Trainingmethods for Hikiashi

What does 引き mean?

Hikiashi is the name used for the pulling (hiki) of the foot (ashi), or perhaps better verbalised, the term used to describe the technical movement of the pulling of the foot.

The Kanji for HIki is 引き and 引 itself consists of two elements. The left part of the Kanji, 弓, means bow (like bow and arrow).|does not have a meaning by itself, but can be interpreted as the arrow or the elastic. You could therefore conclude from the Kanji that Hiki means pull and perhaps in its original context referred to pulling back the elastic to prepare to shoot the arrow. 

In Kyudo (archery) certain stages are used to shoot an arrow. They are Hikiwake (seperate), Kai (join) and Hanare (release). I will explain these terms briefly and connect them to Hikiashi. 

Hikiwake, Kai en Hanare


The arrow has to be pulled away from the bow (Hiki) and thereby seperating them more (Wake), building tension.

In the initial stage of a kick, pull your heel to your buttocks.


    The moment that the bow and arrow are at maximum tension. Kai, which translates to meet or join, in this case points to the becoming one of the body and mind and the bow and arrow.

    Just before you kick, your heel should be as close to your buttocks as possible.


    This is the moment of releasing the arrow, when the arrow is fired by the build tension (energy), while your posture stays correct and you maintain Zanshin.

    The moment that you kick.

    Trainingmethods to develop Hikiashi

    I demonstrate several training methods that you can use to practise Hikiashi in this weeks video. Keep in mind that you can change emphasis and difficulty by adjusting or using for example either of the following:

    • Speed
    • Rhythm
    • Focus (on your hamstring instead of your heel or the other way around)
    • Using support (or not)
    • Standing up, sitting or lying down
    • One leg at a time or alternating them
    • Adding or limiting body movement

    In this weeks video you will see how I have used the above mentioned points to adjust exercises.