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Shuffle

Exercise - Aikido - Beginner - White Belt

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

Description

The first of the basic building blocks of movement, it consists of moving kamae strongly forward by pushing off the back leg and sliding the front leg forward. The stance (left side / right side) stays the same. The movement is the first of two ways to move kamae forward (and less often backwards), the other being the Cross-step. As compared to the cross-step, it is more powerful but less mobile.

Beginners should practice it initially with their hands on their hips, the development of a strong lower body being the priority. When incorporating the upper body, the stance stays the same, so the hands don't move.

Technique

  1. Start in left or right side kamae
  2. Begin by relaxing / softening the front knee, moving the center of gravity forward.
  3. Push strongly from the back leg, keeping it straight.
  4. Slide the front leg forward using Suriashi, and bring up the back leg, keeping the leg straight and the "blade" (outside back edge) of the foot strongly in contact with the ground. The end stance is the same side but moved forward (initially practicing taking shorter shuffles, then make the move as long as possible while maintaining good kamae). 
  5. Once in the new position, take a moment to run through the "mental checklist" to ensure a strong stance.
  6. Repeat shuffling several times on each side, then switch to the other leg forward (left and right).

To do a backwards shuffle:

  1. Start in left or right side kamae
  2. Begin by relaxing / softening the front knee, moving the center of gravity forward.
  3. Slide the back leg backwards, keeping it straight and in contact with the ground (suriashi).
  4. Bring the front leg backwards to a position that produces the same kamae stance as before.
  5. Once in the new position, take a moment to run through the "mental checklist" to ensure a strong stance.
  6. Repeat shuffling several times on each side, then switch to the other leg forward (left and right).

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