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Other meanings of "balance"

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It occurred to me a little while ago that the term "balance" as I have always applied it to budo might have another meaning. My definition fell along the lines of "a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight." Standing up without falling down.


So when it came to "breaking use's balance," I assumed my job was to make my uke physically unstable, tipped over in one direction or another, on the verge of gravity pulling him down to the ground.

But then I started thinking about other dictionary definitions of "balance" I realized those could apply as well.

Balance between objects
Balance also means "to arrange, adjust, or the proportion of parts symmetrically." In other words, when two otherwise separate objects equal each other in some way, be it weight (as on a scale) or size or position, etc.


When we begin in budo, tori and uke face each other. Both have all their proverbial weapons (arms, legs, center, etc.) poin…

The power of a pre-turned foot

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There's a section of our "walking kata" or tegatana no kata in aikido that I find very, very useful in judo. After stepping forward and back diagonally, the side to side, there's the part where you turn 90° by pre-turning your foot. It looks a little something like this:



You step to your right first, then return to the start, then repeat the same action on your left side. Be sure, of course, to step with your hip still over your lead foot. In other words, don't put your foot over there, then move your hip over it. The two should move together.

Here's how it applies to nage waza. First, I do the pre-turned step to my right (for example; you could start on either side). Uke will find that he's no longer facing me, so he'll turn as well in order to square back up again. As he's doing so, or just as he finishes, I make the same pre-turned step to my left.

Doing just that creates such a wonderful kuzushi with all kinds of possibilities. This morning we…