Giants' batting coach Hiroshi Arakawa guided Oh to perfect his famous Flamingo bat swing. The two began a training method that involved Zen and martial arts to master mental, physical, and spiritual focus. Oh took samurai sword lessons so he could hit curveballs. He studied aikido for patience, practiced kendo for hip action and a downward swing, and focused his ki (life energy) from his shoulders to the bat.
To counter Oh's hitch and gain balance when he swung, Arakawa and Oh
developed Oh's foot-in-the-air stance with his right foot raised as the
ball reached home plate. This "flamingo" batting style was similar to
American Mel Ott's, yet each was developed independently. Oh was known
to practice his batting 30-40 minutes per day.
It has been
reported that no one before Oh or since has duplicated this famous
stance. With it, gained remarkable balance and set the table for
powerful Japanese home run hitters who followed, including several who
are credit with 500 or more long balls: