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Old 04-19-2004, 02:04 PM   #26
Steven
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote from Gozo Shioda:
Originally, there was no position in aikido that might have been called a "basic stance." The founder, while saying that the basic stance was "to open your feet o the six directions, N, S, E, W, Up and Down" also wrote, "The complete kamae is what arises from where the gods lead you, depending on time, situation, the lie of the land, the spirit of the moment - kamae is what is in your heart" (from Budo).

He also said:
Through training in kamae, we learn to maintain a straight balance, keep our hands, feet and hips on a center line of the body, maintain correct posture without having to make an effort and extend our spirit forward. In Yoshinkan, in order to learn the stance that is necessary to develop breath power, we introduce kamae as the most "BASIC" part of our training.

---From Total Aikido

So what Ron said is right on the money, in regards to what we in the Yoshinkan do. Our Kamae is a training stance, not a fighting stance.
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Old 04-19-2004, 02:15 PM   #27
L. Camejo
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Bronson wrote:
In our seidokan dojo we start learning techniques with hanmi but are encouraged to eventually move to this stance...except we call it shizentai.
Hi Bronson,

Shizentai is another name for it. We train to maintain mugamae and ma ai up to the point where we move to engage the attack. The posture that we move into after responding tends to be hanmi / kamae (migi or hidari), from which technique continues.

We were taught that the idea behind keeping mu gamae until the point of reaction is to not limit our options in movement by going into a stance before being attacked. By keeping mu gamae, one can move in any of 8 basic directions to deal with the attack.

This concept makes things interesting when folks are attacked by surprise and don't have time to enter into a kamae before the attack is upon them.

Just my thoughts.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 04-19-2004 at 02:23 PM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:38 PM   #28
David Yap
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

To Greg Jennings,

I believe L Camejo explained it much better than my attempt to quote Nishio shihan.

Quote:
L. Camejo wrote:
Shizentai is another name for it. We train to maintain mugamae and ma ai up to the point where we move to engage the attack. The posture that we move into after responding tends to be hanmi / kamae (migi or hidari), from which technique continues.

We were taught that the idea behind keeping mu gamae until the point of reaction is to not limit our options in movement by going into a stance before being attacked. By keeping mu gamae, one can move in any of 8 basic directions to deal with the attack.

This concept makes things interesting when folks are attacked by surprise and don't have time to enter into a kamae before the attack is upon them.
Thanks LC for helping me out

David
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Old 04-19-2004, 08:58 PM   #29
Bronson
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

[quote=L. Camejo]This concept makes things interesting when folks are attacked by surprise and don't have time to enter into a kamae before the attack is upon them.
QUOTE]

I'm pretty sure this is the main reason we do it.

We don't stand in hanmi in normal daily activities, so we try to train how we would normally be standing. Of course this is after we've had a good while of training from a, somewhat, set stance to get the raw basics of the technique down.

Bronson

"A pacifist is not really a pacifist if he is unable to make a choice between violence and non-violence. A true pacifist is able to kill or maim in the blink of an eye, but at the moment of impending destruction of the enemy he chooses non-violence."
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Old 04-20-2004, 12:37 PM   #30
ross_l
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Steven mentioned seeing some photos in the book Budo where Ueshiba-sensei is in a stance similar to Yoshinkan's kamae. I did a quick search and found some that he may be referring too.

For the most part, he appears to have his feet in that position mid-technique. For example, p.48 picture 32: mid-shihonage. His hips are clearly square to his direction of movement and his front foot is pointed out 45 degrees. I can't see his rear foot but I'll assume it's also 45 degrees otherwise his hips wouldn't be square.

Another good example is on p.112, top left picture. It appears that uke is blocking Ueshiba-sensei's front strike. His hips are square and his weight even looks to be in a 60-40 front-back distribution.

