What is sagi-ashi used for?

Discussion in 'Koryu Bujutsu' started by Bronze Statue, Jun 30, 2009.

  1. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    I've encountered this in Muso Shinden Ryu practice. The answer to the question is, of course, "ask your instructor". Unfortunately, my instructor didn't know, so I ended up trying a kaewaza of said technique known as "go to a big seminar and ask the shihan". Strangely enough, even he wasn't really sure what it was used for.

    In particular (as anyone familiar with any form of Eishin Ryu could probably guess), I'm curious about things like Ukigumo. Why and how would one use such footwork, and when is it advantageous?
  2. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    What's sagi-ashi?
  3. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    Sagi-ashi ("heron's foot") is a form of footwork which involves the near-inversion of the foot (i.e., the foot is turned such that the sole nearly faces upwards).

    For examples of the kata in question (Ukigumo), [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8ToKqjLV3w"]here[/ame] is some old footage, and here is another [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUIk3gkZgz8"]example[/ame] I've dug up. [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZSlLLvvvRg"]This one[/ame] demonstrates it at a somewhat slower pace in technique 3.
  4. beer_belly

    beer_belly Valued Member

    As always terminology must vary by Ryu, for me (from a non MSR perspective) sagi ashi requires the foot to be off the ground (the way a heron stands on one leg) rather than having the foot angled on the side edge of the foot to allow weight transfer / increase power as the foot rolls over to a flat position.
  5. Bronze Statue

    Bronze Statue Valued Member

    That's pretty cool (and probably makes more sense regarding standing on one leg versus inverted foot as being described as a "heron's foot"). Which ryu of iai do you practice?

    Are there any MSR'ers or MJER'ers around here?
  6. Dao

    Dao Valued Member

    I am a Jujutsu practitioner and have only an elementary knowledge of swordwork.

    Normally, in our style, this type of footwork is used for the following reasons:
    1) To allow weight transfer to enhance mobility
    2) To allow for rapid movement forwards, backwards, to the right whilst maintaining an upright stance, or turning around (clockwise) on the spot.
    3) To generate power by locking then explosively unlocking the hips.

    The placement of the foot in this case, especially noticeable in the last of the videos posted, inhibits all of these movements in my opinion. Therefore I assume it has a function quite unique to MSR... Not particularly helpful I'm sorry but thanks for posting such a good question. I await further answers with great interest.

  7. Ur Anaite

    Ur Anaite tabi cos only 2 toes

    Is it possible that it was originally a training method to ensure that students maintained a low stance, and a student mis-interpreted it and subsequently mis-represented it to their students?

    Supporting the theory that it was originally a training method is how it enforces a very strong hip position. Trying to put my hip in that position without the up turned foot makes it easy to be lazy and move incorrectly.

    (p.s. I am not in koryu)
  8. GaryWado

    GaryWado Tired


    In Wado Ryu we also have a stance often referred to as "Sagiashi dachi" which appears in our Kata Chinto.

    Sounds similar to what beer_belly has described in that it is standing on one foot with the other held adjacent to the knee of the supporting leg.

    Also in our Kata Naihanchi we perform Chidoriashi (crossing step) and this is done on the Sokuto (edge of the foot) - not too dissimilar to that shown in the vids posted by Bronze Statue. It is done this way (in Wado anyway) to promote the correct and even transfer of weight whilst stepping. It also allows the foot to roll back naturally onto its sole in order to maintain correct Naihanchi dachi.

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
  9. Hyaku

    Hyaku Master of Nothing

    I use Sagi ashi on a rising cut from tate hiza. I was tuaght it was used to generate more power throwing the full body into the waza.

    Kageryu http://www.hyoho.com/Nkage1.html
  10. iB1337

    iB1337 Valued Member

    The inverted foot directs the force of the cut towards your target while cutting with the left foot forward. It keeps your center mass moving forward instead of merely twisting. It also keeps you hips, shoulders and knees properly aligned. Try doing that cut without having the foot turned over and see what happens to your hips, knees, and shoulders as you cut. The only other way to keep them aligned is to have the back foot turned to the left at about a 45 degree angle inward and for the knees to almost be touching. This is for a downward cut from right to left with the left foot forward.
  11. Dao

    Dao Valued Member

    This is a very interesting comment!


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