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Fred Calef III
04-09-2004, 01:59 PM
How has kamae evolved in Aikido?

In Yoshinkan aikido, basic kamae (ready stance) has front and back foot turned somewhere between 30-45 degrees, hips perpendicular to center line, and arms raised in te-katana with one hand chest height and one waist height. Somewhat like this...

migi-hanmi
/ :front foot
_ :hips
\ :back foot

Aikikai kamae has front foot parallel to center line, hips angled to center line (but not exposing the back), and back foot perpendicular to center line and hands placed near the hips. (also migi-hanmi)

| :front foot
/ :hips
- :back foot

From what I understand, the Yoshinkan kamae is designed to simulate a segan-no-kamae/chudan-no-kamae sword stance. William Gleason Sensei (whom I was lucky to visit his dojo recently) talked about the aikikai stance as being akin to waki-no-kamae (defensive sword stance). I've also heard that having the hips 'disengaged' (not perpendicular to the centerline) is less confrontational and is better to move from. Another understanding is that in Yoshinkan weight is distributed 60-40 with more weight on the front foot (more irimi/omote) while aikikai stance is more 40-60 weight back (more tenkan/ura). My first sensei, Larry Bieri Sensei, now of Finger Lakes Aikido, said (if I remember correctly) that geometrically it makes sense to have more weight over the larger area of the triangle that the feet form, thus the 40-60 stance of aikikai.

So, my question is, if Yoshinkan is considered 'pre-war' aikido and aikikai being 'post-war' aikido, why did the aikikai stance evolve from the yoshinkan stance? When? While physically, I can see how it evolved (hips turned, feet turned, and hands moved down) I'd like to understand more deeply why they became different. Perhaps I am wrong to assume the yoshinkan kamae came first? If so, why did it evolve?

Not trying to start a flame-war over 'my stance is better than your stance', but would like to hear the merits/demerits of each stance considered.

Sincerely,

Fred Calef III
Fairbanks, AK

Hanna B
04-13-2004, 01:26 AM
So, my question is, if Yoshinkan is considered 'pre-war' aikido and aikikai being 'post-war' aikido, why did the aikikai stance evolve from the yoshinkan stance?
I would not suppose that it did , actually. I don't know if the pictures of osensei shows the feet clearly enough to show the feet position but personally, I would be very surprised if osensei's hip and feet position pre-war would be Yoshinkan style. If someone can prove me wrong, please do so. :)

There is some variations here with some people of the Yamaguchi line of Aikikai aikido positioning feet and hips very similar to what you describe as Yoshinkan kamae. This I strongly believe is an influence from the sword work done in this line of aikido, derived from Kashima Shin Ryu. Nishio sensei, another well-known Aikikai teacher, does not place his feet on a line at all, and often lifts the back heel in a way that is seldom seen in other types of aikido. This is probably an influence from his budo experiences besides aikido (he has lots of it).

Like the examples above, I would suggest that maybe the Yoshinkan kamae has another origin than osensei. I am sure some Yoshinkan practitioners can fill in what budo background Shioda sensei had, besides aikido.

Btw, I have never heard it called "kamae" in Aikikai, although this is a very common budo concept. In Aikikai the word is "hanmi", as far as I've heard.

Abasan
04-13-2004, 02:21 AM
Recently, I attended a seminar but I can't for the life of me remember which sensei taught. But anyway, he did mention seeing Osensei's feet. Osensei used to wear tabi/white socks... and the dojo tatami although clean did leave the tabi dirty somewhat. But what was surprising was that the only part that was dirty on Osensei's feet was his ball of foot at the point closest to his big toe.

This doesn't exactly answer your aikikai/yoshinkan stance... but I've used both, and to get the weight on that particular point, I was more comfortable using the yoshinkan stance. With the Aikikai stance, I felt that more weight was distributed on the blade of the rear feet.

