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Old 04-20-2007, 09:45 PM   #26
Kent Enfield
 
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

Quote:
Ethan Weisgard wrote: View Post
I found this Wikipedia text on the subject: . . .
While wikipedia can be useful for easily checkable facts, it is usually pretty poor when it comes to other things, especially martial arts. Over on kendo-world, there was a discussion about how one of the posters, a senior member of Hyoho Niten Ichi Ryu, quickly gave up on trying to correct the entries on that art or Musashi, as they were always quickly edited back to the commonly accepted "correct" facts.

This seems to be similar case. Yes, hasso gets described as moku no kamae, but not because it looks like a tree. It's because that's what it's associated with in five-element theory, of which there are two specific applications (mutual production and mutual destruction). Chudan certainly doesn't look like water.

And "appearing-like-eight posture" seems to be playing a bit loose with the translation, especially to call it a literal translation. Leaving alone the translation of kamae as "posture", something more like "eight phases" or "eight aspects" would be much more literal. Yes, 相 ends up in compounds that get translated into English with "appearance", but in those cases, I think a more literal, but usually more clumsy, translation would be "countenance".

I think the forearms-looks-a-Japanese-eight is a back formation, like a lot of other martial arts "knowledge"--hakama hiding footwork, the pleats having spiritual significance, etc.

Kentokuseisei
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Old 04-20-2007, 10:24 PM   #27
Erick Mead
 
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

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Christian Moses wrote: View Post
... the actual hasso kamae. Kamae are distinct concepts from where the sword is in space, the distinction is often lost in aiki-ken however.
Neither point of which would I dispute, although the training focus in each case are different. At an early point in my training, when this essential teaching point was made to me, it made an impression. I have dwelt on it and things that were suggested by it, probably far more than was intended when it was made. I tend to do that with most things, occasionally I find useful things from it. Intended or not, it was fruitful for me.

My sense of flow was at that time constrained by attention to the elements of movements in themselves, lacking a sense of wholeness. From that observation I learned to frame kamae as not being things in themselves but as points along a continuum of unceasing action. I came, as a result, to also see the tai sabaki as more critical than the formal waza, and to see the commonality in the tai sabaki between nominally different waza. I began to look for essential shape instead of operative sequence.

Losing that sense of distinction in favor of relative shape and flow was a large part of improving my sword work. I gained in precision and ease of flow instead of choppy, indecisive speed. I found this very enlightening at the time. It also opened my sense of kamae -- my body's attention given to all eight corners, instead of merely to the front. Made randori a different experience. In retrospect, being shown the fuzzy edges of these categories seemed a revelation of sorts. To me it remains so, especially as mu-gamae is the presumed endpoint of all training in formal kamae.

As I said, I have no idea whether hasso no kamae has any provable historical or linguistic connection to happo undo. As I said the buddhist connection is a bit of a stretch. But even if it is an error, having them placing them together for my consideration turned out to be a very happy fault -- so I share it.

Cordially,

Erick Mead
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Old 04-22-2007, 11:03 AM   #28
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

Kent,

I think your points are very valid. That is why I am hoping that somewhere a more feasable explanation can be found for the term hassou no kamae. The Buddhistic reference is hard to see connected to the physical form of the kamae, so my feeling is that there is a more basic explanation of the etymology of the term.

In Aiki,

Ethan
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:19 PM   #29
Lan Powers
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

A somewhat simple application of the hasso no kamae position that has yet to be mentioned is the movement pattern of the jo in assuming this kamae....not definitive by any means, but interestingly enough, vaguely "8" shaped as well.

Not ancient, not a numeral from Japan ...just a figure eight motion.