For an added bonus check out p.94 for a picture of a beautiful Hiriki no Yosei.
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Old 04-21-2004, 11:46 AM   #31
L. Camejo
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
David Yap wrote:
Thanks LC for helping me out

David
No probs David, I paraphrased from "Aikido: Tradition and the Competitive Edge" pretty much.

This thread brings to mind something that always gets me in trouble when I train Aikikai or Yoshinkan.

By keeping in mugamae most of the time, we also tend to attack from that position as well, thereby not giving away which direction or hand an attack may come from.

This makes it hard for my pals in other styles who tend to have a set pattern of going into a stance before certain attacks e.g. hidari hanmi before doing a migi mune tsuki / shomen uchi (striking hand comes from the back leg forwards and moves with the leg as it comes in). Sometimes it results in me giving my pals the feeling that I'm being difficult, but it's just so unnatural for me. I also find that it allows for a lot of telegraphing of attacks as well.

Just my thoughts.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
http://www.mushinkan.ca
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Old 04-21-2004, 03:28 PM   #32
Fred Calef III
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Wow! I thought the thread had died after two posts, but apparently I just should have kept looking! Like training, you have to keep after it. What great info/comments all around!

Besides Yoshinkan, I also train in a Ki-Society offshoot (Seishinkai) and we sometimes train from the mugamae, but I find it confusing (as mentioned before) especially for katate techniques. I like a proferred hand to give uke initiative.

I think the Yoshinkan kamae with hands raised, protecting the centerline, makes sense as does the more aikikai stance with hips rotated protecting the centerline. But interesting to hear that once 'moving' in the technique O'Sensei appeared to take a more Yoshinkan stance. I hadn't really thought of the Yoshinkan kamae as being purely training related...but of course we don't stand like that when someone attacks us! BUT perhaps it is how we should respond when being attacked?

Anyways, thanks much to everyone! So many great responses!


Sincerely,

Fred Calef III
Fairbanks, AK
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Old 04-21-2004, 04:16 PM   #33
Doka
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

If we train our combat from and in kamae, then in combat we will easily find our kamae!

If we train do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we stay there!

Just a (very) late night thought!

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Old 04-21-2004, 04:37 PM   #34
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Doka wrote:
If we train do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we stay there!
If you are always in a "combative" posture waiting for an incoming attack, I feel sorry for you. Obviously, we can't always be in a "combative" posture while living our life. The key is to be able to switch very naturally and quickly into whatever mode is necessary to serve our purpose. Ongoing natural zanshin that is easy and relaxed can enable us to make the intuitive, creative decisions necessary for action.

Please be careful in the use of the inclusive "we"...

Chuck Clark
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Old 04-21-2004, 06:54 PM   #35
PeterR
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
L. Camejo wrote:
This makes it hard for my pals in other styles who tend to have a set pattern of going into a stance before certain attacks e.g. hidari hanmi before doing a migi mune tsuki / shomen uchi (striking hand comes from the back leg forwards and moves with the leg as it comes in). Sometimes it results in me giving my pals the feeling that I'm being difficult, but it's just so unnatural for me. I also find that it allows for a lot of telegraphing of attacks as well.
Similar problems - how many times have I been told that my stance is wrong while my brain screams NO STANCE.

When in Rome do as the ...... but it still hurts.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 04-22-2004, 01:43 PM   #36
L. Camejo
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Doka wrote:
If we train do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we stay there!
Last time I checked, confusion should not have an adverse effect on one who can keep a calm and stable centre while in the midst of it - become the eye of the storm and all that.... Regardless of stance, if one lets confusion enter the mind/body when attacked, they're toast.

In fact I've seen situations where folks have been met by attacks that change direction in mid-step (or are just non-telegraphed and deceptive) and are caught flat footed by going into deep hanmi/kamae before detecting where the attack is coming from, thereby limiting the range of responses.

Just my 2cents.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
http://www.tntaikido.org
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Old 04-27-2004, 10:48 AM   #37
Steven
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Hello Everyone,

Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. As for me, I've returned home from a great weekend in Phoenix. I visited my student and his dojo and had a great time. My only regret is not having enough time to go visit with the other Aikido schools in the area. Maybe next time there will be some time.

As Ross pointed out, Budo does have several photos of O'Sensei moving in an out of what we in the Yoshinkan would call kamae. Whereas the front foot is turned out, the hips and shoulders are square, etc. However, what proves to me, beyond all responsible doubt, that this posture is not solely a creation of Gozo Shioda, is the book Aikido -- The Way of Harmony, featuring Shirata Rinjiro. Here you have an Aikido (Aikikai?) 10th dan, definitely not Yoshinkan, who throughout this book does many exercises that are extremely similar to what we call Hiriki no yosei and Tai no henko. More importantly is his Kamae. There is no denying that this posture is a product of O'Sensei's training prior to the WWII and maybe even after. His kamae and the position of his hips and front foot are most definitely the same as we do in Yoshinkan. Yes, there are some very minor differences, but it is most definitely the same basics.

Here's another tidbit I got from the book. Shirata Sensei, according to this book, began his study of Aikido in 1931. Shioda Sensei began his in 1932. These two essentially grew up together in Aikido and the fact that they both took different paths in their training and teaching, yet have so much in common when it comes to these basics, tells me someone else changed the way things are done, and not so much O'Sensei.

In any case, I believe this posture is a direct product of O'Sensei's teaching. Like everything in Aikido, some choose to continue these ways, while others choose a different path. What ever floats your boat, I say. I've also seen photos of Akira Tohei, and his students, that are also just like Shirata and Shioda. Make of it what you will. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

... Cheers ...
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Old 04-27-2004, 02:41 PM   #38
Ron Tisdale
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Having spent some small time over the last few years with John Stevens Sensei (a student of Shirata Sensei), I'd have to note the similarities as well. The style of body movement has (to my limited eye) many similarities. If you go to this link http://www.aikido-world.com/articles...interview1.htm you can see Stevens Sensei's feet fairly well. There are other pictures on the net which give an even clearer view (Stephen Miranda who posts above posted one in a post on the aikido journal site).

I would say that the buki waza is different between the two traditions. While there are schools within the yoshinkan that have a heavy focus on buki waza, Shirata Sensei's approach was much more integrated. For an idea of what I mean, you can read my review of the last seminar in the Phila. area here: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/journa...05&action=view under entry number 12.

By the way, I am in the process of setting up one day seminars for Stevens Sensei in Phila. and Harrisburg PA in July. I hope to have the venues and schedules ready for posting shortly.

Ron

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Old 04-28-2004, 04:57 PM   #39
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote:
If you are always in a "combative" posture waiting for an incoming attack, I feel sorry for you. Obviously, we can't always be in a "combative" posture while living our life. The key is to be able to switch very naturally and quickly into whatever mode is necessary to serve our purpose. Ongoing natural zanshin that is easy and relaxed can enable us to make the intuitive, creative decisions necessary for action.
Hi Chuck

"If we train our combat from and in kamae, then in combat we will easily FIND our kamae!

If we do not train from kamae, but move to kamae, we are used to being in a non-combative posture when attacked. In the confusion we [might] stay there!"

I am certainly not in a combative stance all the time. I would look a right prat! My point (when I was falling asleep at the keyboard) was refering to muscle memory.

I am quite happy with my use of "we" - it means myself and some others, not everybody.

L. Camejo,

Try keeping a calm and stable centre when you see your friend clubbed around the back of the head with a tire iron!!!
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:50 PM   #40
L. Camejo
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Doka wrote:
L. Camejo,

Try keeping a calm and stable centre when you see your friend clubbed around the back of the head with a tire iron!!!
Well since we are being honest, I have done this while having one friend kicked in the head and another held at gunpoint, while the other gun was pointed at myself.

No physical techniques worked that day. I was more concerned with keeping the robbers calm so they won't pull a trigger out of being jittery and nervous.