Fred Calef III
04-13-2004, 04:37 PM
I've also seen variance in hanmi/kamae in Aikikai: hands up, feet straight ahead, raised back foot (kendo influence, I believe), etc.

Everyone (well, from what I've heard explained) seems to agree that hanmi/kamae in aikido is all about standing as if holding a sword. Though there are certainly times, many times, when the hips are not perpendicular to the center line during sword kata. And feet placement can certainly vary among styles.

Has anyone seen video/pictures/experiences of O'Sensei that clearly show his feet in hanmi/kamae both pre-war and post-war? I have one video tape of O'Sensei pre-war, but I don't remember his feet being shown too clearly.

Fred

Doka
04-13-2004, 07:35 PM
... and the dojo tatami although clean did leave the tabi dirty somewhat. But what was surprising was that the only part that was dirty on Osensei's feet was his ball of foot at the point closest to his big toe.
This ties in with Kancho Shioda's teachings, as he said that the weight and power should be in the big toe! No wonder you found that kamae to give you that result.

I practice Yoshinkan, so it is my stance too. I find the Aikikai stance uncentred - not making a detrimental statement before you all jump down my throat - and I wonder if this reflected O'Sensei's later training.

I heard a quote of O'Sensei that he is supposed to have said "Enter through form, exit from form." So perhaps the change was a move away from pre-war strict form?

I haven't done much Aikikai, just a few times a year, so I would like to hear if my observation is borne out by any of the experienced Aikikai teachers here. I too have always wondered about the differences in Hanmi No Kamae.

:ai:

L. Camejo
04-13-2004, 11:21 PM
So what about mugamae?

Tomiki was also prewar and chose this to be the basic posture from which we move in Shodokan.

With both feet side by side turned out at about 45 degrees, it allows one to move in any of 8 directions at an instant.

Just wondering.:)

LC:ai::ki:

Bronson
04-14-2004, 01:35 AM
So what about mugamae?
In our seidokan dojo we start learning techniques with hanmi but are encouraged to eventually move to this stance...except we call it shizentai.

Bronson

Abasan
04-14-2004, 03:02 AM
Mark,

"I find the Aikikai stance uncentred - not making a detrimental statement before you all jump down my throat"

Heh. Before I started aikikai, I was with a branch of Ki Society... the stance applied was the so called 'aikikai stance'.

I would have a hard time telling my sensei's then that they are uncentered and move like a turtle.

I guess it all boils down to which is most suitable for you and what you've been practising all this while with.

From what I understand, different schools of Ken teach different stances... from the width, through the feet positioning.

Greg Jennings
04-14-2004, 08:12 AM
All the forms in our *kihon* typically move from hanmi to hanmi.

They sometimes move through hito-e-mi between the hanmi, though we don't talk about that explicitly very often.

Interestingly, if I jiggled with the basic forms just a little, I could make them start in shizentai.

My thought is that the various kamae are just different pioneer's ways of teaching us their ideas about how aikido works. I.e., learning tools, not the end product.

As I read that again, I think "Duh", but maybe someone will find it useful.

Regards,

Ron Tisdale
04-14-2004, 08:39 AM
Interesting topic. Stevens Sensei also uses more of a kamae stance than a hamni stance I believe...at least in terms of the foot position.

An important note: Kamae in the yoshinkan is a training stance, not a fighting stance. When reviewing the bokken training in another style (aikikai sub-group) my stance stood out a lot, and the instructor took some time to explain the difference to me. I really like his explanation, but of course I returned to my own stance when I went home. But now I have a chance to practice hamne on my own, and when in aikikai settings.

Ron

Greg Jennings
04-14-2004, 08:59 AM
It's interesting to note the changes in kamai/hanmi in (earlier) "Traditional Aikido" and (later) "Takemusu Aikido" by the late Morihiro Saito.

When relaxed, my own is more like that of "Traditional Aikido".

