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  • Suburi squats

    I was searching around for this but couldn't quite find what I was after. If it's been covered before, please point me that way.

    How does one do the suburi exercise where one is sort of squatting into one's suburi? I have seen it done where the feet are spread apart just past shoulder level and toes pointed outward at about 45 degrees. Then, on the down stroke of suburi, you lower your body on the legs but without raising your heels off the floor. The burn is felt in the thighs.

    First of all, is this correct? Not to raise the heels? Or do you do them more like a hindu squat - come all the way down raising the heels of the floor?

    There is a Japanese name for this exercise, too, but I don't know what it is.

  • #2
    We just call it "kiai exercise", at least the way we do it. Raise slowly, cut down huge and round, say "e!" like the e in kote. Keep your back straight, heels come up a little on the upswing but then down on the cut. Breathing is like shinkokyu.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Neil Gendzwill
      We just call it "kiai exercise", at least the way we do it. Raise slowly, cut down huge and round, say "e!" like the e in kote. Keep your back straight, heels come up a little on the upswing but then down on the cut. Breathing is like shinkokyu.
      Thanks, Neil. Heels come UP a little on the upswing and then DOWN on the cut? Are you sure it's not reverse? In hindu squats/squats, heels come up as you lower and down as you raise.

      Shinkokyu: what is that? Is that where you breathe in on the upswing, breathe out on the down swing into sonkyo, then back up again?

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      • #4
        Could also be sonkyo (sp?) suburi.

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        • #5
          are you reffering to kiba-dachi (horse mount position)?
          In kiba-dachi suburi, hour hell never leave floor. It is to build your lower body and koshi(hip) and proper posture.
          This exrecise help you use your ki from hara/tanden and to swing with your back muscle, to shoulder to elbow to arm.

          Shin-kokyu (shin means deep, kokyu is breathing)
          so as you said, swing up (breath in), back to chudan position as you sonkyo (breath out), swing up to jodan (breath in), back to chudan (breath out).
          I was told that when you swing up, it expand you lung so help inhale better.

          Could also be sonkyo (sp?) suburi
          It used to be sonkyo suburi in Japan, but recent study shows it is bad for your knee so not many dojo exercise sonkyo suburi anymore.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Charlie
            I was searching around for this but couldn't quite find what I was after. If it's been covered before, please point me that way.

            How does one do the suburi exercise where one is sort of squatting into one's suburi? I have seen it done where the feet are spread apart just past shoulder level and toes pointed outward at about 45 degrees. Then, on the down stroke of suburi, you lower your body on the legs but without raising your heels off the floor. The burn is felt in the thighs.

            First of all, is this correct? Not to raise the heels? Or do you do them more like a hindu squat - come all the way down raising the heels of the floor?

            There is a Japanese name for this exercise, too, but I don't know what it is.
            We did that drill. Some people don't have the flexibility for this drill to keep their heels down. Once your ankles stop flexing but your knees and body are continuing the squat, your body compensates by raising the heels off the ground, or else you would lose balance.
            It isn't bad for the knees. If you are person with previous knee problems, then it's bad.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Kirin
              are you reffering to kiba-dachi (horse mount position)?
              In kiba-dachi suburi, your heel never leave floor. It is to build your lower body and koshi(hip) and proper posture. This exercise help you use your ki from hara/tanden and to swing with your back muscle, to shoulder to elbow to arm.
              That's it! It sure sounds like it. I was trying to watch sensei's feet when he did it but couldn't really make them out because of the hakama.

              What do you think about the idea of doing "suburi hindu squats?" I'm going to start doing them as they are supposed to be very good for you. I wonder what different muscles are being worked by the two, kiba-dachi or hindu squats. (Do you know what those are? They are usually done open handed. Squats are also done with weights on the shoulders.)

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              • #8
                Well we used to do suburi in sonkyo, either bouncing in place or traversing across the dojo. They work the quads like crazy but as previously mentioned they are hazardous to the knees and not many do them anymore.

                Shinkokyu is deep breathing, raise the shinai to jodan while breathing in, stop the motion and the breath at the same time, then lower the shinai to gedan while breathing out, stop the breath out and the motion down at the same time. We do it all while standing and just move one foot ahead while raising and then back while lowering, some step forward and down into sonkyo.

                Our "kiai" exercise is primarily used to get people to kiai properly. The big stretch up, including raising the heels, gets a big breath in and then the big cut and body drop down makes it easy to get good kiai. Even people who are normally quite quiet make a strong kiai doing this exercise. It may be a little different than kiba dachi suburi or whatever.

                Another exercise to try is just staying in chudan, lower into sonkyo as slowly as you can, then rise up just as slow. At least 10 seconds down and 10 seconds up. 5 of these is usually enough for most people, 10 is a killer.

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                • #9
                  i kept falling backwards when i first tried sonkyo heheh

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                  • #10
                    We do the same thing as Kirin described, although we call it `matawari` (literally `groin splitting`). Toda sensei always tries to get people to start the hip-dropping motion at the same time as we start the upswing, and finish the cut (I don`t know about elsewhere,but for us this is definitely a cutting exercise. Not to say that`s the only way, of course...) as our hips reach the bottom. Really difficult to get the rhythm, though. I had enormous difficulty keeping my heels firmly planted at first, but seems to have sorted itself out after a year.
                    I actually do all my suburi at home in this stance, because I can`t stand up without hitting the ceiling. Not really ideal, but I prefer it to doing suburi in seiza, because at least you can work on stabilising your hips/lower back/whatever. Still, it`s increased my thigh endurance incredibly.

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                    • #11
                      We did these rediculously huge frog hops in the dojo yesterday, you get in sankyou(sp) and basically hop high up in the air while swinging, then land in the same position. The long hops were okay, but we did short ones going back and I tripped and almost crashed into the mirror.

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