PAN AM Judo Footwork

pan am judo       Judo combatants fight one on one, barefoot. Each martial artist tries to throw his opponent off-balance by pushing and pulling.  This technique sets up a final backward or forward throw-over onto the mat. While fighting, martial artists maintain an attitude of ‘mutual prosperity’. This is one of Judo’s principles; the other is the ‘maximum yet efficient use of energy’.

Judo footwork involves holistic control: carriage of head above hips, unreadable eyes, calm breath, flexible torso and complex hand movements that synchronize with feet.  The martial artist’s footwork begins simply in the ‘natural position’. Whether advancing or retreating, swinging, sweeping, clipping or hooking his feet, the fighter’s posture and way of walking are integral to his movement and state of mind. Integral and intriguing.

Natural Position

Enduring the pushing or pulling of judo is possible with solid balance. The fighter keeps his feet shoulder-width apart, pointing outwards at about 45°.  His weight naturally projects over his big toes, always equally on both feet. His knees and hips are relaxed and slightly bent.

Judo Walking Method

The fighter’s legs, hips and feet all move forward or backward at the same time in the natural position.  Weight continues to be evenly distributed on both feet. He would never put one foot forward and ‘leave his other foot behind’.  Rather, he would take a step forward on his right foot and bring his left foot forward far enough while remaining in the natural position.  The left one more or less follows the right.  The Japanese name tsugi-ashi  literally means ‘following feet’. **   He walks with his hips. His feet do not move too far apart or too close together, his body—head, shoulders, hips—rise and fall. He walks with a smooth sliding gait.

[Usually humans walk by putting their weight on one foot and advancing the other, then shifting their weight to the advanced foot as soon as it touches the floor and advancing the other foot. If we walk backwards the process is the same, only in the opposite direction. Forwards or backwards, this walking method always leaves your weight on one foot for an interval during which your body itself remains back with that support foot.] (1)

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[** Note the name of this blog.]

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)



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