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    Shintai - suri-ashi

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    Tranquilo

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    Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Tranquilo on Sun Sep 08, 2013 12:21 am

    Greetings!

    I was reading the book Kodokan Judo (KANO, Jigoro. Kodokan Judo. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1994), and I notice that, on pages 39 and 40, in the section about moving and turning, there are references to two shintai/moving techniques: ayumi-ashi and tsugi-ashi.

    In older papers we use to study for our tests, it is also mentioned another shintai technique: suri-ashi.

    Considering that the book Kodokan Judo is one of the most important references on Judo techniques, I would like to know if suri-ashi is no longer part of the officially recognized group of Judo techniques.

    Thank you very much!


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    Ryvai

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Ryvai on Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:22 pm

    Tranquilo wrote:I would like to know if suri-ashi is no longer part of the officially recognized group of Judo techniques.
    I've been wondering the same thing after I first saw mention of the name suri-ashi. I believe suri-ashi translates to "footwork" or something like that, like you move in randori, not lifting your feet too far from the ground to remain in a stable posture, while ayumi-ashi and tsugi-ashi is more the two principles of moving your feet. Like when you step forward in kendo, you move your feet in a special way when "launching" forward and swing down with your sword, perhaps this is the suri-ashi? I dont know, someone more qualified should answer Smile

    Anyways, suri-ashi is mentioned here:
    http://www.judo-ch.jp/english/dictionary/terms/suriasi/

    NBK

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by NBK on Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:50 am

    It means 'sliding feet', or shuffling.  The point is to remain in balance, step quickly without raising your feet too high.


    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Sep 10, 2013 1:06 am

    Tranquilo wrote:Greetings!

    I was reading the book Kodokan Judo (KANO, Jigoro. Kodokan Judo. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1994), and I notice that, on pages 39 and 40, in the section about moving and turning, there are references to two shintai/moving techniques: ayumi-ashi and tsugi-ashi.

    In older papers we use to study for our tests, it is also mentioned another shintai technique: suri-ashi.

    Considering that the book Kodokan Judo is one of the most important references on Judo techniques, I would like to know if suri-ashi is no longer part of the officially recognized group of Judo techniques.

    Thank you very much!
    Most people might not think of it as an actual technique, but yes it is, just like shizen hontai is a very important technique of judo.

    The three most prevalent terms to refer to types of stepping in juod, are indeed the ones you quote, but there exist others even though most judo people in the West have never heard the names, such as:

    - okuri-ashi
    - hiraki-ashi


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:56 am; edited 1 time in total


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    NBK

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by NBK on Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:43 am

    the editor isn't working for me - here's the link I meant to post, from sumo

    Neil G

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Neil G on Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:52 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    The three most prevalent terms to refer to types of stepping in juod, are indeed the ones you quote, but there exist others even though most judo people in the West have never heard the names, such as:

    - okuri-ashi
    - hikari-ashi
    Did you mean "hiraki-ashi"?  That's diagonal footwork, step to the side and turn your body.  You might use it in judo to move offline in preparation to throw.

    Suri-ashi as NBK said is the generic term for all sliding footwork.  Tsugi-ashi as judoka describe it is performed with suri-ashi.  

    What judoka call tsugi-ashi is closer to okuri-ashi in kendo terms.  Okuri-ashi is the standard kendo footwork.  Starting with one foot forward, push off with the back foot, slide the front foot forward, bring the back foot up back into position.  Tsugi-ashi in kendo means to draw up the rear foot in preparation for an attacking step.

    Ayumi-ashi is normal walking but with a sliding step.

    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:02 am

    Neil G wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    The three most prevalent terms to refer to types of stepping in juod, are indeed the ones you quote, but there exist others even though most judo people in the West have never heard the names, such as:

    - okuri-ashi
    - hikari-ashi
    Did you mean "hiraki-ashi"?  That's diagonal footwork, step to the side and turn your body.  You might use it in judo to move offline in preparation to throw.

    Suri-ashi as NBK said is the generic term for all sliding footwork.  Tsugi-ashi as judoka describe it is performed with suri-ashi.  

