Happo Undo


This is like Zengo Undo, only in eight directions. (So, make sure you've tried that exercise first.) Happo Undo's a little confusing at first, but it really helps to reinforce your feeling of one-point.

How to do it.

 Happo1 Stand with your left foot forward and your arms at your sides. Have your hips and shoulders square to the front. Smoothly move your hips forward, throwing your arms into the air. Drop your arms back down to your sides.
 Happo2 Turn on the balls of your feet 180 degrees. Move your hips forward, throwing your arms in the air.
 Happo3 Step with your left foot, 90 degrees to your left. Move your hips forward, throwing your arms in the air.
 Happo4 Turn on the balls of your feet 180 degrees. Move your hips forward and throw your arms in the air. (Viewed from overhead, you have now made a plus sign.)
 Happo5 Step 45 degrees to your left. Do the hip-arm thing.
 Happo6 Turn on the balls of your feet 180 degrees. Do the hip-arm thing.
 Happo7 Step with your left foot, 90 degrees to your left. Do the hip-arm thing.
 Happo8 Turn on the balls of your feet 180 degrees. Do the hip-arm thing.
Turn on the balls of your feet, back to the front. Then (dare we say it?) repeat steps 1 through 8 several times.

Tips.

  • When you do the 180 degree turns, there is no step. So if you're standing with your left foot forward and you need to turn 180 degrees, the only way to do it is by turning to your right. Turn to your left, and you'll just get your legs all tangled.
  • More confusion. When you finish each 180 degree turn, you can take a little step forward with the forward foot (otherwise known as a slide step). This will help you to propel your hips and hands forward.
  • What's the point here? This exercise evolved from the idea of dealing with an attacker coming from each of eight directions. The raising of the arms is the beginning of a defense against an overhead attack.
  • So why are we doing it? Because it turns out that the only way to maintain your balance and concentration thoughout this exercise is by relaxing and keeping One- Point.
  • In each direction you turn, let your eyes settle on something out in front of you - a speck on the wall, a tree branch that you see through the window. This will help you to send your ki in each direction.
  • Don't just raise your arms; throw them up in the air with your hips.
  • Remember - don't try to incorporate all of these tips at once. You're at a disadvantage because you're reading these ideas. If you were in one of our classes, we would just suggest one of these ideas, and let you work on that. So see which one speaks to you the most, and work on that.
  • Remember to turn on the balls of your feet, not on your heels.
  • Feel big and confident as you do this exercise. Move with authority.
  • Don't work too hard. Relax your arms. You're only moving air.
  • Have a friend test your stability by gently pushing forward on the small of your back after several of the turns.
  • Pay attention to your posture. Stand tall with your chest out. But don't get stiff.
  • Enjoy yourself. This isn't a drill. It is meant to help you catch a good feeling. Just move comfortably and catch a feeling of being connected to your environment.