Clearly I like to Get In The Water but I really, really hate the Olympic swim strokes–mostly because the breathing never clicked for me but also because of my shoulder mobility and not being able to see where you’re going. So this post about Nihon Eiho, the Japanese traditional swimming styles, really clicked for me.

 

What most people practice as swimming then is the offspring of a completely unnatural environment, devoid of current, waves, salt, lack of visibility, unsure depth and wildlife … The Japanese classical swimming arts are the polar opposite–they are highly practical strokes and strategies, systematically designed to give the practitioner mastery of the natural element. In essence, to give the individual the same confidence they have on land, in the water.

[…] One begins with prone strokes that allow the practitioner to hold their head out of the water, a major difference to modern strokes. Indeed, the Kobori-ryu contains no techniques that take the practitioners eyes away from the objective.

The strokes are then broken into methods of crossing water, whether with, against or across currents, those for speed or those to conserve energy.

 

There are a few videos in the post showing the strokes in action and they look so natural–there’s barely any splashing. I want to learn this someday … maybe I can win the lottery and take a course in Japan.