Weight shift – practical exercises

(Taijū idō wa budō ni okeru jūyōna sukirudesu.)

Weight shift is an important skill in martial arts. If you cannot control the shifting process, you are vulnerable to balance disturbing techniques by an opponent.

By using a walking exercise in slow motion, you can detect the difficulties in weight shift. Relaxation of the lower body segment parts (inguinal crease, knee and ankle) must be acquired for a smooth transition of the body weight. Of course, the rest of the body needs also the skill of relaxation.

Relaxation is not collapsing. In the walking exercise, the body is maintained in a vertical position for better control of the movement. Neck and shoulders are very hard to relax, especially when you make a mistake and lose your balance. The body reaction will tense up the muscles. This of course is a serious mistake for a martial arts practitioner.


Walking exercise

ayumi ashi yobu

Starting from a neutral posture, put a foot on the heel forward. Roll the foot and keep the angle between lower leg and foot. When the knee is coming forward, the angle is slightly smaller.roll the footBody weight is on the back foot (80%). When the foot rolls, body weight is changing to the front foot (80%). This is the moment to start the turning of the waist (yōbu).
relaxing the kneeThe body weight is changing to 100% on the front foot and back foot is only touching the floor. When you release the tension of the waist turning, the back knee is coming forward and initiates a forward stepping.

Slow motion gives you the opportunity to feel (taikan) the weight shift. The feeling is only possible when you relax sufficient. When the pattern is established in the brain, you can perform this kind of weight shift without conscious thoughts.

Sliding foot exercise

When we have to bridge a short distance, sliding foot (tsughi ashi) is used. The name “sliding foot” is misleading, because the front foot is using a rolling action. The sliding of the back foot is initiated by relaxing the back knee. Pushing and throwing the opponent has in many cases a sliding foot action. The back leg is not used to push down on the floor, during the rolling front foot action, the weight is mostly on the back foot.

tsugi ashi roll the foot

Weight shift with arm movement

The arm movement is synchronized with the movement of the front foot. By using gravity the body is moving forward. The power in the arm is generated from the forward movement, not from using the local arm muscles. Don’t tense up the muscles of the neck and shoulders.

weight shift tandoku 1

Basic solo exercise – uchi mawashi & soto mawashi – is using the same mechanism with a rotation of the waist (yōbu).

weight shift tandoku 2 2



Published by

Eddy Wolput

A passion for Martial Arts since 1964

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