Regards,

Kensai
04-14-2004, 09:22 AM
In the Ki Aikido that I practice very little emphasis is put on stance at all. Its more about choosing what suits you.

But when looking at my own, my weight is 60-40, 60 being the back leg.

Classic T stance back foot, but my front is out to an angle, about 35 degrees rather than straight (like the picture of Takeda Sensei -Daito ryu). Hands and arms are relaxed an rest just above my thighs hands pointing forwards.

It feels very different to that used when I've been doing Aikikai which is alot more 'structured' with a more right and wrong approach....

Steven
04-14-2004, 05:24 PM
As I understand this, and the way one of my Japanese moms read the kanji, Hanmi = Posture and Kamae = Stance. She read the kanji for hanmi as meaning "upper body posture". And Kamae as ready stance.

In the Yoshinkan, we usually say, Migi (or hidari) hanmi - Kamae. Migi/Hidari being the posture to use, and Kamae being the command to move to a ready stance on that side.

I also recall seeing a picture of O'Sensei in what we would define as a Yoshinkan type stance. With the exception of his hand not being raised. His feet were turned out like we do and his weight distribution was the same. I believe it was in the book Budo. I'll see if I can find it again when I see my student next week.

Oh - and I agree with Ron. For us, it is a training stance that we use to teach the principles of Chusin rokyu, Shuchu rokyu and Kokyu rokyu. Total Aikido does a good job of explaining this.

Abasan
04-15-2004, 03:27 AM
Ron,

what was the explaination given to you by the instructor, if you don't mind sharing...?

Ron Tisdale
04-15-2004, 09:22 AM
Well, it was at Sugano Sensei's seminar in Phila. He made a great distinction between what you see in kendo (I take it the yoshinkan kamae resembles some of the older kendo kamae) and what you see in aikido. I think he found my stance rather combative. :) Of course, this is not the first time I've seen aikikai instructors find the yoshinkan stance anything from rather combatitive, to downright frightening... :) It can be rather intense at times.

From what I could understand, the aikido hanmi is concerned with a slight turn of the body from kamaemi stance(upper body and esp. hips facing forward) to a harakami stance (not flat, but not fully forward, angled). This harakami stance protects nage's center, and then the bokken is used to control or capture the center line of the uke.

Buki waza is not my strong point, so take all of this with some spoonfulls of salt, and a little pepper (freshly ground black pepper works best).

Ron

Abasan
04-15-2004, 11:01 PM
Right, thanks. I still don't understand the pros and cons of the two stances from that explanation though. I guess, its back to practise and more...

Hanna B
04-16-2004, 01:26 AM
It's interesting to note the changes in kamai/hanmi in (earlier) "Traditional Aikido" and (later) "Takemusu Aikido" by the late Morihiro Saito.
Would you describe the differences?

David Yap
04-16-2004, 03:25 AM
As I understand this, and the way one of my Japanese moms read the kanji, Hanmi = Posture and Kamae = Stance. She read the kanji for hanmi as meaning "upper body posture". And Kamae as ready stance
Hi Steven,

I have always read 'Kamae" as posture, e.g zenkutsu-dachi kamae means forward stance posture.

The hanmi posture in Aikikai is actually the shizentai - meaning natural posture - migi with the head and center to the left and hidari the other direction. Shoji Nishio shihan explained that the nage should always face the tori in a shizentai kamae (neutral post). The nage should assume a stance after the attack has been initiated. In theory (with O Sensei's teaching) this sounds correct. Taking a stance before an attack may be construed as an act provocation by the nage.

In karate's kihon ippon kumite (one-step basic sparring), the tori always start in a fighting stance and the nage in a natural stance with his hands down.

Just my two sen

Regards

David

David Yap
04-16-2004, 04:03 AM
....

I heard a quote of Osensei that he is supposed to have said "Enter through form, exit from form." So perhaps the change was a move away from pre-war strict form?...
Hi Mark,

I believe O Sensei quoted this from one of the principles of the concept of Shu-Ha-Ri - "First learn the primary tools then use the tools to create new (or secondary)tools".

