Some people have good posture. Others don't. Students who already have excellent posture don't need this tip. The rest of us need to get our acts together. Of all the difficult-to-break bad habits, poor posture may be the king. There are a lot of reasons that poor posture is so common today, but that doesn't make it healthy, or optimal for performance. If your normal standing posture isn't up to par, you can bet that your posture during Taido techniques and movements is also sub-par.
Common Postural Errors
- Butt sticking out in chudan kamae
- Rounded upper spine in untai keritsuki
- Bent back in ebigeri
- Concave chest when punching
Benefits of Improved Posture
- reduced tension and pain
- better balance
- easier movement
- improved transfer of power into punches and kicks
Proper alignment puts the joints in their natural, healthy positions. This reduces tension and leads to greater ease of motion. Keeping your spine straighter makes it easier to balance and helps direct the force of your techniques into their targets.
Knowing that we have so much to gain by improving our posture, the only thing left is to get to work.
Easier Said Than Done
The thing is, we all know that posture is important, but that doesn't make it any easier to improve. As with any other habit change, there are two keys to success: awareness and consistency. If you've been keeping up with the tips so far, you know how to use these keys - write and review your training journal before and after each practice.
It's Up to You
Teaching you how to fix your posture is beyond my powers as a writer. Whole books have been devoted to this topic, and I suggest you read one or two. Yes, your posture really is that important, both to your health and your Taido performance.
My best recommendations for improving posture are to take up yoga or finding a teacher in the Alexander or Feldinkrais Methods.
Do a little research and find out what the best strategy for fixing your own postural issues would be. Then begin to implement it consistently in your training.
So until next time, try to take notice of your posture during Taido practice. Pay attention to times when your spine bends and any tensions or pains you have in your back. See if you can feel a difference in your techniques when you are conscious of your posture.