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Old 08-16-2001, 07:20 PM   #9
Dojo: Sheffield Shodokan Dojo
Location: Sheffield, UK
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 524
Originally posted by ca I always smile when I hear the words 'natural stance' since the posture it usually refers to in the user's mind is not what I consider natural. My pre-Aikido stance was closer to hamni than to the 'natural stance'; then my first sensei taught that hamni was the 'natural stance'
I see what you mean about standing, its pretty rare to see someone waiting for a bus standing in a neat shizen-hon-tai posture isn't it - although when I refer to kamae I was also thinking of the position of the hands and arms (like playing a big 'invisible saxophone', sorry - I'm not sure how else to describe it )

As well as standing, I was also thinking about walking. Most people, when they walk, I think, are pretty much moving from right shizentai to left and back again, rather than doing anything like stepping ayumi-ashi in kamae, crossing from one side of centre to the other, with the arms and all that.

(I hope I haven't offended you if you naturally walk that way. )

Originally posted by mj
In kamae, the chest is half protected, which is no good to Tomiki/Shodokan because you must present the target for it to be attacked, so you're original 'stance' is (yonho)Shizentai.
Unsurprisingly I agree entirely with what Peter said about this.

But I would add that the british 'non-shodokan' guys I was talking about tend to adopt a stylised kamae in tanto randori for just that reason (with the arms held up in front of the body ), precisely because it makes it harder for a less experienced tanto to score with a clean knife strike to the torso. (Mainly because the arms get in the way.)

Unfortunately, as they progress higher through the kyu-grades and into dan-grades, they begin to meet people who have no trouble penetrating their 'guard'. Then they discover it was a bad idea to limit their options for tai-sabaki in favour of such an 'un-aiki', blocking, kind of defence. And by then its such a deeply ingrained habit its very difficult to un-learn.

And of course that's just in the artificial environment of controlled (ie, with rules) tanto-randori: tanto can't score a point by striking toshu's hands or arms. (Although toshu will be penalised if he doesn't even attempt tai-sabaki.)

Outside of the dojo (or the shiaijo), however, trying to prevent a knife-strike by getting your arms in the way just doesn't have much future in it.

When practicing aikido should your posture be:
e) won't matter later on
Good point: I guess when Peter talks about aikidoka of other styles referring to practicing from shizentai as 'advanced', thats what is meant.

Many thanks for the interesting replies, particularly for Chuck Clark's contribution.

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