Tai-sabaki

Fundamental movements and steps which are used for repositioning.

Tai-sabaki is a collective term for a number of movements, though it is often more specifically used for the Irimi-tenkan movement. Tai-sabaki movements and step sequences are carried out in an upright posture, and they are usually practised from a standing position. Their goal is to exercise movements that help Tori leave the line of attack, enter or blend with Uke's movement.

The following list comprises the most common movements:

  • Ayumi-ashi or Irimi-ashi (straight step)
  • Tsugi-ashi (gliding step or lunge)
  • Tenkan (180-degree turn on one foot)
  • Kaiten or Tenkai (180-degree turn of the hip, feet stay grounded)
  • Irimi-tenkan (step, followed by a Tenkan movement)
  • Irimi-Kaiten (step, followed by a Kaiten movement)
  • Shikko (walking on the knees)

A comprehensive collection of instructive videos is available under Media > Basic Forms.

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