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Old 03-16-2005, 08:16 AM   #1
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
Location: Phila. Pa
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,614
Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

In another thread, Michael Stuempel said, in relation to the hip tilt in Yoshinkan kamae:

I used to think that until Takeno Sensei grabbed my hips and physically tilted them down. Suddenly I felt so much more comfortable and the line between my back foot and the top of my head/neck was actually just wasn't up and down and perpendicular to the ground.

So...I would say "no". The hips shouldn't be level but pelvis tilted down.
Hi Michael (and everyone else),

This is an important detail for me. I have had the same experience as you have (instructors and sempai making a strong point about this hip tilt). But I have one issue about this...several experienced budoka who focus on other arts (judo, koryu, other things) have stressed needing to have your hips under you to be able to be effective in grappling arts. I myself from a wrestling background (though I wasn't very good at it) understand what they are saying. Sometimes it seems that the pelvis tilt contradicts this idea...if I compare it to, say, the shizentai of judo, for example.

I guess I'm just asking for the opinions of others on these points...

1) is this a marked exception where keeping the hips under you is bad (mid range grappling as opposed to close range grappling)?

2) is this an exception because kamae is not a fighting stance, but a training stance?

3) if 2 is true (it is true on its face, but I'm asking is it the reason for the difference) at what point in a confrontation would you use the hip tilt, and at what point would you use something closer to shizentai (if you would use something like shizentai)?

4) am I missing something about the hip tilt in relation to the rest of my posture (or even if I'm doing it correctly, but misunderstand what others mean when they speak of keeping your hips underneath you/shizentai)?

Complicated question, I know, and I appologize in advance. I'd particularly like to hear ideas from experienced yoshinkan, shodokan, and judo/wrestling/sword folks if possible...Taiji folks too...


Ron Tisdale
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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