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)



Our God, Our Dance Partner

First, let this description help you imagine that God dances:

“The theologians in the early church tried to describe this wonderful reality that we call Trinity. If any of you have ever been to a Greek wedding, you may have seen their distinctive way of dancing . . . It’s called perichoresis.

There are not two dancers, but at least three. They start to go in circles, weaving in and out in this very beautiful pattern of motion. They start to go faster and faster and faster, all the while staying in perfect rhythm and in sync with each other.

Eventually, they are dancing so quickly (yet so effortlessly) that as you look at them, it just becomes a blur. Their individual identities are part of a larger dance.

The early church fathers and mothers looked at that dance (perichoresis) and said, “That’s what the Trinity is like.” It’s a harmonious set of relationship in which there is mutual giving and receiving. This relationship is called love, and it’s what the Trinity is all about.

The perichoresis is the dance of love.”      (by Jonathan Marlowe)


 Then, consider that God wants you to join in the dance:

“From all eternity, God is not alone and solitary, but lives as Father, Son and Spirit in a rich and glorious and abounding fellowship of utter oneness. There is no emptiness in this circle, no depression or fear or insecurity. 

The Trinitarian life is a great dance of unchained communion and intimacy, fired by passionate, self-giving and other-centered love, and mutual delight.  This life is good.  It is right, unique, full of music and joy, blessedness and peace.

Such love, giving rise to such togetherness and fellowship and oneness, is the womb of the universe and of humanity within it. The stunning truth is that this Triune God, in amazing and lavish love, determined to open the circle and share the Trinitarian life with others.”    (by C. Baxter Kruger)


Feet starting to tap? 

       There is more, much more to understand and to ask for.

               And, God’s dance card has your name on it….

 Check out:

              C. Baxter Kruger, author –

                     “The Parable of the Dancing God”

                      “The Great Dance”

 Get ready for heavenly choreography!