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Basic Building Blocks

Exercises - Aikido - Beginner - White Belt

"Basic Building Blocks" of Movement: Shuffle - Cross-step - Pivot - Shift



These are the four fundamental building blocks of Yoshinkan Aikido technique. They are important in two ways:

  1. As basic units of body movement, whose study builds strong basic technique. At heart they are: 
    • a) two different ways of moving Kamae forward (and to a lesser extent backwards), namely the Shuffle and Cross-step; and 
    • b) two different ways of changing the angle or center line that Kamae projects, namely the Pivot and the Shift.
  2. As vocabulary that is used to help teach Aikido techniques, which are primarily described in terms of combinations of the 4 basic building blocks. E.g. Shihonage consists of: shuffle, cross-step, shift, shuffle.

In traditional Yoshinkan Aikido dojos, these terms are taught simply as vocabulary, and students must derive their basic forms from the Basic Movements, a set of slightly more complicated exercises that combine basic body motions with added movements such as height changes, turning palms up, etc...

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