Balance in Footwork

by Michael Wang
(Cambridge, MA, USA)

A major problem I have been having is I lose my balance often while doing basic footwork (okuri-ashi, etc.) The result is that instead of travelling in a straight line, I travel in zigzags. My feet seem to be spaced appropriately (1.5 fists apart) and they seem to be straight.

I started Kendo at my school's club about 2 months ago. How can I improve my balance in Kendo?

Michael Wang

Answer: The first thing that popped in my head was that your feet were stuck on the floor. Have you been experiencing your feet stick on the floor? If that is the case, you may want to start gliding without your feet touching the floor too much. And also you do not want to drag the back feet (the left foot if you are doing okuri-ashi).

I usually teach how to glide in the normal walking way (it is called ayumi-ashi in kendo). Okuri-ashi is an abnormal movement for many people so I teach how to walk with the gliding motion.

Probably you can try that.

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