Published Oct 22nd, 2010
Walking style doesn’t seem to be so different by cultures. You walk as your left leg moves with your right arms and your right leg moves with your left arm, right?
But the Japanese people of former days used walk as the same arm and leg are moved at the same time. It is called “namba aruki” and said to be practiced till the Edo periodW (1603-1868). One of the reasons why they walked like that is believed because it doesn’t make kimono untidy.
This style of movement is more energy efficient and less fatiguing. It is said the hikyaku express messengers could run more than 100km a day with this method, which even enabled ordinary people to walk 40km wearing straw sandals and kimono.
In recent years, some Japanese top athletes started to take the method into their practices and made good results. For example, Shingo Suetsugu, a Japanese sprinter and the Asian record holder in the 200 meters and 4 x 100 meters relay, is famous for his using numba method.
If you want to see namba aruki, here is a video. A master of classic bujutsu, Kono Yoshinori is explaining the method (in Japanese). At some points, he shows how to do it (at 0:24, 1:16), and there is animation shows that namba aruki is non-twist walking while usual walk involves twisting.
This is JAPAN Style!
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