Thursday, February 4, 2016


The other night in the studio we were doing our warm-up stretches and I was doing a butterfly stretch, with the feet soles together and the knees outwards.  I noticed my calluses and thought about just how much my feet are involved in my two arts.

In Shotokan, we generate a lot of power through driving our mass into the opponent as well as using as much of the body as possible involved in each technique.  The former requires a lot of push and stoppage from the feet, while the latter requires a sturdy, solid base.  That means my feet are involved greatly in even the simplest of techniques, and the more I move, the greater the load on them.

In SJT, the foot action is just as important as what the hands are doing.  The balls of the feet are constantly pushing, the toes are gripping, the ankles are flexing.  The larger the strike or movement, the more the feet are involved.  Even on the shime, there's foot action, albeit subtle.

What I want you to think about, dear reader, is how much your feet do as well as how much they could do.  Maybe your group doesn't want you pushing off your feet; you'll stick out in a bad way.  Or maybe you'll feel like it pushes you out of alignment.  But who knows, you might find some extra foot-work eases the pressure on your knees and back, or makes it easier to play longer with less exertion.

Not every style of martial arts nor every style of taiko is so foot-oriented; I just happen to be in two arts that demand a lot out of my feet.  Take some time if you can and take a look (maybe not literally) at what your feet do for you!  Give 'em some love!

No comments:

Post a Comment