Regards

David

David Yap
04-16-2004, 04:22 AM
....

I heard a quote of Osensei that he is supposed to have said "Enter through form, exit from form." So perhaps the change was a move away from pre-war strict form?...
Hi Mark,

I believe O Sensei quoted this from one of the principles of the concept of Shu-Ha-Ri - "First learn the primary tools then use the tools to create new (or secondary) tools" - or something along this line. There is no permanent change, the change is part of a cycle. As a student on a learning path, changes are inevitable. Being a teacher is the tough part, he needs to establish the primary tools for his students.

Regards

David

Greg Jennings
04-16-2004, 07:17 AM
The hanmi posture in Aikikai is actually the shizentai - meaning natural posture - migi with the head and center to the left and hidari the other direction.

Shoji Nishio shihan explained that the nage should always face the tori in a shizentai kamae (neutral post). The nage should assume a stance after the attack has been initiated.
"the nage face the tori". Perhaps Nishio Sensei uses "tori" to mean something other than the normal use.

In seriousness, you should be aware that Nishio Sensei's aikido isn't necessarily representative of all the Aikikai.

The Aikikai is an organization under which there is a plethora of expressions of aikido.

More later.

Regards,

Ron Tisdale
04-16-2004, 08:44 AM
Hi Ahmad,

Well, the pro's of the yoshinkan kamae might be the development of centerline, balance, and forward focus in training, as well as learning to focus your power, so that shite/uke learns how to concentrate all of their attributes on a given point. It is a training stance, and as such, is concerned with things of this nature.

The hanmi you see elsewhere is often concerned about protecting the deshi's centerline, and perhaps setting up irimi, as well as being a more neutral non-aggressive stance.

I think. Is that any clearer?

Ron

Steven
04-16-2004, 12:46 PM
Hi David,

I'm sure this falls into the catagory of what the KANJI says and not the ROMANJI. As I stated, my students mom, born and raised in Japan - only in the US for a few year - read it as I described, which is how I understood it as well.

...Cheers...
Hi Steven,

I have always read 'Kamae" as posture, e.g zenkutsu-dachi kamae means forward stance posture.

The hanmi posture in Aikikai is actually the shizentai - meaning natural posture - migi with the head and center to the left and hidari the other direction. Shoji Nishio shihan explained that the nage should always face the tori in a shizentai kamae (neutral post). The nage should assume a stance after the attack has been initiated. In theory (with O Sensei's teaching) this sounds correct. Taking a stance before an attack may be construed as an act provocation by the nage.

In karate's kihon ippon kumite (one-step basic sparring), the tori always start in a fighting stance and the nage in a natural stance with his hands down.

Just my two sen

Regards

David

Abasan
04-19-2004, 04:08 AM
Hi Ron,

Thanks for the explaination. I can't get over the stress you put that the yoshinkan stance is a training stance. I somehow guess that you think theres more to it.

I think there are no advantages or disadvantages to the different stances. I think from reading all the above, each stance has a use in a particular point in time. Whether its the period of confrontation, or the period of training/teaching, or within a technique itself...

I guess, some teachers may have corrupted the stances based on their own aikido or understanding of it. However, if their aikido works notwithstanding this, I don't see how much more adverse it can affect mine.

Thanks.

Ron Tisdale
04-19-2004, 12:55 PM
Hi Ron,

Thanks for the explaination. I can't get over the stress you put that the yoshinkan stance is a training stance. I somehow guess that you think theres more to it.

Well, If you mean that I think there is more to it than any other stance, I'm not in a position to make a value judgement. I like it because it works for me in my training, and this is the system I've bought into :) Someone else may well have a different perspective.

I think there are no advantages or disadvantages to the different stances. I think from reading all the above, each stance has a use in a particular point in time. Whether its the period of confrontation, or the period of training/teaching, or within a technique itself...

