Hey sports fans!! Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am a self admitted “rink rat” so a lot of this blog will be about figure skating and hockey, however as an ex-figure skater, ex-varsity athlete and a sports fan in general, I usually have thoughts and opinions about alot of different sports I follow, so visit often!
So there are some skating moves that I have come to identify as “Yuzu’s moves”. Yuzuru may not have invented these moves, but in my mind, they are uniquely his because he does them so well. It was not long ago that Yuzu looked up to the likes of Evgeny Plushenko and Daisuke Takahashi in great admiration. Now, Yuzu has become a great role model for the next generation of skaters. The adorable part about this – now we see many younger skaters copying these “Yuzu moves” and also his program ending poses as well. When you see the young skaters perform these moves and poses, you can’t help but think of the influence Yuzu has had on them.
The Pistol Pose
This signature move won the hearts of many fans when Yuzu debuted his Parisian Walkways program!! However, Yuzuru did not invent this move. It was choreographed into his Parisian Walkways short program by Jeffrey Buttle who actually performed the move himself a number of years ago in one of his own exhibition programs. Unfortunately, I do not have a link to Jeff’s program where he did the move but i have seen it, and I wish I would have tagged it. If i find it again, I will update this post with the link.
This move was dubbed the “Pistol Pose” by students at a high school Yuzu visited after his win in Sochi. When Yuzu surprised the students by showing up at their school, the students were very excited, and they got to ask him questions. One of the questions from a young girl was if he could do the “Pistol Pose” for them. At first Yuzu wasn’t quite sure which pose she was talking about, and looked bewildered. But he figured it out and did the pose in his jeans. The reaction was priceless; girls squealing with delight, enough so that poor embarassed Yuzu had to tell them to calm down. Such an effect he has on his fans.
To me, this move is very uniquely Yuzu. Here is the link to the video where Yuzu visits the school. Thanks to panda_wei who put english subtitles in it!! The school visit is around the 16:30 mark of the video.
The Biellmann Spin
This spin was popularized by Swiss skater, Denise Biellmann in the late 70’s. The definition of a Biellmann is “the level of the boot passes the head so that the boot is above and behind or over the head”. There are different variations of the spin, but as long as the boot is above or behind the head, it is considered a Biellmann.
While the Biellmann spin is very popular among the female skaters, there are only a few men who perform this type of spin currently (Yuzuru Hanyu, Michael Christian Martinez, Denis Ten and some of the younger men). Due to Yuzu’s extreme flexibility, he is able to perform this spin position beautifully, and the point values of his spins can be increased by spinning in this position. However we have seen this season, some instances where Yuzu has chosen not to perform the Biellmann spin due to his back pain issues.
This move was named after a German figure skater, Ina Bauer. The position of the feet on the ice is what defines the Bauer. The basic Bauer is done with the blades parallel and the toes of each foot are pointed in opposite directions. The trailing leg is always on an inside edge. In this skating move, the front leg is bent, and the back leg is kept straight. A skater can perform an inside edge Ina Bauer or an outside edge Ina Bauer. The outside edge Ina Bauer is more difficult. Performing this move as an entrance or a connecting move to a jump adds difficulty, therefore a skater performing the Ina Bauer in this way can be awarded more points for the overall jump execution.
The original Ina Bauer move did not include the layback position of the head (hence the term Layback Ina Bauer). This modification of the Ina Bauer was popularized by Shizuka Arakawa who, like Yuzu, is also from Sendai, Japan. Shizuka became the first female figure skater Olympic Gold Medalist from Japan, when she won in 2006 (Turin, Italy). In Japan, the layback Ina Bauer is known as the “Arakawa way”. When Yuzu was younger, he was very excited to show Shizuka how he could also do the Ina Bauer just like she did.
Hydroblading was popularized in the early 1990s by the Canadian Ice Dance team of Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz. It is a move that we don’t usually see during a competition program. It is just a fun unique move that Yuzu incorporates into some of his exhibition numbers and is a crowd pleaser!
These are just a few special moves that I really associate with Yuzu. He has a style all his own, and I’m sure we will see new signature moves from Yuzu as he continues to develop and grow as a skater along the way to Pyeongchang, 2018!!
** A special shout out to Yuzu to Get Well Soon!! I hope the new ankle sprain isn’t too serious especially since it’s not his first one. Hoping this isn’t already a chronic issue. It seems that every World Championships since 2012, he has been skating injured.