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Weight Placement and Pivoting -- Part 6

In my last post I stated:

The opposite is also true. When you move down (drop or sink), initially there is less weight on your feet for a moment, but then there is more weight, followed by a bounce (momentarily slightly less weight). It is good to move when there is less weight on your feet and good to strike when there is more.
This is one of the keys to movement. You cannot easily pivot when your full weight is on your feet. By dropping, you reduce the weight on your feet and can easily pivot on the ball of your foot, your heel, or even the center of your foot. And when you pivot on the center of your foot, you will not shift from side to side -- you will be able to maintain your centerline as your advance or retreat. So, so, so, so!

Shinzato Sensei refers to this dropping as bounding. This is not a word we use very much in English. I think he means bouncing, but I am not sure.

Shinzato Sensei teaches that a controlled drop can be used to initiate and enable movement. This is combined with "falling" or overloading your weight in the direction you would like to go. Movement can be in any direction, not only forward. This is why the weight is usually placed on the center of the feet.

The feeling I get is that the center of the foot is sort of like a suction cup. There is a natural arch to the foot. You need to try to make your whole foot make contact with the ground.

Then, when you pivot, you do so on this center part of the foot. You could not do so if it did not make contact with the ground. There has to be some contact in order to pivot. Otherwise, you would have to jump (no ground contact).

When we drop, the body feels lighter. From one point of view, you drop. The resulting feeling is one of "floating." When your body feels lighter, you could say that you are floating. When you are floating, it is very easy to move your feet.

This is a simplified view of things. You do not simply bend your knees and drop you weight. You could do so, but the resulting change in weight is not that useful. If instead, you drop your weight and also set up a squeezing feeling in your koshi (as if you are pressing down on a large rubber ball in your koshi and also as if as your koshi drops, it is pressed from the ground up), then the resulting tension is a very useful thing!

Your koshi is integrated with dropping your weight, the initial feeling of floating, the following heaviness on your feet, and the resulting "bounce." I believe that this entire process is what Shinzato Sensei calls "bounding," but I am not sure about this.

When I ask Shinzato Sensei about what we should call something, he often says, "perhaps you could come up with a term for it."

Getting back to moving, when you drop you can pivot on the center of your feet. When your weight hits, you can use that energy to initiate movement in any the direction your desire. And when the following bounce hits, you can move (forward, backward, right, left, etc.).

This takes very little time and can be hidden. All this movement can be concealed inside your gi. As such, people who do understand this form of movement will wonder how you are moving so easily without pushing off on your feet.

It all starts with a bounce, even a little bounce.


Charles C. Goodin