Well, I'd say there are always advantages and disadvantages to everything, depending on the situation. Sometimes taking an agressive stance will stop the spear, sometimes it will get you killed. I guess it comes down to knowing when to do what...

I guess, some teachers may have corrupted the stances based on their own aikido or understanding of it. However, if their aikido works notwithstanding this, I don't see how much more adverse it can affect mine.

Thanks.
Well, I probably would hesitate to use the word 'corrupted'...changed, adapted, modified all could be used without a negative connotation. So they'd probably be more in line with my thinking. Good chattin'

Ron

Steven
04-19-2004, 03:04 PM
Quote from Gozo Shioda:
Originally, there was no position in aikido that might have been called a "basic stance." The founder, while saying that the basic stance was "to open your feet o the six directions, N, S, E, W, Up and Down" also wrote, "The complete kamae is what arises from where the gods lead you, depending on time, situation, the lie of the land, the spirit of the moment - kamae is what is in your heart" (from Budo).

He also said:
Through training in kamae, we learn to maintain a straight balance, keep our hands, feet and hips on a center line of the body, maintain correct posture without having to make an effort and extend our spirit forward. In Yoshinkan, in order to learn the stance that is necessary to develop breath power, we introduce kamae as the most "BASIC" part of our training.

---From Total Aikido

So what Ron said is right on the money, in regards to what we in the Yoshinkan do. Our Kamae is a training stance, not a fighting stance.

L. Camejo
04-19-2004, 03:15 PM
In our seidokan dojo we start learning techniques with hanmi but are encouraged to eventually move to this stance...except we call it shizentai.

Hi Bronson,

Shizentai is another name for it. We train to maintain mugamae and ma ai up to the point where we move to engage the attack. The posture that we move into after responding tends to be hanmi / kamae (migi or hidari), from which technique continues.

We were taught that the idea behind keeping mu gamae until the point of reaction is to not limit our options in movement by going into a stance before being attacked. By keeping mu gamae, one can move in any of 8 basic directions to deal with the attack.

This concept makes things interesting when folks are attacked by surprise and don't have time to enter into a kamae before the attack is upon them.

Just my thoughts.

LC:ai::ki:

David Yap
04-19-2004, 09:38 PM
To Greg Jennings,

I believe L Camejo explained it much better than my attempt to quote Nishio shihan.


Shizentai is another name for it. We train to maintain mugamae and ma ai up to the point where we move to engage the attack. The posture that we move into after responding tends to be hanmi / kamae (migi or hidari), from which technique continues.

We were taught that the idea behind keeping mu gamae until the point of reaction is to not limit our options in movement by going into a stance before being attacked. By keeping mu gamae, one can move in any of 8 basic directions to deal with the attack.

This concept makes things interesting when folks are attacked by surprise and don't have time to enter into a kamae before the attack is upon them.

Thanks LC for helping me out ;)

David

Bronson
04-19-2004, 09:58 PM
[QUOTE=L. Camejo]This concept makes things interesting when folks are attacked by surprise and don't have time to enter into a kamae before the attack is upon them.
QUOTE]

I'm pretty sure this is the main reason we do it.

We don't stand in hanmi in normal daily activities, so we try to train how we would normally be standing. Of course this is after we've had a good while of training from a, somewhat, set stance to get the raw basics of the technique down.

Bronson

ross_l
04-20-2004, 01:37 PM
Steven mentioned seeing some photos in the book Budo where Ueshiba-sensei is in a stance similar to Yoshinkan's kamae. I did a quick search and found some that he may be referring too.

For the most part, he appears to have his feet in that position mid-technique. For example, p.48 picture 32: mid-shihonage. His hips are clearly square to his direction of movement and his front foot is pointed out 45 degrees. I can't see his rear foot but I'll assume it's also 45 degrees otherwise his hips wouldn't be square.

