SHADOW DRAGON JIKA TABI
NINJA SOFT LEATHER TABI BOOTS FOR OUTDOORS WITH REINFORCEMENTS
::Redefining barefoot boots::
*CHOCOLATE veg tan leather
*Blake welted and manually stitched
*Heavy duty zip
*Japanese Size System (please read for instructions)*
*Bespoke measurements for perfect fit in the calfs
*Wide toe box
*Flat soles / zero drop
*Completely handmade in the UK by Gaucho Ninja Leather UK
*Minimalist footwear. Minimalist design. Less is more.
*Ethically sourced. Each material is fully traceable to source
Please copy/paste this URL in your browser to check what is the best size to choose
I like the feeling of spreading the toes. It's correct for the tendons and the posture, to prevent bunions, and to aid balance.
I make shoes with the understanding of my martial arts training. The feet have a key role in martial arts.
Shadow Dragon JIKA TABI, a love-letter to our feet.
Feeling the grounding texture of soil's surface. A new concept of leather tabi. Nowadays humanity is facing the call of Nature. Shadow Dragon Jika Tabi are designed to connect with the ground and to breath. Fully inspired by the Ninja's way to the five elements.
Barefoot feeling with the right cushion needed. Six layers under your feet: 0,5 mm Leather, 3 mm fabric + latex + active carbon gum (odor preventive), 1,5 mm calf leather and finally, 5 mm VIBRAM rubber + EVA gum anti slippery, extra grip, cushioned sole (made in Italy).
The leather used in this tabi comes from traditional tanneries in Spain. The natural feeling of the breathable porosity of pure leather provides to your feet the ability to not sweat. The leather will adapt to your feet giving a freedom of movement that is not normally found in normal shoes.
Made by hand by a Ninja.
Tabi are traditional footwear from Japan with a separate big toe. Tabi date back to the 15th Century when the Japanese started importing cotton from china. At the time wooden or woven straw sandals with a separation of the big toe (like what we call flip flops) were the popular footwear. So cotton tabi were developed to be able to slip on the outdoor shoes over light indoor footwear. They were commonly used by wealthy people who often had fine rush mats to walk on in their houses. Geishas and Samurai, the tabi provide a comfortable shoe that will give the feeling of a second skin.
Leather tabi are a modern version of the regular cotton tabi. They are more durable, the leather moulds completely to one’s foot and the grip is far better.
These leather tabi are made completely by hand using conventional Japanese methods. For an easier fastening they are made with heavy duty elastic bands on the sides, quicker than the traditional clasps.
The soles are made with Vibram Dune EVA+Rubber compound, a 5mm layer with outstanding durability and grip. It's been molded by hand, shaped into the shoe last and then hand-stitched all over to ensure the highest quality, like the shoes made in the past.
The leather is sourced in Spain. It’s made by a long-established Spanish tannery that is specialised in making high quality leather and suede for shoes.
The feeling is soft, very pleasant to the touch, and it has a slight shine that will improve with time.
Being a handcrafted item and made with a natural material, it may present differences from the ones shown in the photos.
These leather tabi are a must for all martial artist as they will find a perfect balance of protection and freedom of movement for their practices. Dancers and performers that use wooden floors for their movements also will find them very pleasant to wear. Various types of therapist, like Shiatsu, use these leather tabi in their work.
Benefits of using leather tabi are plenty. They are proved to prevent and treat bunions, especially those on the big toe. The split toe will help to correct the shape of the foot by opening the toes. It can also provide more sense of balance and strengthen the Abductor hallucis: A muscle on the inner side of the foot that runs from the big toe to the heel, it pulls the big toe, or hallux, away from the body.
These leather tabi are designed and made by expert leatherworker and martial artist Lisandro Serra Delmar, owner and creator of Gaucho Ninja Leather UK, specialised in making leather tabi for more than a decade.
Leather care. It is recommended to use a natural leather conditioner at least twice a year to ensure that the qualities of the leather held. For Nobuk leather, spray for suede is more recommended.
by Masaaki Hatsumi
(This article originally appeared in Ninja Magazine in 1985)
In any martial art, including ninpo, the most important aspect is footwork; therefore I will discuss footwork and the background of certain techniques.
Everyone dislikes the cold, including the ninja; so even in the summer ninja wear tabi, Japanese socks, to keep the feet warm. The feet are the key points of the body for retaining heat and health. In Oriental medicine, it is called zukan no kunetsu, meaning: " Keep the head cold and the feet warm". This is essential for staying in good health as well as curing illness. I, personally, will always wear tabi no matter how warm the weather.
In order to increase strength and virility, the ninja massage their feet by holding the first three toes and rotating them. Even kunoichi (female ninja) practice this technique to ensure-good health of the whole body. It is particularly good for the liver; pancreas and the entire intestinal system. Part of the technique includes rubbing the bottoms of the feet to maintain good blood pressure and a balanced nervous system.
Ninja will also train by walking on beans scattered on the ground; this helps massage pressure points as well as toughens the bottoms of the feet. More advanced ninja eventually learn to walk on tetsubishi (sharp-spiked caltrops) without injury; this is accomplished not only because the feet are toughened, but because the ninja has learned to walk with perfect balance and lightness, distributing his weight so that he barely touches the thorny caltrops.
Walking is an excellent exercise, and one can do it anywhere at anytime. When I walk my three dogs every day, I walk them briskly for three hours, making sure I take small, quick steps. It is a good lesson to learn, even on the street for, occasionally we will encounter a cat or something that will excite the dogs. However, since I am always walking properly, I am always in control; I am never pulled too fast or tripped by a tangled leash.
Two years ago  I held a ninja seminar in Dayton , Ohio . Most of the American students I met there seemed to walk more like "Frankensteins" than martial artists. They found it extremely difficult practising the small, quick steps. Many of them felt I walked too quickly, but I explained that in Japan , the foot is considered the " second heart", and to have a strong heart means to have a strong mind. So, walking properly also develops the mind.Walking is the most important thing in one's life. Even classic Japanese No plays emphasise this.
When this technique of walking is mastered, when one "walks like a ninja", one feels as though their feet never touch the ground. It is as though the ninja walks on air. In fact, one of my students, after observing the demonstration, said, "Sensei, your feet are not touching the ground. You seem to be floating in the air". Another student, a professional soldier whose nation was at war, told me that training of the legs (in his country) was essential; that even while in Japan he always climbed stairs, never took the elevator. When I heard this, I knew he was a good warrior.
Walking is the basic body movement of martial arts. When you are learning the martial arts, be conscious of walking at all times; always train in the aspect of taijutsu (body techniques). It will leave little chance of your being attacked successfully. I know a professional gunfighter who wears gloves all the time. This is a type of thinking that is important to all martial arts: One should always be training and caring for one's self. Training is an everyday thing, just as walking is an everyday thing.
Side-walking (yoko aruki) ninja technique involves lowering ones center of gravity and stepping one foot over the other. It also requires a dance-like arm movement in order to maintain balance.When carrying a weapon, one walks according to the environment and one's relationship to it. It is important to practice side-walking in different environments. With a sword, especially at night, the sword can be drawn and the scabbard used to " feel" what lies ahead.
Next is shizumi araki or low position walking; a technique especially useful in narrow areas. On a narrow path for example, a lower position is better, making you less visible to a potential attacker. Another low side-walking technique is called ninpo uzuru gakure. Mokuton means to hide in the trees; sooton - to hide in the grass; and sekiton - to hide in the rocks. These can all be developed once the basic walking technique is mastered.Whether the ninja walks alone or with others, he and they can progress undetected if everyone walks "correctly". The obvious advantage of walking in numbers while on a mission is that, when you are three ninja, you are six eyes, six ears and three noses, each focused in a different direction so that all areas are covered.
In shoten no jutsu (going up to heaven), ninja practice walking up large plants placed at various angles, increasing the incline to as much as 80 to 85 degrees in order to master the art of walking and climbing in the forest. Training eventually advances to climbing plants or tree trunks situated at 90-degree angles. After reaching the top, the ninja then learn to tumble back down to their original position (kamae). Often, when carrying a sword, both sword and scabbard are used to maintain balance. Side-walking is also used while up in the trees crossing from branch to branch. In koto ryu koppojutsu (which includes side steps and other body techniques), the ninja can easily move backward while facing forward simply by crossing one leg after the other. This is particularly useful when eluding an opponent's attack and positioning ones self for a counter attack.
Ninja no shinobi kobashiri means running in small steps with the body leaning forward. In the night, while in the mountains, you can see the sky between the trees. This is your path. You must also use care when near the water or anything that might give off a reflection, lest you be detected. (Moonlight can be an enemy as well as an ally.)
In Japan , the martial arts are not only "offensive orientated", but very defensive as well. The Japanese are basically agricultural land oriented people; and our martial arts have developed out of that tradition. I hope these illustrations of basic footwork and ninja body movement and techniques have been helpful to you.It is good to start from the ground up. It is important to have good feet on the ground.
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Ship items back to me within: 21 days of delivery
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Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs. If the item is not returned in its original condition, the buyer is responsible for any loss in value.
The warranty applies to all leather goods as marked and is specific to material defects or defects found in the craftsmanship of the product. It does not apply to improper use, washing, loss, wear and tear or any other situation regarding the product. The Lifetime Guarantee assumes that you have been regularly conditioning the item with Gaucho Ninja Leather Conditioner to keep the leather fibers in good shape. It can be purchased separately at my shop. If you believe an item purchased from Gaucho Ninja’s shop shows a material defect within the years of purchase, please get in touch via email and send photos of the defect. Gaucho Ninja may then offer to repair the product free of charge providing the customer pays shipping to and from Gaucho
Mar 22, 2021
Shadow Dragon Bespoke TABI As I slid my feet into these beautiful, sturdy, and well executed TABI they felt instantly "at home" - Right away I was grateful for the high durability of the soles because I WILL wear these out - because I'll never want to take them off! This is now my favorite pair of footwear EVER! In over 3 decades I have never loved another pair of shoes more! (Calling them shoes; seems almost profane!) They are beautiful, elegant, and the traction superb without compromising on my sense of where my feet are and the what is beneath them. All of the awareness with none of the pain. From the pebbles of the drive, to the seams between the tile, and even the texture of the concrete patio - I can sense it...and while I have the feedback there is none of the sharpness. BRAVO! My Friend... BRAVO