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Good Jujitsoka (exponents of the art of Ju Jitsu) are defined by their foot movement. The ease with which defence can be turned into attack, unbalancing an opponent while remaining in balance yourself, smoothly diverting an opponent’s energy through aiki (blending) moves, and generating power as required all starts with foot movement. Practice moving to an imaginary opponent to find your fighting distance for kicks, hand and elbow strikes, and throws. Due to physical differences in size, weight and speed, this distance is slightly different for everyone. Learn to adapt to your adversary by moving your feet to ensure good posture (staying balanced) and timing your foot movement so that you can unbalance your opponent or, if necessary , deliver effortless power to a strike. Check your feet position after break falling, and check your feet position when learning new throws before worrying about speed, power, effectiveness, etc.

As a general rule, your feet should remain the same distance apart as they are in a good fighting stance (roughly shoulder width or just outside). So when you move your left foot, make sure your right then moves to maintain this distance (avoid wide stances – these will slow your movement and expose your legs to attack, and also very narrow stances – which give you less balance).

The key to effortless throws that should work on all types of opponents is to use centre line theory, and that will be the subject of the next tip.

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