Another good example is on p.112, top left picture. It appears that uke is blocking Ueshiba-sensei's front strike. His hips are square and his weight even looks to be in a 60-40 front-back distribution.

For an added bonus check out p.94 for a picture of a beautiful Hiriki no Yosei.

L. Camejo
04-21-2004, 12:46 PM
Thanks LC for helping me out ;)

David

No probs David, I paraphrased from "Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge" pretty much. :)

This thread brings to mind something that always gets me in trouble when I train Aikikai or Yoshinkan. :sorry:

By keeping in mugamae most of the time, we also tend to attack from that position as well, thereby not giving away which direction or hand an attack may come from.

This makes it hard for my pals in other styles who tend to have a set pattern of going into a stance before certain attacks e.g. hidari hanmi before doing a migi mune tsuki / shomen uchi (striking hand comes from the back leg forwards and moves with the leg as it comes in). Sometimes it results in me giving my pals the feeling that I'm being difficult, but it's just so unnatural for me. I also find that it allows for a lot of telegraphing of attacks as well.

Just my thoughts.
LC:ai::ki:

Fred Calef III
04-21-2004, 04:28 PM
Wow! I thought the thread had died after two posts, but apparently I just should have kept looking! Like training, you have to keep after it. :D What great info/comments all around!

Besides Yoshinkan, I also train in a Ki-Society offshoot (Seishinkai) and we sometimes train from the mugamae, but I find it confusing (as mentioned before) especially for katate techniques. I like a proferred hand to give uke initiative.

I think the Yoshinkan kamae with hands raised, protecting the centerline, makes sense as does the more aikikai stance with hips rotated protecting the centerline. But interesting to hear that once 'moving' in the technique O'Sensei appeared to take a more Yoshinkan stance. I hadn't really thought of the Yoshinkan kamae as being purely training related...but of course we don't stand like that when someone attacks us! BUT perhaps it is how we should respond when being attacked?

Anyways, thanks much to everyone! So many great responses!


Sincerely,

Fred Calef III
Fairbanks, AK

Doka
04-21-2004, 05:16 PM
If we train our combat from and in kamae, then in combat we will easily find our kamae!

If we train do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we stay there!

Just a (very) late night thought!

:ai:

Chuck Clark
04-21-2004, 05:37 PM
If we train do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we stay there!

If you are always in a "combative" posture waiting for an incoming attack, I feel sorry for you. Obviously, we can't always be in a "combative" posture while living our life. The key is to be able to switch very naturally and quickly into whatever mode is necessary to serve our purpose. Ongoing natural zanshin that is easy and relaxed can enable us to make the intuitive, creative decisions necessary for action.

Please be careful in the use of the inclusive "we"... :)

PeterR
04-21-2004, 07:54 PM
This makes it hard for my pals in other styles who tend to have a set pattern of going into a stance before certain attacks e.g. hidari hanmi before doing a migi mune tsuki / shomen uchi (striking hand comes from the back leg forwards and moves with the leg as it comes in). Sometimes it results in me giving my pals the feeling that I'm being difficult, but it's just so unnatural for me. I also find that it allows for a lot of telegraphing of attacks as well.
Similar problems - how many times have I been told that my stance is wrong while my brain screams NO STANCE.

When in Rome do as the ...... but it still hurts.

L. Camejo
04-22-2004, 02:43 PM
If we train do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we stay there!

Last time I checked, confusion should not have an adverse effect on one who can keep a calm and stable centre while in the midst of it - become the eye of the storm and all that....:) Regardless of stance, if one lets confusion enter the mind/body when attacked, they're toast.

In fact I've seen situations where folks have been met by attacks that change direction in mid-step (or are just non-telegraphed and deceptive) and are caught flat footed by going into deep hanmi/kamae before detecting where the attack is coming from, thereby limiting the range of responses.

