Kihon 1--Tai sabaki

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Contents: Tai Sabaki
Introduction Nagashi Hiraki Irimi Irimi senkai
O irimi senkai With atemi With technique Back to the beginning Bottom of page

Introduction to Tai sabaski

(body shifting)

The tai sabaki are the fundamental movements of Yoseikan Budo. They provide means of avoiding an aggressive action in such a way that one is an position of advantage which permits immediate redirection of the aggressive energy or, if necessary, effective counter-attack.

Effective use of tai sabaki is an essential element in the successful execution of aikido, judo and jujutsu standing techniques; if the attack does not elicit an appropriate tai sabaki, no true opening for the technique exists. Although the movements are simple, they require extensive, attentive practice before they become spontaneous responses to unanticipated attacks. Over time, the practitioner develops "body wisdom," so that an effective response to a particular attack is selected on non-conscious, perhaps sub-cortical, level.

The tai sabaki also constitute the glue that holds the broad conceptual field of Yoseikan Budo together. Whether one is practicing the skills of aikido, judo, karate or kendo, the tai sabaki are the structure upon which the specifics of technique are built. Likewise, strong tai sabaki, emphasizing the fundamentals of motion upon which aikido rests--centralized motion, attentive responsiveness to the attacker--bestow fundamental soundness early in the acquisition of a new area of technique. The tai sabaki have many applications, many of which are mentioned here without illustration.

Finally, it should be noted that the animations here are not biomechanically perfect, reflecting as they do, both the illustrator's limited understanding and his recent acquaintence with the animation tools. They are meant only to roughly suggest basic form. Some older browsers do not support the GIF89a format which allows animations to be displayed directly on the page. On slower machines, the animations may be unacceptably choppy, distorting the overall motion. For this reason, each of the animations may also be downloaded in AVI format. You are welcome to these files, but are asked to identify the source if you use them publicly.

[First tai sabaki: Nagashi ][ Tai sabaki contents]

Tai Sabaki 1: Nagashi (Flowing)

Nagashi or flowing is sometimes described as "opening like a door." It is most useful against a frontal attack without warning from a relatively short distance. It embodies the basic jujutsu idea of yielding. The footwork is illusatrated below.

Nagashi: front view, GIF89A animation

Nagashi: front view

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Nagashi: GIF89a animation of the basic footwork

Nagashi: Basic footwork

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[Next tai sabaki: Hiraki ][ Tai sabaki contents]

Tai Sabaki 2: Hiraki (Sidestepping)

Hiraki or sidestepping is described as "opening like a sliding door." Like nagashi, it is most useful against an attack without warning from a short distance. The hips can be turned near the end of the motion to provide a more oblique target and to direct power in the direction of the attack. The footwork is illustrated below.

Hiraki: front view, GIF89A animation

Send me the AVI! Hiraki: GIF89a animation of the basic footwork

Hiraki: Basic footwork

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[Next tai sabaki: Irimi ][ Tai sabaki contents]

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