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Which Way Should Your Toes Point When You Walk?

Dear Friend,

Today I am going to cover a question about the position of your toes when you walk.

The other day I was talking to a friend about a fella who once remarked, after attending one of my seminars, that I am "all business" and share next to nothing "personal" about myself.

Although I don't agree with the assessment, I replied by saying, "What more does a person need to know after being able to observe you in person for two or three days?"

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"What I mean is that being able to watch someone for an extended time is very personal: Believe me, if I am able to watch someone walk, talk and interact with other people for a few days, I can tell you a lot about the person."

"How so?"

"How so??? Just pay attention. How does the person stand? Is he slump shouldered or squared? Is he hunch back, sway back or a little off center? Does his spine appear connected to the rest of his body? What are his facial expressions like? Do his eyes glow with happiness and excitement or do they look sad? How does he shake hands? What is the quality of his voice? Does he genuinely smile or just fake a smile? How does he use his hands when he speaks? A little, a lot or not at all? What direction do his feet point when he walks or stands? And so on."

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"And what could you determine from observing all of these things? she asked."

"A great deal of the person's past and a definite idea about where his mind is at in the present moment," I replied.

"Okay, so what do you say about the person whose feet point outward when he walks?" she asked.

"You mean what do I think about the way *you* walk?" I answered.

"Uh, yes," she said, a bit embarrassed.

"Well, I believe that if you practice walking across the room, you'll have your answer. Stand up and walk about 20 feet with your toes pointed outward. Now stop, turn around and walk 20 feet with your toes pointed straight ahead. Do you notice anything different?" I said.

"I feel more focused when my feet are pointed forward" she said.

"Exactly. You know, one of my earliest gong fu teachers used to say he could instantly tell how skilled someone was by observing the way he walked. If he saw you walking with feet pointing outward he would say, 'This guy not well trained in gong fu.' Truth is that 'how to walk' is one of the first things a good gong fu teacher will show you."

"Well, what about Hindu squats then? I find my toes pointing outward when I do them."

"If your toes point out a bit when you do the squats that's nothing to worry about. In fact, for some squats that I teach, esp. for women, the toes are pointed outward for other reasons. You're working specific muscles a certain way to strengthen a weak area - or you are in that position because it helps you keep your spine straight. But when you walk - that's different."

Most people are totally unconscious of how they walk and the signal it sends. I'll cover more about this in the future.

Until then ..

Kick Butt - Take Names,
matt furey

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