Just my 2cents.
LC:ai::ki:

Steven
04-27-2004, 11:48 AM
Hello Everyone,

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. As for me, Iíve returned home from a great weekend in Phoenix. I visited my student and his dojo and had a great time. My only regret is not having enough time to go visit with the other Aikido schools in the area. Maybe next time there will be some time.

As Ross pointed out, Budo does have several photos of OíSensei moving in an out of what we in the Yoshinkan would call kamae. Whereas the front foot is turned out, the hips and shoulders are square, etc. However, what proves to me, beyond all responsible doubt, that this posture is not solely a creation of Gozo Shioda, is the book Aikido Ė The Way of Harmony, featuring Shirata Rinjiro. Here you have an Aikido (Aikikai?) 10th dan, definitely not Yoshinkan, who throughout this book does many exercises that are extremely similar to what we call Hiriki no yosei and Tai no henko. More importantly is his Kamae. There is no denying that this posture is a product of OíSenseiís training prior to the WWII and maybe even after. His kamae and the position of his hips and front foot are most definitely the same as we do in Yoshinkan. Yes, there are some very minor differences, but it is most definitely the same basics.

Hereís another tidbit I got from the book. Shirata Sensei, according to this book, began his study of Aikido in 1931. Shioda Sensei began his in 1932. These two essentially grew up together in Aikido and the fact that they both took different paths in their training and teaching, yet have so much in common when it comes to these basics, tells me someone else changed the way things are done, and not so much OíSensei.

In any case, I believe this posture is a direct product of OíSenseiís teaching. Like everything in Aikido, some choose to continue these ways, while others choose a different path. What ever floats your boat, I say. Iíve also seen photos of Akira Tohei, and his students, that are also just like Shirata and Shioda. Make of it what you will. Thatís my story, and Iím sticking to it.

... Cheers ...

Ron Tisdale
04-27-2004, 03:41 PM
Having spent some small time over the last few years with John Stevens Sensei (a student of Shirata Sensei), I'd have to note the similarities as well. The style of body movement has (to my limited eye) many similarities. If you go to this link http://www.aikido-world.com/articles/JohnStevens-interview1.htm you can see Stevens Sensei's feet fairly well. There are other pictures on the net which give an even clearer view (Stephen Miranda who posts above posted one in a post on the aikido journal site).

I would say that the buki waza is different between the two traditions. While there are schools within the yoshinkan that have a heavy focus on buki waza, Shirata Sensei's approach was much more integrated. For an idea of what I mean, you can read my review of the last seminar in the Phila. area here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/journal.php?s=&journalid=1605&action=view under entry number 12.

By the way, I am in the process of setting up one day seminars for Stevens Sensei in Phila. and Harrisburg PA in July. I hope to have the venues and schedules ready for posting shortly.

Ron

Doka
04-28-2004, 05:57 PM
If you are always in a "combative" posture waiting for an incoming attack, I feel sorry for you. Obviously, we can't always be in a "combative" posture while living our life. The key is to be able to switch very naturally and quickly into whatever mode is necessary to serve our purpose. Ongoing natural zanshin that is easy and relaxed can enable us to make the intuitive, creative decisions necessary for action.

Hi Chuck

"If we train our combat from and in kamae, then in combat we will easily FIND our kamae!

If we do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we [might] stay there!"

I am certainly not in a combative stance all the time. :) I would look a right prat! :D My point (when I was falling asleep at the keyboard) was refering to muscle memory.

I am quite happy with my use of "we" - it means myself and some others, not everybody. ;)

L. Camejo,

Try keeping a calm and stable centre when you see your friend clubbed around the back of the head with a tire iron!!!

L. Camejo
04-28-2004, 07:50 PM
L. Camejo,

Try keeping a calm and stable centre when you see your friend clubbed around the back of the head with a tire iron!!!

Well since we are being honest, I have done this while having one friend kicked in the head and another held at gunpoint, while the other gun was pointed at myself.

No physical techniques worked that day. I was more concerned with keeping the robbers calm so they won't pull a trigger out of being jittery and nervous.

