to go forward on a level plane.

Well, it does accomplish this BUT I learned that there is a waste of true forward power. For kata (competition, testing, seminars etc.) I'll continue to use & teach the crescent-step. However, to generate & utilize full-body power, I'll use a strait-in step (as if you were on a train track w/o going up & down). The key is to drive w/ your forward-facing hip propelled by the entire leg (as Ed indicated). It's simply impossible to move the entire body mass efficiently w/ bouncy, tournament-style movement & expect efficient, power-producing techniques.

This applies to all foot-work: Step-in, Slide-in or Tsugi-ashi/"shuffle-step" (rear leg moves forward then forward leg moves forward).

Done correctly, your hara (center) will remain in its optimum power/balance position that will, in turn, promote speed whether advancing, retreating or utilizing Tai-sabaki.

#236740 - 03/13/06 09:51 PM Re: footwork mechanics [Re: Ed_Morris]
wristtwister Offline
like a chiropractor, only evil

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 2210
Loc: South Carolina

The ankles do provide for direction of the movement...but it's not where power is generated.

There's no "one" place that power is generated, but from a lot of things happening in sequence and with correct timing. The ankles lift the entire weight of the body every time you move by stepping, but if you do it poorly, it can take a lot out of your punch.

Being an engineer, you should know force vectors, and if you do things that change the force vector to the target by a few degrees, it can significantly affect the amount of force delivered. The body is basically designed to be off balance, and every step is a compensation for position or displacement of the body weight.

Using the ankles to correct the angle of entry to the target is why they spend so much emphasis on it in Shotokan. There has to also be a full body contraction on impact to deliver maximum force. The timing and breath control of exhaling or "kiai" on impact is also where a large amount of power comes from.

What is unique about the footwork issue, is that if it's correct, it looks just like it does when it's "off". It's the little angles that make all the difference.

What man is a man that does not make the world a better place?... from "Kingdom of Heaven"

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