Demawari & hikimawari

Demawari and hikimawari are both a method to step and turn the body. Sometimes “tenshikei” is involved.
Tenshikei is about winding, storing energy in muscles and tendons, and release the energy by unwinding.

Uchi mawashi tentai and soto mawashi tentai are solo exercises which includes stepping and turning.

Turning the body

Most of the body movement methods will line up the center of gravity through one leg (pivoting leg), hips, torso, and shoulder area and all the way up to the center of your head makes the other foot free from weight. You can see this in dancing, gymnastics, ballet……but is this also the same for Budo Aikido?

Budo Aikido has 3 methods of turning the body.

  • Without turning the feet (tenshikei method involved)
  • Turning on the heel of the foot
  • Turning on the ball of the foot

VoorvertoningSchermSnapz001 kopieOf course during training a combination of the 3 turning methods will be used depending on the actions of the opponent. Sometime a turn is performed with pivoting 1 foot, or sometimes pivoting on 2 feet.
A problem can occur when we try to pivot on a foot which is bearing all the weight. Classical dancers seem to do this, but standing on the tip of the toes is not a regular martial art skill.
Although, Tadashi Abe is showing us a pivot on the toes. In his book “L’Aikido-L’Arme et L’Esprit du Samourai Japonais” there is a  description of 3 kinds of pivoting.

  • Forward pivoting
  • Backward pivoting
  • Double pivoting

Turning in Budo Aikido is a question of keeping balance. The skill of  Taijū no ido & Taijū no dendō are necessary to keep balance even if we deliberately lose our balance.

Turning on the heel

bones foot legThere are two bones; the tibia and fibula. As shown in the illustration they are not positioned in the center of your foot. The ankle is the point where these bones are connected and we now know the ankle is located nearer to the heel than to the toes. For an in-place rotation, the area underneath the ankle is the most recommended spot as it gives the best balance for pivoting on the foot. The foot can pivoting to the outside or to the inside after lifting up the ball of the foot slightly. Turning is basically starting in the hipjoint.




An example of outward pivot of the foot

180° turn

Turning on the ball of the foot

voet hiel draai









When we put the foot forward, it is possible to do an outward movement or an inward movement. Uchi mawashi tentai is using an outward and inward movement.

uchi mawashi tentai



This is stepping back with a circular foot movement initiated by turning of the koshi and tanden. It is often used during 7-hon no kuzushi ura waza.

hiki mawari 01

hiki mawari 01

hiki mawari 01

hiki mawari 01


Published by

Eddy Wolput

A passion for Martial Arts since 1964

3 thoughts on “Demawari & hikimawari”

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