However, at the end of it the cops found that I was more calm and collected than the security guard on duty to answer questions afterward.

As far as posture goes - I would have been simply stupid to take an overtly aggressive posture with them, being out gunned and all.:) All I tried to do was stay calm and focussed, and it did work.

It's all in how we choose to perceive the conflictand then how we choose to react. I had this same argument with a well known local martial artist whose son got gunned down some time ago while being robbed. His motto to his son and students was - "Do something, even if it is the wrong thing." Worked fine for his son didn't it? He's dead now.:grr:

Just my 2 cents.

LC:ai::ki:

Doka
04-28-2004, 08:01 PM
As far as posture goes - I would have been simply stupid to take an overtly aggressive posture with them, being out gunned and all.:) All I tried to do was stay calm and focussed, and it did work.

Pleased to hear you kept calm, but if you were honest, were you not really subdewed by having a gun in your face? It is very different.

As for the quote above, you have misunderstood my point. It is not about taking an aggressive posture. It is about training in kamae, so that when you do technique, you naturally (muscle memory) are in kamae.

As for your last point, it is not the same arguement!!! :)

:ai:

Doka
04-28-2004, 08:02 PM
As for your last point, it is not the same arguement!!! :)

Because it is not an arguement!!!!!! :)

Doka
04-28-2004, 08:02 PM
Because it is not an arguement!!!!!! :)

As well as being different!!!!!!! :)

L. Camejo
04-28-2004, 11:07 PM
Pleased to hear you kept calm, but if you were honest, were you not really subdewed by having a gun in your face? It is very different.

Actually I beg to disagree. At the times when the gun was in my face I was even more focussed on the guy's movements, which might indicate that I was in fact less calm. "Subdued" in my humble opinion refers to being kept calm by an external force or will. In that situation I made the conscious choice to remain calm before the gunmen even saw me, and maintained it as things progressed, not adopt that state after the gun got near my head. If I were subdued I'd be scared to try talking to them or exercising my own will to keep them calm, which is not what happened.

As for the quote above, you have misunderstood my point. It is not about taking an aggressive posture. It is about training in kamae, so that when you do technique, you naturally (muscle memory) are in kamae.

Understood. I used the word aggressive in a similar way to Chuck's use of "combative" to denote the fact that if I did take up any discernible posture (like kamae where the body is placed in a mode that says "I am ready to react to / accept your attack), they would have probably reacted negatively and felt as if I were becoming aggressive. Man, I went for my wallet and they thought I had a gun.

This is akin to muggers who attack karateka who may respond by going into a fighting stance - in doing so you have just told your aggressor you have some training (or at least you think you do), and are prepared to engage him if necessary. At this point the attacker can either decide to back off or escalate the level of his attack to compensate for you having shown him you may know how to defend yourself.

As far as muscle memory goes, they do what you teach and drill into them. If you train to enter into kamae first and then react, then that is what they will do when under pressure - if you train to be in shizentai first, then react, this is what you will do.

This happens very very regularly when we do resistance tanto randori with folks who have had some tkd/karate experience - as soon as the pressure mounts they go back into their stances drilled from those arts. Why? Because it's programmed into muscle memory, our way of doing things hasn't sunk in yet. Of course they learn how unwise this may be after being stabbed a few times and then start teaching their muscles a different way to operate.

The one you train/feed the most is the one that survives. Both have their reasons, which one shows up in a clinch is the one you drill more and is more natural to you.

As for your last point, it is not the same arguement!!! :)

Apologies for utilising the word argument in this case, I use it very flexibly in different contexts. We are not arguing:)

To me, though it is the same. How you teach yourself to react in training is how you will react when things happen for real - like you said, muscle memory, only muscles aren't the only things that are easily programmed in these cases. How the mind is conditioned, your psychological kamae as it were, is just as important imho.

Just my 5 cents.
LC:ai::ki: