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Iki-Ashi, step back


Iki-Ashi is the step backward:

Iki-Ashi is simply a step back ... well, it's a little more complex than that but the idea is there.

However as for Ayumi-Ashi, we will use our Hara to go back

Indeed whatever the starting position and the finish position, you have to make your move with this feeling that it's your belly pulling your body backwards. Of course, the legs will push and pull in the move, but it's your hara that will trigger the move and you will have to keep a very strong feeling in the belly. The hara will be the engine of the displacement. I will talk about this principle a little later.

For the moment we will detail Iki-Ashi in each of the 3 basic positions that are Zenkutsu Dashi, Kokutsu Dashi et Kiba Dashi.

I made you small diagrams for each of the positions with the displacement of the feet and the center of gravity!

Iki-Ashi in Zenkutsu-Dashi:

En Zenkutsu Dashiyou have to move as if your feet were laid on rails.

You retreat the rear foot by following the rail and you just put it backwards by keeping the initial spacing.


I repeat what I wrote for Ayumi-Ashi: " Contrary to what many people think, your feet do not have to describe a very pronounced arc and come against each other during the trip!«

Even if in a natural way the foot that recedes makes a slight arc of a circle, it is important not to try to accentuate it otherwise you will add to your displacement a lateral component. But the goal of Iki-Ashi is to retreat in a straight line. JSo do not make this mistake, imagine that your feet are on rails and that ...

... your belly, like a locomotive, pulls your body backwards.

After, when you will master the displacement Iki-Ashiyou will forget these rails and, without realizing it, your foot will make a slight arc of a circle, but your body will go well in a straight line.

Iki-Ashi in Kokustu-Dashi:

En Kokutsu Dashi on the other hand, your feet are already on the same line, so when you go back, your front foot will come to pass next to the back foot.

As soon as your feet are side by side, you continue your movement by moving your foot backwards and stabilize your position by opening the 90 ° rear knee.

To do well Ik-Ashi in this position, you have to like for Zenkutsu, think of a straight line. Your goal is to go backwards.

You do not have to turn every time you go. This is a defect that we see very often in beginners. To overcome this defect, it suffices to well imagine his opponent in front and to retreat while keeping his mind forward, towards the adversary.

To stabilize your position, you must also think about "openness". You open your hip a lot (90 °) and keep the body in support on this back leg.

Iki-Ashi in Kiba-Dashi:

En Kiba Dashi, the feet are also on the same line, so they go as for Kokutsu Dashi come against each other in the middle of the move. But this time, you will not think " rearward"But « to the side« .


So it will not be the front that goes behind, but a side that goes behind the other side. For example, to move Iki-Ashi to the left, you will move your right side to the left by rotating 180 °

I do not know if it's very clear ... I will break down:

Still in our example of moving backwards to the left (your opponent is on your right!) You rotate on the bowl of the foot left of 90 ° to the right. At the same time, you pull the right foot towards you and come to place it next to the left foot. You find your feet together with your opponent. The body continues to rotate on the left foot of 90 ° while the right foot continues to move back to the left (which has now become your right ;-)) while pivoting too.

You stabilize in Kiba-Dachi ... You did a half turn. Your opponent is now on your left.

I deliberately decomposed, but in practice there is no downtime in the middle of the trip. It starts from the belly and must be explosive, fast, fluid and end in a very stable position.

Important points :

The following points are important, even essential, whatever the position of displacement. (I copied the points raised for Ayumi-Ashi because the principle remains the same)

  • Your pond should not get up. It must remain at the same level during the whole trip.
  • Your bust remains well above the pelvis, the back straight, without parasitic tension. You must not lean back, forward, or on one side. The body remains naturally placed on the basin.
  • Your center of gravity describes a straight line and not a curve.
  • The feet touch the ground but without dragging and come to stabilize well flat, neither too much on the front, nor too much on the heels ...
  • You keep a tension in the belly. It is the belly that gives the impetus and directs the movement of the legs.

And I will add this advice that made me Sensei Johnny Gence :

"A displacement is a change of fulcrum, in fact, for Iki-Ashi, you first have to sit on your back leg and then pull the front leg and put it behind without moving the angle of the leg. 'support, basically in karate you do not back off, you put your leg backwards'

Karate course in video:

Okay, it's time now to move to practice putting on your kimono. I'll find you in a moment on the video. See you soon !

But do some joint, muscle and cardiovascular heating, following the advice of my book: The ABC of warm-ups.

>>> Download the video

That's it, I hope this little video about Iki Ashi you were pleased.

Now, leave a comment below, and share this article with your contacts on facebook, twitter, Google + ... Thank you!

See you soon,

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  1. Thank you for this video ....
    The Japanese-English dico translate by abandonment, desert, etc ... the French no ..
    Mnemonic means: "He leaves ...
    It's curious I remember better with word games a little debilos ...
    The problem for people of small size is that "on-the-axis" travel has the greatest advantage.
    It's obvious with the kumite gohon ...

  2. Hello bruno,

    thank you for your video which is very explicit, you are a good pedagogue and we do not get tired listening to your explanations.


  3. Hello Hello,

    Thank you for this explanation Bruno, it allows me to understand how to move in iki ashi, and thank you for the video because I have to admit that without this one some thing would be vague in my mind =).

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