    What judoka call tsugi-ashi is closer to okuri-ashi in kendo terms.  Okuri-ashi is the standard kendo footwork.  Starting with one foot forward, push off with the back foot, slide the front foot forward, bring the back foot up back into position.  Tsugi-ashi in kendo means to draw up the rear foot in preparation for an attacking step.

    Ayumi-ashi is normal walking but with a sliding step.
    Correct, sorry for the typo.

    Many of these ways of stepping are illustrated in jûdô's kata, particularly in Seryoku zen'yô kokumin and in the first series of Joshi jûdô goshinhô, and also in Nage-no-kata.

    You are quite right with your description and there is something not entirely logical about calling jûdô's way of stepping "tsugi-ashi". One could argue that what the term really implies is to go forward while stepping first forward with the foot behind, but that is not how it is mean in judo. In judo they still start with the foot that it already standing forward and simply pull in the second foot from behind.

    Same situation for walking backwards, where one could argue that it really implies going backward while starting with the foot that is placed forward, but strangely that is not how it is understood in judo.


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    Neil G

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Neil G on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:08 am

    Yes, these distinctions are very clear in kendo. In okuri-ashi, the drive is from the rear foot going forward, from the front foot going backwards. There is a decisive push towards or away from the opponent. In the tsugi-ashi case, usually what we are trying to do is sneakily close a bit of distance. The front foot stays in place, the rear foot is drawn up a little closer, then the attack is launched. I believe for judo that what we call okuri-ashi is more appropriate, you don't want to be dragging that rear foot up, you want to be more dynamically moving forward by driving with the rear foot.

    Of course in judo the footwork is more grounded and not so much up on the balls of the feet, but similar principles apply.

    Ryvai

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Ryvai on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:26 am

    Neil G wrote:Yes, these distinctions are very clear in kendo.  In okuri-ashi, the drive is from the rear foot going forward, from the front foot going backwards.  There is a decisive push towards or away from the opponent.  In the tsugi-ashi case, usually what we are trying to do is sneakily close a bit of distance.  The front foot stays in place, the rear foot is drawn up a little closer, then the attack is launched.  I believe for judo that what we call okuri-ashi is more appropriate, you don't want to be dragging that rear foot up, you want to be more dynamically moving forward by driving with the rear foot.

    Of course in judo the footwork is more grounded and not so much up on the balls of the feet, but similar principles apply.
    I love these kind of discussions. As a learning judoka I would love if we could summerize a bit what has been discussed here.

    From a Judo point of view, how would be describe the 4 techniques of moving in short (ayumi-ashi, tsugi-ashi, okuri-ashi, hikari-ashi)? Is suri-ashi then just a name for all tatami-footwork in Judo (all the above mentioned movement techniques)?

    Neil G

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Neil G on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:50 am

    I wouldn't say suri-ashi is a name for all the footwork, it's the technique you are using when doing that footwork. All of those you mentioned should be done with a sliding foot, although of course most people don't do that all the time, you see lots of heel-toe walking.

    Also, people use these terms in different ways and I've learned not to be too much of an absolutist in either terminology or etiquette as there is variation from place to place. For example, many kendoka say "suri-ashi" when they really mean "okuri-ashi".

    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Sep 10, 2013 3:58 am

    Ryvai wrote:
    Neil G wrote:Yes, these distinctions are very clear in kendo.  In okuri-ashi, the drive is from the rear foot going forward, from the front foot going backwards.  There is a decisive push towards or away from the opponent.  In the tsugi-ashi case, usually what we are trying to do is sneakily close a bit of distance.  The front foot stays in place, the rear foot is drawn up a little closer, then the attack is launched.  I believe for judo that what we call okuri-ashi is more appropriate, you don't want to be dragging that rear foot up, you want to be more dynamically moving forward by driving with the rear foot.

    Of course in judo the footwork is more grounded and not so much up on the balls of the feet, but similar principles apply.
    I love these kind of discussions. As a learning judoka I would love if we could summerize a bit what has been discussed here.

    From a Judo point of view, how would be describe the 4 techniques of moving in short (ayumi-ashi, tsugi-ashi, okuri-ashi, hikari-ashi)? Is suri-ashi then just a name for all tatami-footwork in Judo (all the above mentioned movement techniques)?
    In judo, all 4 types of steps can be performed as suri-ashi or not. The suri-ashi simply implies that your feet never completely leave the ground/tatami, but slide. So, you can perform tsugi-ashi in suri-ashi, or you can perform it without suri-ashi.


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    Fritz

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Fritz on Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:56 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:You are quite right with your description and there is something not entirely logical about calling jûdô's way of stepping "tsugi-ashi". One could argue that what the term really implies is to go forward while stepping first forward with the foot behind, but that is not how it is mean in judo. In judo they still start with the foot that it already standing forward and simply pull in the second foot from behind.
    Maybe this comes from how Nage-no-kata is "performed" today?
    We always think Ukes pushes with right step forward Tori goes back with left and slides right foot back (while Uke comes forward with left)
    and then the exercise is repeated... That we call tsugi-ashi - in fact its okuri-ashi in kendo terms.

    But what if we change the rhythm? Before Uchi-Mata, Tomoe-Nage, Sumi-Gaeshi, Uki-Waza, Okuri-Ashi-Barai we have a first "half step" to take migi shizentai resp. jigotai
    What if we can apply this to the remaining waza?
    First half step Uke engages in right stance, Tori retreats and takes right stand too
    - and then Tori does tsugi-ashi (in kendo terms) beginning with right foot and catapulting left foot backward...

    This changes the dynamic of the whole thing, and the ugly breaks/stops between the steps will be eliminated...



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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:58 am

    Fritz wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:You are quite right with your description and there is something not entirely logical about calling jûdô's way of stepping "tsugi-ashi". One could argue that what the term really implies is to go forward while stepping first forward with the foot behind, but that is not how it is mean in judo. In judo they still start with the foot that it already standing forward and simply pull in the second foot from behind.
    Maybe this comes from how Nage-no-kata is "performed" today?
    We always think Ukes pushes with right step forward Tori goes back with left and slides right foot back (while Uke comes forward with left)
    and then the exercise is repeated... That we call tsugi-ashi - in fact its okuri-ashi in kendo terms.

    But what if we change the rhythm? Before Uchi-Mata, Tomoe-Nage, Sumi-Gaeshi, Uki-Waza, Okuri-Ashi-Barai we have a first "half step" to take migi shizentai resp. jigotai
    What if we can apply this to the remaining waza?
    First half step Uke engages in right stance, Tori retreats and takes right stand too
    - and then Tori does tsugi-ashi (in kendo terms) beginning with right foot and catapulting left foot backward...

    This changes the dynamic of the whole thing, and the ugly breaks/stops between the steps will be eliminated...

    It is, however, possible to perform nage-no-kata with tsugi-ashi in the way I describe. A difference then needs to be made between the opening position and the actual stepping. More precisely uke would bring his right foot forward and tori his left foot backward. Now one is in mige-shizentai (or alternatively jigotai in sumi-gaeshi and uki-waza). However, uke would then start moving first with his left foot, while the right foot remains in forward position; for tori it is the other way around.

    There exists some really old footage of nage-no-kata, but it is hard to see, since in those days nage-no-kata was not performed with an obsessive adherence to a central line, and the next throw was simply started where the opponent had fallen, instead of a rigorous return to a certain position.

    Nage-no-kata evidently is mostly about tsukuri and kuzushi, which need to be logical and purposeful, and used as a proper reaction to an action, which can be done with either stepping. Unfortunately, as you know the Kôdôkan's current approach has little to do with kata as an improvement to one's personal judo, but rather as some aesthetic exercise where one supposedly has to copy an ideal model (supposedly the Kodokan DVD) as close as possible to be awarded a score either literally (if kata competition) or just mentally. In this way, people with bad judo could obtain a high score, and people with excellent judo might receive a low score if they are considered as deviating from that rigorous straightjacket which the Kôdôkan DVD purports.


