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    Shintai - suri-ashi

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    Cichorei Kano
    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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    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
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    Tranquilo
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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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    Cichorei Kano
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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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    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.
    NBK
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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.... )
    Cichorei Kano
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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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    NBK
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    Re: Shintai - suri-ashi

    Post by NBK on Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:12 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    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.
    AFAIK there are only a handful of people associated with the Kodokan that understand this and they didn't learn it there (rather through aikido or jujutsu) and aren't allowed to teach it.

    I can see from 50m without my glasses if someone has any real understanding of the taisabaki and kuzushi of Koshiki-no-kata. I'm not claiming to know it or be able to teach it, but I can sure spot its absence. For years I thought it was completely meaningless until I saw someone doing it more correctly, with balance, power, and control.

    One of the serious problems with the Kodokan's approach is that the basic movements are simply not there. Particularly as most judoka starting the Koshiki no kata are very senior - not young, at best, old, at worst. And they've never practiced these very basic techniques.

    I once attended a seminar with a bunch of judo instructors given by a taichi instructor. He was able to move massive judo guys around effortlessly because his balance, stepping / taisabaki were masterfully integrated. The judoka all went 'oohhh... aahhh...' then promptly forgot about it, not realizing one key to Kano's judo was right there in front of them, Hidden in Plain Sight, as it were.

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