1. #1

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    Staying on your toes - drills ect?

    Being back at Judo full bore, I am starting to realize I have a real problem staying on my toes instead of being flat footed. I know this is also an important think to consider in striking (which I am hoping to find time to also do soon). I injured a toe a few years ago and was compensating I suspect - tape has helped this now, but I am still compensating.

    Anyone have good drills for this? I have been jumping rope more and doing uchikomis while really paying attention to staying on my toes. I am not quite ready for the Benny the Jet thumbtacks in my shoes solutions, but other ideas are welcome.

  2. #2
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    This is a common problem in Judo, at least. I had to overcome it myself.

    My experience with this is you simply have to pay attention to what you are doing. All the time.

    Practice your movement (suri ashi in both ayumi ashi and tsugi ashi patterns) by yourself before class as part of warmup, where you can isolate the feel of being on the front part of your foot (not toes, really, we aren't ballerinas), and develop the kinesthetic awareness of that part of your body. Then practice basic tai sabaki focusing on the same thing.

    It takes a while to develop that awareness. If you toe is a problem, remember you shouldn't be on your toes so to speak.

    It also helps to just slightly bend you knees, which will tend to shift the weight to the front part of your foot.

    Make sure you train with someone who is good at ashi waza too. Getting thrown because you make movement errors helps a lot !
    Falling for Judo since 1980

  3. #3

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    Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for.

    My toe was still a problem even if I was stepping on the ball of my foot (I shredded a tendon in my big toe), but I figured out how to tape it securely. And, conveniently, one of my coaches is a ashi-waza wizard (or at least he makes me feel foolish).

    Thanks for the tips, I think with my coaches' help and a few extra drills like this I can continue to improve.

  4. #4

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    I just think about getting ready to jump up for a rebound in basketball. This is a pretty universal athletic position that we all know if we've played sports, but sometimes you just need to remind yourself with a little frame-of-reference. Bent knees, not on heels, ready to explode upward or laterally. It's good for basketball players, linebackers, shortstops and judoka too.

  5. #5
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    I used to teach 2 drills to kids, I called em the circle and square drills.

    Circle Drill: 2 students face each other with a kicking shield between them, in a mobile, balanced stance. One tries to circle around the bag to touch the other kid's shoulder, and the other kid uses circling footwork to avoid it. The "attacker" is encouraged to abruptly switch directions and try to trick them. When this is old hat, the "attacker" can add in level changes as well. Pretty basic stuff, but it teaches how to position oneself to move laterally in either direction quickly, and how to circle around without crossing the legs.

    Square drill: Another one I taught kids was to face their partner in matched lead fighting stances, with one person the "attacker" (in FMA we'd call them a feeder). Using shuffling steps, the feeder can move forward, backwards, and left or right, and the partner is to mirror them to maintain the same spacing throughout. Again, the feeder should be unpredictable, use broken rhythm, fake one way then go the other etc, and level changes can be incorporated later.

    Perhaps not great drills for intermediate adults, but for kids and beginners who trip over themselves its pretty good. I'd say far better than a lot of drills for beginners that involve very little reaction, adjustment, reading of the opponent, footwork in general, or free play.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Permalost View Post
    I used to teach 2 drills to kids, I called em the circle and square drills.

    Circle Drill: 2 students face each other with a kicking shield between them, in a mobile, balanced stance. One tries to circle around the bag to touch the other kid's shoulder, and the other kid uses circling footwork to avoid it. The "attacker" is encouraged to abruptly switch directions and try to trick them. When this is old hat, the "attacker" can add in level changes as well. Pretty basic stuff, but it teaches how to position oneself to move laterally in either direction quickly, and how to circle around without crossing the legs.

    Square drill: Another one I taught kids was to face their partner in matched lead fighting stances, with one person the "attacker" (in FMA we'd call them a feeder). Using shuffling steps, the feeder can move forward, backwards, and left or right, and the partner is to mirror them to maintain the same spacing throughout. Again, the feeder should be unpredictable, use broken rhythm, fake one way then go the other etc, and level changes can be incorporated later.

    Perhaps not great drills for intermediate adults, but for kids and beginners who trip over themselves its pretty good. I'd say far better than a lot of drills for beginners that involve very little reaction, adjustment, reading of the opponent, footwork in general, or free play.
    These are great too. I have done the "square" drill at my first Judo club, actually.

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