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I'm trying to remember the specific Japanese name of a common posture/stretch I used and heard of in Aikido during training and warming-up.

Basically it was called by our sensei "standing and crouching". You would start standing straight as you would normally, with a light posture and square shoulders, then "lower your butt to your heels" by folding your knees, while keeping the rest of your body straight. You'd try to go as low as you can whilst relaxing and resting you weight.

As you can imagine it would stretch the back leg and calf muscles.

I found it simple and useful to execute whenever I'm forced to stand for long bouts of time, waiting for a bus or in a lift for instance.

My sensei used the Japanese word for it and I can't remember it.

Any idea what this posture is called in Japanese?

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There are several possible terminologies, depending on the lingua franca of your dojo. Here are a few possibilities:

Direct terms:

  • Kiba dachi suburi (squats)
  • Kiza (a form of squat)

Possible related terms:

  • Shisei (body posture)

which lends to two kinds of postures:

  • shizentai - normal
  • jigotai - defensive or applied

General terms

  • Keiko (practice)
  • Moto-waza (basic techniques)
  • Junbi undo (preparatory exercises)

Miscellaneous terms:

  • Tandoku renshu (solo practice, like kata)

In my Aikido dojo (and again in my Kumdo dojang), we use more formal squat exercises and perform them in this order (and with or without a bokken in hand, depending on what we're doing; I'll leave out the bokken here). We just called them "kiba dachi suburi".

Here, heels touch each other throughout the exercise:

  • Stand normal, with toes outward
  • Lift body onto toes
  • Squat down with buttocks on heels, and remaining on toes
  • Lift to complete standing position, and remaining on toes
  • Return to normal (resting on whole foot)
  • This is one full count
  • Repeat per instructor's command
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    Thank you! I'm not 100% certain it was either of these words though. Feet were parallel and in "relaxed" position (not touching each other, not too far apart), and we would stretch down while keeping the back upstraight and feet flat on the floor, as far as possible. – dungeoncrawler Jan 20 at 11:58
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The warming-up exercises in Aikido are called generally Aiki-Taiso. I couldn't find a specific name for the movement you described, but it is the last part of Ashi no Taiso, which consists of 7 different leg stretching techniques in Kobayashi ryu. That's all what I can find in my sacred scrolls(!) and google helps no further.

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  • Thank you, that's a start! Subtle nuance: I'm not sure if the name I'm looking for was for the movement itself, or for the "sitting whilst standing" position. – dungeoncrawler Jan 15 '18 at 11:46

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