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    NBK

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by NBK on Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:02 pm

    I think despite the same name, the kendo okuri-ashi and judo okuri-ashi have very different functions.

    In kendo, there are techniques executed from okuri-ashi - witness the below from the kendo kata.  The gent on the right cuts down, climaxing at full extension, right leg extended, weight forward.  

    In judo, okuri-ashi typically occurs while stepping from point A to point B, where you are going to step either ayumi ashi or tsugi-ashi.  

    The only time I can think of in judo where okuri-ashi culminates a techniques is thrusts or blows in the combative kata like Kime-no-kata or Goshinjutsu.  


    Or am I missing something?

    In Nihon Jujutsu the body thrusts 'chu-dan tsuki' or neck/face thrusts 'jo-dan tsuki' (Billc called them 'shoves'Sad ) are done at full extension / okuri-ashi, but the trailing foot closes in to a natural left or right stance (hidari / migi kamae) or withdraws immediately.


    NBK

    BillC

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by BillC on Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:24 pm

    NBK wrote:(Billc called them 'shoves'Sad ) ...

    NBK
    Yes, "shove" is often a useful part of a short sentence.





    P.S. ... from Merriam-Webster

    Definition of SHOVE
    transitive verb
    1
    : to push along
    2
    : to push or put in a rough, careless, or hasty manner : thrust


    P.P.S. ... a familiar pose in that last picture ... thanks!


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Sep 10, 2013 12:44 pm

    NBK wrote:I think despite the same name, the kendo okuri-ashi and judo okuri-ashi have very different functions.

    In kendo, there are techniques executed from okuri-ashi - witness the below from the kendo kata.  The gent on the right cuts down, climaxing at full extension, right leg extended, weight forward.

    The only time I can think of in judo where okuri-ashi culminates a techniques is thrusts or blows in the combative kata like Kime-no-kata or Goshinjutsu.  


    Or am I missing something?

    In Nihon Jujutsu the body thrusts 'chu-dan tsuki' or neck/face thrusts 'jo-dan tsuki' (Billc called them 'shoves'Sad ) are done at full extension / okuri-ashi, but the trailing foot closes in to a natural left or right stance (hidari / migi kamae) or withdraws immediately.


    NBK
    One of the consequences we see in judoka who are not much interested in the educational approach is that they fight, fight, fight but often do not understand the systematics behind some of the things in judo. These systematics are important when teaching and coaching, hence one of the many reasons why superb fighters might be poor teachers or coaches. So, the terminology discussed in this thread helps putting structure into judo and making see people framework as to how everything is organized. For example, when someone is asked to show a certain throw during a shodan shiken, assuming the country still requires actual exams to promote people for a next dan ranks and not just filling out a form, then it may be helpful for the jury to say: do throw X in jigotai, or do it while displacing in tsugi-ashi, okuri-ashi, or hiraki-ashi.

    Throws have tendency to be taught at an initial level in very specific patterns, and many judoka never are able to transcend these typical patterns. For example:

    - de-ashi-barai is typically taught while tori moves backward
    - ô-soto-gari during movement is usually taught while tori goes forward
    - ô-uchi-gari is usually taught while tori goes backward
    - okuri-ashi-barai is usually taught while both move sideways

    When you start asking judoka to show these throws in the opposite direction or a different direction that is not opposite, or a different pattern, many seriously struggle. By putting in structure using these terminologies at least mentally the judoka starts detaching the waza from the pattern of displacement realizing through osmosis that various patterns can lead to the same throw. Many kyû-rank holders and even some lower black belts (one notes this when preparing people for a shodan shiken) struggle for example performing okuri-ashi-barai while walking backwards or foreward, so attention from the teacher to these problems is welcome at an early stage.


