1. maai – distance…should remain constant whether moving forwards, backwards or sideways.

  2. metsuke – eye contact, not looking at the hands 🙂 but all around awareness too

  3. tsugiashi – feet slide close to and preferably touching the ground all the time. They do not cross over each other – the heels stay in line, the body/head does not bob up and down, stay constant height

  4. seichusen – centrally aligned hand, body position

  5. tegatana – hand contact point – where there is a groove between wrist bone and hand, elbow slightly bent

  6. fingers – point up, touching whilst thumb is fully open, height at about shoulder height, looking at eyes between each others hands

  7. mushin mugamae – no pressure on contact point. Partners should move as one, so if one moves forward, the other moves back to maintain light touch contact all the time, without increasing pressure or losing contact. That is the main point of the practice, to develop this harmony, continuous soft touch, so you can react quickly with ido ryoku (power of movement) in technical situations.

If you find the pressure increases on the changes, concentrate on your partner not yourself, feel their movement, quickly change as they do and the pressure moments will lessen until there is only ‘touch’.

As you can see, they underpin so much else, so don’t just go through the motions of tegatana awase, using it as a chance to have a chat and catch up: practice consciously.

These are a few of the elements of this practice.