Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Bad Side Mohawk

Now that I've revisited spins over and over, I'm now going to revisit bad side mohawks.

And I'm doing this for George, blog master of "On Thin Ice" who has written about his bad side mohawks too.

Imagine you have a problem with a mohawk where you stroke onto your right skate then bring your left skate forward to touch the inner arch of your right foot.

Notice how the skater in the image above holds his arms in a T? I can do that stroking onto my left skate for a mohawk, but not my right.

Okay, I have issues. I have one 'open' hip and one 'closed' hip. So I had to develop a technique for one leg different than the other.

Step 1: Arms in the T position, stroke onto my right skate (the 'bad' side)

Step 2: Just a fraction of a second before I bring my left foot forward to the center of my skating foot, I drop my left arm down to my left side.

Step 3: As soon as I switch to my left foot, I raise my left arm back into the T position.

Okay, what's happening physically here?

I think it's that as I drop the arm down as I bring my foot forward, that I am actually OPENING the closed left hip ever so slightly. Just enough  that I can successfully do a mohawk from weird upper body positions. This is possible because when I bring the left skate forward, and the arm down on the same side, that my left should pushes back--forcing the right skate to turn then lift (dropping my left skate to the ice).

If I'm doing the mohawk at  speed, I actually swing the  left arm behind my back -- tuck my left arm behind the back might  be a better expression--and can do the mohawk at speeds I couldn't do before.

It's worked for several weeks. It's not pretty, but meh, not going to the Olympics.


  1. I have extremely open hips. They can be a detriment when you don't want it, for other moves (and checking, they can throw off my checking because I struggle to close/square my hips enough to control it). But mohawks? I can't even imagine doing it the way he does in the video because my free foot can completely be folded out/pointed backward when the heel meets the middle arch of the skating foot. I can do a really lovely outside spread eagle with straight knees and straight back. But checking is always a struggle. My coach would tell me to point my toes down toward the ice. It ends up looking the way it should, even though I'm trying to point down.

  2. Babbette! I'm reading and re-reading every word of this post with great interest. My right forward inside Mohawk is killing me! My one comment on the arm dropping thing is that this would be an impossibility if partnered in, say, the Swing Dance or the Fiesta Tango--you just wouldn't be able to droop that arm. Never the less, I will try your method while in solo mode at tomorrow's Public to see if my exit edge control (left back inside edge) improves enough to be stable for the required two beats.

    With kind regards,
    George A. (On Thin Ice)

    PS: I'm contemplating a change from free style blades which have an 8 foot rocker to free style blades (maybe Phantoms) which have a 7 foot rocker. I note with interest that you made that very same change a while back. In theory the 7 foot rocker should make turns easier. At this point I don't want dance blades as the short tails are kinda intimidating--and as a science guy I like the notion of changing just one veritable at a time. How spooky was the transition from 8' to 7'?