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    Ryvai

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Ryvai on Tue Sep 10, 2013 8:13 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:When you start asking judoka to show these throws in the opposite direction or a different direction that is not opposite, or a different pattern, many seriously struggle. By putting in structure using these terminologies at least mentally the judoka starts detaching the waza from the pattern of displacement realizing through osmosis that various patterns can lead to the same throw. Many kyû-rank holders and even some lower black belts (one notes this when preparing people for a shodan shiken) struggle for example performing okuri-ashi-barai while walking backwards or foreward, so attention from the teacher to these problems is welcome at an early stage.
    As a kyû-rank I love the idea's you are proposing. However, in an earlier post I asked for a clarification of what the different styles of walking actually means? I am ofcourse familiar with ayumi-ashi, tsugi-ashi and now what suri-ashi means. However, you guys introduced two additional ones which I still dont understand. The kendo vs. judo part was confusing. I still dont understand Hikari-ashi, what is it, diagonal tsugi-ashi? Okuri-ashi is shoving forward in a tsugi-ashi fashion like the fencers do with one leg extended? (en garde!) One day I will be teaching this stuff and want to understand. Fortunetely I learn new things every day that "western" Judo is missing out on Smile

    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:07 am

    Ryvai wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:When you start asking judoka to show these throws in the opposite direction or a different direction that is not opposite, or a different pattern, many seriously struggle. By putting in structure using these terminologies at least mentally the judoka starts detaching the waza from the pattern of displacement realizing through osmosis that various patterns can lead to the same throw. Many kyû-rank holders and even some lower black belts (one notes this when preparing people for a shodan shiken) struggle for example performing okuri-ashi-barai while walking backwards or foreward, so attention from the teacher to these problems is welcome at an early stage.
    As a kyû-rank I love the idea's you are proposing. However, in an earlier post I asked for a clarification of what the different styles of walking actually means? I am ofcourse familiar with ayumi-ashi, tsugi-ashi and now what suri-ashi means. However, you guys introduced two additional ones which I still dont understand. The kendo vs. judo part was confusing. I still dont understand Hikari-ashi, what is it, diagonal tsugi-ashi? Okuri-ashi is shoving forward in a tsugi-ashi fashion like the fencers do with one leg extended? (en garde!) One day I will be teaching this stuff and want to understand. Fortunetely I learn new things every day that "western" Judo is missing out on Smile
    Please note that I made a typo in my first post; it's "hiraki-ashi", not "hikari-ashi". Please, avoid saying "hikari-ashi"; 'hikari' exists as a word too in Japanese but means something entirely different. Hiraki-ashi is a turning displacement. Say, you want to end up in a 45° angled position. Well, hiraki-ashi does that. I am not saying it implies you have to turn exactly 45°. You can turn 30°, or 60° or 90° or 110°, it does not matter. The hiraki-ashi can be performed in suri-ashi, that is with the soles of your feet remaining in contact with the tatami, or it can be performed without suri-ashi, that is your feet coming off the ground.

    Where it can get confusing is that these steps can become interwined with tai-sabaki. In some stages, you can distinguish the tai-sabaki part from the steps, that is to say, you can perform the step without tai-sabaki. For example, you can perform ayumi-ashi and tsugi-ashi without any tai-sabaki. I could then say, now perform ayumi-ashi during this or that tai-sabaki; that is possible. However, I cannot say, do hiraki-ashi without tai-sabaki, since tai-sabaki is already implied there. However, I can still diversify hiraki-ashi by specifying the tai-sabaki. If I specify (I will not mention the names to avoid making this explanation more complex) that you need to do it in an 180° tai-sabaki, then that is different than the hiraki-sabaki done in 45°.

    In jûdô far less attention is given to this than in karate or kendô. In karate clearly, the many karate kata, require very specific positions since their geometric patterns and positions where you are, are crucial.

    With regard to the other positions, would you call this a standard ayumi-ashi or tsugi-ashi (and this is judo):



    Okuri-ashi, as NBK was referring to and as it is done in many martial arts is shown here:



    As you can see, it looks rather like judo's tsugi-ashi.

    However, I also said that these terminologies are not the same across every martial art, or specifically are not the same in judo as in kendo.

    The judo clip I posted above here, what would you call that.

    A sideways displacement such as typical in okuri-ashi-barai is sometimes referred to as lateral or sideways tsugi-ashi, but sometimes also as okuri-ashi, which clearly is a totally different okuri-ashi than the one explained by NBK.

    This may be confusing to you, but it isn't at all. Judo is not kendo or aikido. You will also find names of many throws that exist in other arts but are something entirely different. Ashi-barai exists in Tenjin Shin'yô-ryû jûjutsu, but is completely differerent from what de-ashi-barai is in jûdô, and is in fact what in jûdô is called ashi-guruma. Don't blame me, I did not invent this.


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    Tranquilo

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Tranquilo on Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:16 am

    Thank you, folks! This discussion has been very instructive, considering the lack of published information about this particular topic. It has also been enlightening about walking styles in other martial arts. I hadn't thought about okuri-ashi as an independent walking style before, using to think of it just as the movement that precedes okuri-ashi-barai.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    In judo, all 4 types of steps can be performed as suri-ashi or not. The suri-ashi simply implies that your feet never completely leave the ground/tatami, but slide. So, you can perform tsugi-ashi in suri-ashi, or you can perform it without suri-ashi.
    This perspective of suri-ashi as a genre that may encompass the other kinds of walking styles made thing much clearer for me. It explains why the book "Kodokan Judo" does not mention suri-ashi. Considering it simply says that "when moving in any direction, the feet are slid across the mat with most of one's weight over the leading foot" (KANO, 1994, p. 39), it is implicit that the movements described there must always be performed as suri-ashi.

    However, the way it used to be taught still makes sense to me: ayumi-ashi as the normal, or natural, walking stile, when the oponent is not to close; tsugi-ashi as the sliding feet walking style with a leading foot; and suri-ashi as the sliding feet normal walking style.


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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:15 am

    Tranquilo wrote:Thank you, folks! This discussion has been very instructive, considering the lack of published information about this particular topic. It has also been enlightening about walking styles in other martial arts. I hadn't thought about okuri-ashi as an independent walking style before, using to think of it just as the movement that precedes okuri-ashi-barai.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    In judo, all 4 types of steps can be performed as suri-ashi or not. The suri-ashi simply implies that your feet never completely leave the ground/tatami, but slide. So, you can perform tsugi-ashi in suri-ashi, or you can perform it without suri-ashi.
    This perspective of suri-ashi as a genre that may encompass the other kinds of walking styles made thing much clearer for me. It explains why the book "Kodokan Judo" does not mention suri-ashi. Considering it simply says that "when moving in any direction, the feet are slid across the mat with most of one's weight over the leading foot" (KANO, 1994, p. 39), it is implicit that the movements described there must always be performed as suri-ashi.

    However, the way it used to be taught still makes sense to me: ayumi-ashi as the normal, or natural, walking stile, when the oponent is not to close; tsugi-ashi as the sliding feet walking style with a leading foot; and suri-ashi as the sliding feet normal walking style.
    No, that is not correct. Even though tsugi-ashi in kata is performed in suri-ashi, it DOES NOT HAVE to be with sliding feet. So you cannot describe tsugi-ashi as "the sliding feet walking style with the leading foot". Tsugi-ashi may or may not be done with sliding feet. Literally, tsugi-ashi means that you go into one direction while starting with the foot that is following instead of with the leading foot.


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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Tranquilo on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:32 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    No, that is not correct. Even though tsugi-ashi in kata is performed in suri-ashi, it DOES NOT HAVE to be with sliding feet. So you cannot describe tsugi-ashi as "the sliding feet walking style with the leading foot". Tsugi-ashi may or may not be done with sliding feet. Literally, tsugi-ashi means that you go into one direction while starting with the foot that is following instead of with the leading foot.
    OK, Thanks, CK Sensei!
    So, Could I rectify my words and define tsugi-ashi as "as the walking style with a leading foot"?