I am very interested in the original provenance "ken-based" as mentioned by the others previously, as I am sure the meaning is more likely found there.
Just an observation.
Lan

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Old 04-22-2007, 05:00 PM   #30
kironin
 
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

Hasso no Kamae
Philosophical Interpretation

Also known as In no kamae as a feeling of waiting or inviting your opponent to attack. Also known as ki no kamae. The kamae of standing like a big tree thrusting upwards to heaven, quiet yet firm, with roots deep under ground. Cut by going through jodan position like the rush of a falling tree, unstoppable. A semi positive kamae, almost neutral but more than half attack and less half defense.
[Paul Budden Looking at a Far Mountain p.27]

-----

at least that is one view...

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Old 04-23-2007, 04:04 AM   #31
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

Craig,

I think the philosophical interpretation is very good. It explains the "wood" aspect well, I believe. But the actual explanation of the term in connection with the physical form of the technique is still missing, in my opinion.

In Aiki,

Ethan
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Old 04-23-2007, 09:33 AM   #32
akiy
 
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

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Lan Powers wrote: View Post
A somewhat simple application of the hasso no kamae position that has yet to be mentioned is the movement pattern of the jo in assuming this kamae....not definitive by any means, but interestingly enough, vaguely "8" shaped as well.
Actually, I mentioned this and my personaly dissatisfaction with it in post #4. I am rather leaning to some sort of older definition which somehow relates the Buddhist "hassou" term to the ken kamae (which has both jodan and gedan components from what I've seen) somehow.

-- Jun

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Old 04-23-2007, 10:02 AM   #33
kironin
 
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

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Ethan Weisgard wrote: View Post
Craig,

I think the philosophical interpretation is very good. It explains the "wood" aspect well, I believe. But the actual explanation of the term in connection with the physical form of the technique is still missing, in my opinion.
I think what you are looking for doesn't exist. This term isn't meant to convey information about the physical form.

The name Hasso no kamae it correctly tranlated as "eight-phase stance" and is a Buddhist terminology and what Kent said and Jun's leanings is the right direction. Some also call it kanshi no kamae or "watching stance". These various other names should be a clue to the idea that the name does not connect to the physical form but to a feeling or nature of the kind of stance it is.

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Old 04-23-2007, 11:06 AM   #34
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

Quote:
Craig Hocker wrote: View Post
Hasso no Kamae
Philosophical Interpretation

Also known as In no kamae as a feeling of waiting or inviting your opponent to attack. Also known as ki no kamae. The kamae of standing like a big tree thrusting upwards to heaven, quiet yet firm, with roots deep under ground. Cut by going through jodan position like the rush of a falling tree, unstoppable. A semi positive kamae, almost neutral but more than half attack and less half defense.
[Paul Budden Looking at a Far Mountain p.27]

-----

at least that is one view...
I just pulled this book out yesterday to look up what they had to say about it. I think it's good to keep in mind that these terms as they were standardized in kendo would be the basis for many of the aikido shihan's ken work. Kendo is and was required in Japanese schools for boys, so even those aikidoka who did not study some other form of koryu kenjutsu would be familiar with kendo.

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Old 04-24-2007, 11:58 AM   #35
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

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Michael Hacker wrote: View Post
I concur.

The explanation I heard in Japan was that the scabbard and raised sword create the shape of the kanji for 8 [八] lying on its side. I have nothing more than anecdotal evidence for this so far.
Thisis almost actually when in kendo or iai we assume this kamea it does look like an 8 but its not the scabbards that make it look like an eight but the way we hold our arms. At least that is what our sensei told me i think its a little off but hey there the shodan in kendo not me.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:43 AM   #36
Ethan Weisgard
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Re: Hasso no Kamae

I think that the explanation of the shape of the arms resembling the kanji "hachi" seems quite logical. In general the terms that were used for the different kamae - especially the ones that are prevalent in most of the ryu-ha- seem to have fairly logical explanations: seigan / chudan kamae , wakigamae etc. The word "hassou" does translate as ".(Japanese) figure eight appearance" as well as having a reference to the Buddhistic term "Hassou" as mentioned in the other posts. I'm going to go for the practical explanation - it makes sense.

In Aiki,

Ethan
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