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aikido_fudoshin 09-11-2002 07:59 AM

Thoughts on Kamae
Kamae is the essence of Aikido. I believe it was Gozo Shioda Sensei who stated,
"Everything we need to know about Aikido is found in Kamae". Although it is difficult for most Aikidoka to understand, the following is what I believe its importance is.

Kamae is an expresion of ourselves. When we do kamae, it shows everyone around us how we feel, how focused we are, and how confident we are in ourselves and our abilities. It not only shows us how to be physically strong, but to be strong internally as well. Kamae helps us create a "heart of steel" as Robert Mustard Sensei states. Morihei Ueshiba Sensei was the one who first proclaimed this in saying "...depending on time, situation, the lie of the land, the spirit of the moment- Kamae is what is in your heart".

After practicing Kamae and the various Aikido techniques, we begin applying them to real life situations with out concious effort. I believe Aikido to be more then just self defence. The importance of Aikido to me is how we can apply it to everyday life and Kamae is a great example of that.

Bruce Baker 09-11-2002 08:32 AM

Kamae/ combative stance
Although I must agree that the many stances of everyday life will strengthen your efforts to accomplish physical goals, the mental accumen of combative stance is the stance of no-stance.

Our stance creates the power of our movements, it gives us balance, poise, mobility, agility, and determines how and where we can move, but it is the adaptive mind that lets us move in combinations and understands the effectiveness of stance.

This weekend, I attend a seminar with Dennis McGinnis of Cincinatti, OH, and he touched on an important factor of balance and using the bodys weight to create the motion of a throw. We simply lowered our weight until our butts touched our heels, then gently kneeled without taking a step to effect a throw.

Stance, balance, use of weight ... all very important factors in causing movement, and following movement.

We do have some pretty tight training with "T" stances, and movements to train in Aikido's intricacys, but having the presence of mind to practice your Aikido with everyday movements is always a good idea. Just don't restrict your thoughts to practice regimens, but usefullness is your everyday life.

akiy 09-11-2002 09:02 AM

Couple of quotes come to mind...

I think it was Nishio sensei who said, "There is no kamae in aikido."

I remember another person saying, "All kamae are transitionsary positions."

-- Jun

Chuck.Gordon 09-11-2002 09:06 AM

Re: Kamae/ combative stance

Bruce Baker wrote:
This weekend, I attend a seminar with Dennis McGinnis of Cincinatti, OH ...

That's likely Charlie McGinnis of Cincy, yes?

And one might note, in terms of kamae, that the term not only refers to physical stance (more correctly, posture), but to mental/spiritual posture as well ...


Chuck Clark 09-11-2002 10:19 AM

Only one kamae...

"Mushin gamae"

Kenji Tomiki-sensei


Bruce Baker 09-11-2002 04:25 PM

Yeah, that was Charly McGinnins ... takes four or five times for me to get names right. That would be using long term memory. A couple of more weeks and my long term memory might stop mixing up Chuck Clark and Chuck Gordon too?

Anyway, in the beginning Kamae will teach you many things, but in the end stance will be natural ... even if others think it is not.

(I have no idea why I called Charlie by Dennis, Freudian slip? Maybe because he looked nothing like my son Charlie.)

L. Camejo 09-11-2002 04:52 PM


C.E. Clark (Chuck Clark) wrote:
Only one kamae...

"Mushin gamae"

Kenji Tomiki-sensei


My thoughts exactly.

Chuck took the words right out of my uhh... fingers :)

No mind, no stance. This brings flashbacks of the first Aikido class I did (many moons Ago) when my sensei went about showing how every stance had a weak point on which balance can be broken.

45 degrees midway between the heels.


Chuck Clark 09-11-2002 09:18 PM

I just reread my post above:

It should have read...

"Mushin mugamae"

I guess I really left nothing out though.


Jim ashby 09-12-2002 12:51 AM

Oh dear oh dear oh dear!!!!

Have fun

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