Thread: iwama kamae
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:07 AM   #1
raul rodrigo
Location: Quezon City
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 777
iwama kamae


Just attended a seminar of Hitohiro Saito in Manila. My dojo is Aikikai and most of the attendees had a hard time adjusting to the kamae and suburi of Mr. Saito. His kamae was particularly hard to do. The shoulders and head are projected further forward than I am used to, the butt is supposed to stick out a bit in the back (he actually poked me in the navel with a bokken to make me stick it out; Dennis Tatoian called it making the hips "cocked"), the back foot is bent and placed very close (by aikikai standards) to the front foot. (I was the recipient of many "dames" for apparently keeping my feet too far apart, by Iwama standards). A Swedish aikidoka who also attended trained with Tomita sensei back in the 1970s, and he said the kamae of Hitohiro Saito put the feet closer together than he remembered the original kamae to be, back when he started training with Tomita 30 years ago.

My question is this: the materials on O-Sensei and Morihiro Saito that I have on hand seem to show them with a different kamae, something more "standard," something closer to the stance of other Iwama products like Shigemi Inagaki and Hiroshi Isoyama. Is my impression of them mistaken, and is in fact Hitohiro's kamae the actual Iwama-style kamae of the 1960s and 1970s? Or has Hitohiro been modifying things a little bit since the time his father came out with Traditional Aikido Vols. 1 and 2?

Any input would be appreciated.


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