Tai sabaki (体さばき) is a term from Japanese martial arts and which relates to ‘whole body movement’, or repositioning. It can be translated as body-management. It is a term used widely in and very important in Kendo, Jujutsu, Aikido, Judo, Karate and Ninjutsu. Tai sabaki is usually used to avoid an attack, such that the receiver of the attack ends up in an advantageous position and it is often wrongly referred to as evasion.]
An example of tai sabaki is ‘moving off the line’ of attack using irimi and tenkan movements rather than to ‘move against’ the attack. This implies the use of harmony rather than physical strength, hard and soft techniques within a flow of movement untilising angles of attack and defence.
Tai sabaki is related to ashi sabaki (footwork) and te sabaki (handwork).
Tai Sabaki is one of the most importance skills a student will learn coupled with Maai (distancing)