Twinkle Toes Samurai
In some media, a katana-wielding swordsman will dash toward his opponent, taking dainty little steps akin to a Japanese schoolgirl. Typically, this does not diminish his speed in any way. Mickey Mousing sound effects optional. Based on actual kendo footwork, but exaggerated to the point of absurdity.
Examples:Anime and Manga
- The blind swordsman in Ninja Scroll.
- The Shinmeiryuu in Ken Akamatsu's verse.
- Kenshin and Soujiro in Rurouni Kenshin. Often, they move too fast to see, but their tiny little footsteps advancing at a slow pace are the only indication something is approaching.
- Parodied with Sentarou Daimonji's grandmother in Ranma ½. Despite not being a swordswoman, she always walks like this while dresses up in a kimono - if she ever walks at all. A whole episode had Sentarou and the lady's assistants freaking out at the possibility to have Lady Daimonji fully standing up, and naturally Hilarity Ensues.
- Lucy Liu as O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill during the meeting of the bosses, immediately before beheading Boss Tanaka. Justified as she was wearing traditional Japanese clothing at the time: If she didn't take those dainty little steps, she'd probably end up with a face full of table.
- The Hidden Blade goes as far as portraying that samurai are so locked on the short-stepped shuffling gait of swordfighting that they've forgotten how to run properly. A westernized scholar races a samurai to show the superiority of the "western style" of running, which is just normal running.
- In Snow Crash, part of the way that Hiro reocgnizes that a swordfighting opponent in The Metaverse is a kendo practicioner is the way he shuffles around.
- How every ninja but Earthquake runs in Samurai Shodown.
- Soul Series: Taki does this for a couple of moves.
- Though it's in his Ninja ability, Kirby does this when he runs over water.
- Murakumo from Akatsuki Blitzkampf runs like this in the game, and it comes off as... needlessly hilarious.
- Miyamoto Musashi denounces this type of footwork in his Book of Five Rings.