However, at the end of it the cops found that I was more calm and collected than the security guard on duty to answer questions afterward.

As far as posture goes - I would have been simply stupid to take an overtly aggressive posture with them, being out gunned and all. All I tried to do was stay calm and focussed, and it did work.

It's all in how we choose to perceive the conflictand then how we choose to react. I had this same argument with a well known local martial artist whose son got gunned down some time ago while being robbed. His motto to his son and students was - "Do something, even if it is the wrong thing." Worked fine for his son didn't it? He's dead now.

Just my 2 cents.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:01 PM   #41
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
L. Camejo wrote:
As far as posture goes - I would have been simply stupid to take an overtly aggressive posture with them, being out gunned and all. All I tried to do was stay calm and focussed, and it did work.
Pleased to hear you kept calm, but if you were honest, were you not really subdewed by having a gun in your face? It is very different.

As for the quote above, you have misunderstood my point. It is not about taking an aggressive posture. It is about training in kamae, so that when you do technique, you naturally (muscle memory) are in kamae.

As for your last point, it is not the same arguement!!!

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Old 04-28-2004, 07:02 PM   #42
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Doka wrote:
As for your last point, it is not the same arguement!!!
Because it is not an arguement!!!!!!
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Old 04-28-2004, 07:02 PM   #43
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Doka wrote:
Because it is not an arguement!!!!!!
As well as being different!!!!!!!
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Old 04-28-2004, 10:07 PM   #44
L. Camejo
 
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Re: The evolution of Kamae

Quote:
Doka wrote:
Pleased to hear you kept calm, but if you were honest, were you not really subdewed by having a gun in your face? It is very different.
Actually I beg to disagree. At the times when the gun was in my face I was even more focussed on the guy's movements, which might indicate that I was in fact less calm. "Subdued" in my humble opinion refers to being kept calm by an external force or will. In that situation I made the conscious choice to remain calm before the gunmen even saw me, and maintained it as things progressed, not adopt that state after the gun got near my head. If I were subdued I'd be scared to try talking to them or exercising my own will to keep them calm, which is not what happened.

Quote:
Doka wrote:
As for the quote above, you have misunderstood my point. It is not about taking an aggressive posture. It is about training in kamae, so that when you do technique, you naturally (muscle memory) are in kamae.
Understood. I used the word aggressive in a similar way to Chuck's use of "combative" to denote the fact that if I did take up any discernible posture (like kamae where the body is placed in a mode that says "I am ready to react to / accept your attack), they would have probably reacted negatively and felt as if I were becoming aggressive. Man, I went for my wallet and they thought I had a gun.

This is akin to muggers who attack karateka who may respond by going into a fighting stance - in doing so you have just told your aggressor you have some training (or at least you think you do), and are prepared to engage him if necessary. At this point the attacker can either decide to back off or escalate the level of his attack to compensate for you having shown him you may know how to defend yourself.

As far as muscle memory goes, they do what you teach and drill into them. If you train to enter into kamae first and then react, then that is what they will do when under pressure - if you train to be in shizentai first, then react, this is what you will do.

This happens very very regularly when we do resistance tanto randori with folks who have had some tkd/karate experience - as soon as the pressure mounts they go back into their stances drilled from those arts. Why? Because it's programmed into muscle memory, our way of doing things hasn't sunk in yet. Of course they learn how unwise this may be after being stabbed a few times and then start teaching their muscles a different way to operate.

The one you train/feed the most is the one that survives. Both have their reasons, which one shows up in a clinch is the one you drill more and is more natural to you.

Quote:
Doka wrote:
As for your last point, it is not the same arguement!!!
Apologies for utilising the word argument in this case, I use it very flexibly in different contexts. We are not arguing

To me, though it is the same. How you teach yourself to react in training is how you will react when things happen for real - like you said, muscle memory, only muscles aren't the only things that are easily programmed in these cases. How the mind is conditioned, your psychological kamae as it were, is just as important imho.

Just my 5 cents.
LC

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