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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:55 am

    Tranquilo wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    No, that is not correct. Even though tsugi-ashi in kata is performed in suri-ashi, it DOES NOT HAVE to be with sliding feet. So you cannot describe tsugi-ashi as "the sliding feet walking style with the leading foot". Tsugi-ashi may or may not be done with sliding feet. Literally, tsugi-ashi means that you go into one direction while starting with the foot that is following instead of with the leading foot.
    OK, Thanks, CK Sensei!
    So, Could I rectify my words and define tsugi-ashi as "as the walking style with a leading foot"?
    'Describing' tsugi-ashi is one thing, 'translating' it another. I find it difficult to provide a translation of this term that is totally satisfying. Sometimes the bare bones of "foot-following" is given but in English that term doesn't mean much. I have to think about it, but maybe NBK in a moment of feeing fulfilled with 'ki' has more inspiration.


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    Neil G

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Neil G on Wed Sep 11, 2013 4:28 am

    NBK wrote:I think despite the same name, the kendo okuri-ashi and judo okuri-ashi have very different functions.

    In kendo, there are techniques executed from okuri-ashi - witness the below from the kendo kata.  The gent on the right cuts down, climaxing at full extension, right leg extended, weight forward.  

    Actually that's a still from a poorly performed kata #4, the person on the right is executing a thrust to the chest, the person on the left is deflecting it and avoiding it and will next respond with a cut to the head.

    Here's a gif to give you the general idea:


    In judo, okuri-ashi typically occurs while stepping from point A to point B, where you are going to step either ayumi ashi or tsugi-ashi.  
    In kendo we are much more concerned with ma-ai (combative distance) than in judo, in fact in my experience ma-ai is not a concept that is often discussed in judo except during kata.  Adjusting and maintaining ma-ai, trying to get advantageous ma-ai, these are all things that the footwork (okuri-ashi, tsugi-ashi, ayumi-ashi) has evolved to facilitate.

    In shinai kendo, we rarely attack with a sliding step, it is usually with a lunging stomp called fumikomi-ashi.  Kendo kata are different and so we see a variety of attacks using suri-ashi in all the variants we have discussed.  

    In judo randori or shiai, people typically just walk normally towards each other and try to take their grip.  Up until someone can get a fistful of judogi, distance is not so important and the footwork used doesn't matter much.  Once kumi-kata begins distance has a role but not nearly as much emphasis is placed on it as is done in kendo.  Ma-ai in kendo has similar importance as kuzushi in judo, and the footwork reflects that.

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by NBK on Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:40 am

    Neil G wrote:
    NBK wrote:I think despite the same name, the kendo okuri-ashi and judo okuri-ashi have very different functions.

    In kendo, there are techniques executed from okuri-ashi - witness the below from the kendo kata.  The gent on the right cuts down, climaxing at full extension, right leg extended, weight forward.  

    Actually that's a still from a poorly performed kata #4, the person on the right is executing a thrust to the chest, the person on the left is deflecting it and avoiding it and will next respond with a cut to the head.

    Here's a gif to give you the general idea:


    In judo, okuri-ashi typically occurs while stepping from point A to point B, where you are going to step either ayumi ashi or tsugi-ashi.  
    In kendo we are much more concerned with ma-ai (combative distance) than in judo, in fact in my experience ma-ai is not a concept that is often discussed in judo except during kata.  Adjusting and maintaining ma-ai, trying to get advantageous ma-ai, these are all things that the footwork (okuri-ashi, tsugi-ashi, ayumi-ashi) has evolved to facilitate.

    In shinai kendo, we rarely attack with a sliding step, it is usually with a lunging stomp called fumikomi-ashi.  Kendo kata are different and so we see a variety of attacks using suri-ashi in all the variants we have discussed.  

    In judo randori or shiai, people typically just walk normally towards each other and try to take their grip.  Up until someone can get a fistful of judogi, distance is not so important and the footwork used doesn't matter much.  Once kumi-kata begins distance has a role but not nearly as much emphasis is placed on it as is done in kendo.  Ma-ai in kendo has similar importance as kuzushi in judo, and the footwork reflects that.
    Yes, I agree, for what's it's worth.  I tried to find quickly a suitable pic and got this marginal one, you found the sequence and recognized the entire movement.  

