A “Corona” approach

Corona – COVID-19 is a pandemic that excludes all forms of social contact, such as practising martial arts as a method of partner training. But there is a positive aspect for practitioners lacking the workout with a partner. For those who continue their solo training, the emphasis is more on the efficiency of the body movements you perform during training.

Before Corona, we had a basic solo practice, like unsoku and tandoku undo. Of course we can do these exercises during the pandemic time. Nevertheless, this ignores a certain ability that we have to develop as a true martial art person. This ability is called: Creativeness.

Without creativity, training will soon become extremely boring and interest in training during Corona will fade. In fact, creativity is also very useful in normal time without the fear of the virus.

Warming-up & Kiko & Ritsuzen
Tenshikei & Unsoku & Tegatana dosa & Happo undo


  • Warming-up
  • Kiko – breathing exercise
  • Ritsuzen – standing exercise
  • Tenshikei – using koshi & tanden with tegatana
  • Unsoku-ho – foot work
  • Tandoku undo Tegatana dosa – footwork & tegatana

When there is a chance to practise with someone of your “bubble”.

  • Sotai dosa – partner exercises
  • Randori
  • Kata


Wake-up the mind and body is the message. It brings the body and mind into a situation for further exercises to improve your body skills.

For example, when the heart rate becomes higher, the heart is pumping more blood to the organs and extremities. When we do breathing exercises, we will have more benefit of the intake of oxygen.

In the field of metaphysics, the body become more relaxed and “ki” will reach every part of the body.

Warming-up exercises mostly focus on stretching muscles and tendons, but also on stretching energy-channels if your interest is focused on the metaphysical side of training.

Kiko – breathing exercises

During those exercises, the most basic skill is pulling up the perineum during the intake of breath. It creates more pressure in the body and the transport of “ki” is more efficient. It is the same if you do these exercises to increase oxygen in the blood and have a better transport to the organs and extremities.

Please refrain from doing these exercises when you are suffering of bad medical situations.

Ritsuzen – standing exercise

This has nothing to do with standing still. This is an exercise with a lot of movement controlled by your mind. Basically, there is no footwork or arm movement involved. Nevertheless, it is possible some movements can occur when kyokotsu and koshi are involved.

The main purpose of ritsuzen is to create a “linked” body-system.

Tenshikei – using koshi

Tenshikei is best described as rotational exercises with the use of koshi and controlled by kyokotsu.

Koshi includes the pelvic region, the muscles of the lower back and the front muscles of the lower body.

In many martial traditions, the use of rotational movement is a major skill  to develop during training. There are many names for this skill. In our blog we mentioned already chansigong (silk reeling exercises), meguri or a skill developed by the late Hirokazu Kobayashi. Tenshikei is a word used by Akira Hino to explain the rotating power created by spherical motions inside the body.

Unsoku-ho or footwork

We can consider 2 types of footwork

  • Shintai type of footwork – moving forward, back, left and right side
  • Tai-sabaki type of footwork – body turns with footwork

Kazuko Kudo a 9th dan Kodokan Judo made an interesting comment on footwork:

Advance-retreat (shintai) – Under this single heading we include both the advance-retreat (shintai) type of movement and turning movements (tai-sabaki). Advance-retreat movements, as goes without saying, are the vital fundamental movements that let you move your body straight forward, backward, left or right to get it into the required position. If the ways you move your feet and body are correct and if they agree with the various postures and methods of standing with your opponent, when these movements appear in a technique, that technique will be correct and free of strain.

From Judo Online Dojo

There are some “basic patterns” to study during martial art footwork training. By just doing those basic patterns without understanding the underlying principles, the result will be disappointing.

Shintai type of footwork

  • tsuri ashi
  • tsugi ashi
  • ayumi ashi

Tai-sabaki type of footwork

  • de mawari ashi
  • hiki mawari ashi

Tandoku undo Tegatana dosa

Combing footwork with arm/hand actions is a training method to develop whole body movement. It is an important training tool towards partner exercises.

Published by

Eddy Wolput

A passion for Martial Arts since 1964

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