    I know the kendo kata, wanted to make the point that other arts have techniques executed with extended okuri-ashi (as you point out, normally with the exaggerated 'lunging stomp') but in some sword schools simply a quick suri-ashi / okuri-ashi step to close the ma-ai and cut or thrust.  

    You point out that most judoka today simply walk up and close the distance until they can grab a handful of gi, not worried about the footwork.  That wasn't always the case.  

    I showed Billc how we understand how approaches were made in the earliest days of judo - stepping was very important, as the engagement began with attempts to control uke's arm and thus his body.  So the attempt was to engage from a distance, around double current standard ma-ai, while in balance and immediately attempt to take uke's balance.  The stand up, face your opponent and grasp in migi-kumi was a later innovation to teach mass numbers of beginners.

    I give walking lessons to explain all of this when I can.  Sometimes it is really necessarily.  We once had a college wrestler join the club.  He is a block of a man, like a 55 gallon drum with a head and legs, but his technique was all upper body - his normal walking stance was not left foot / right arm forward, it was left foot / left hand, looked like Lurch with high steps around the mats.  Thus he had many weaknesses in his stances, but could tie you in knots once he got you on the ground.  I worked with him for months, explained the technical uses of these steps, how to move across the mats with suri-ashi without stumbling (how many can do that?  and blame the sticky or soft mats rather than your technique for stumbling?).  Once he got these basics down his static and moving balance was greatly improved, and he could generate tremendous power with Nihon Jujutsu taisabaki-based movements.  

    While I am not a fan of the gent below for non-technical reasons, his explanations of body movement are very good.  Here he makes the point that in forward, back, or side movement, do not move with your hips (which leaves your face behind) or with your upper body (which leaves your hips behind), but rather move your entire body with sufficient balance and tension, hips down and relaxed, heels lightly in contact with the floor.  That is a smooth, quick, unified body movement (taisabaki).  



    The last video example CK posted appears to be Yoshinkan aikido style - very structured, very linear, heels in line.  This style was developed for teaching mass numbers of soldiers in pre- and WWII days, and really stresses unified body movements (taisabaki).  Although I practice it from time to time because Inoue kancho is a great martial artist, frankly I find it too rigid and the stance unnaturally narrow - first time I hesitantly told him that, he laughed and said you sound just like Ueshiba sensei - he had the same criticism first time he saw our practice.   I find that counter to Kano shihan's teachings, and ultimately counterproductive.  Inoue kancho's explanation is this is basic training for dummies, eventually it becomes more relaxed and fluid (and it took me some time to realize he'd called me a dummy.... )

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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:22 pm

    NBK wrote:

    I know the kendo kata, wanted to make the point that other arts have techniques executed with extended okuri-ashi (as you point out, normally with the exaggerated 'lunging stomp') but in some sword schools simply a quick suri-ashi / okuri-ashi step to close the ma-ai and cut or thrust.  

    You point out that most judoka today simply walk up and close the distance until they can grab a handful of gi, not worried about the footwork.  That wasn't always the case.  

    I showed Billc how we understand how approaches were made in the earliest days of judo - stepping was very important, as the engagement began with attempts to control uke's arm and thus his body.  So the attempt was to engage from a distance, around double current standard ma-ai, while in balance and immediately attempt to take uke's balance.  The stand up, face your opponent and grasp in migi-kumi was a later innovation to teach mass numbers of beginners.
    Some of these ma-ai issues related to steps can still be seen in koshiki-no-kata. The obi-tori-like attack in the 3rd and 4th technique of koshiki-no-kata or even the shômen attacks in jû-no-kata still take these things seriously. However, the way kata today is taught at the Kôdôkan and elsewhere people are clueless about this and just concerned about moving through their mechanical patterns irrespective of its importance on one's fighting ability. They just want to know: "how many points did I get ?", "Did I pass ?", "Did I win ?", not master it through kata so that they can realistically practice it outside kata.


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