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Old 03-09-2005, 01:15 PM   #1
Adam Alexander
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Kamae...the saga continues...

Hey all,

In Yoshinkan and Yoshokai styles, keeping your hips squared to the front, along with your shoulders is what I've always been told to do.

However, when advancing, maintaining squared hips are impossible for me due to, apparently, lack of flexibility between the back leg and the hip.

What stretch can I do to develop that flexibility?

Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2005, 01:32 PM   #2
siwilson
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Practice!

By advancing I assume you mean moving forwards. This should be done by pushing the hips forward from the back leg, not stepping with the front foot. If you step with the front foot your hips turn out, if you push with the back leg they stay square.

Like I say, practice - I recommend Hiriki No Yosei Ichi and lots and lots of training with the bokken.

Osu!
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Old 03-09-2005, 03:21 PM   #3
mj
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Go to a swimming pool and practice walking through the water.

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Old 03-09-2005, 06:20 PM   #4
maikerus
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

I would suggest thinking of the motion of that outside hip to be more of a downward, forward spiral as you advance. This would be true both if you are shuffling or cross-stepping.

This is one of the practice purposes of hiriki no yosei ichi - ie. how to move your body firmly and strongly from one position forward to another without sacrificing balance and power. Another exercise would include pushing your outside hip in and your other knee more over the front toe in a series of hip exercises/motions/snaps. Another one might be to practice suwariwaza more from the viewpoint of bringing one foot up, then moving over the foot bringing the knee back down to the mat and at the same time snapping the back foot/knee combination back so you are square again.

But as Si said...its just practice. Of course...its the right practice with the right image...but its just practice

Oh...and to elaborate on what Si said about pushing from the back foot. Totally 100% correct. I would also suggest that you lift your front foot at the exact same speed as you are moving forward so you end up sliding on the mat - foot always touching (suriashi) - and there is no "bump" to stop that forward momentum. That way you don't end up trying to reach forward with the front foot. Its all done with the back one.

cheers,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:52 PM   #5
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Hey all,

In Yoshinkan and Yoshokai styles, keeping your hips squared to the front, along with your shoulders is what I've always been told to do.

However, when advancing, maintaining squared hips are impossible for me due to, apparently, lack of flexibility between the back leg and the hip.
What stretch can I do to develop that flexibility?

Thanks.
Jean,

Ever consider Bedroom activity? I kid I kid.

There is nothing difficult abt this movement, hiriki-no-yosei ichi exercise, with bokken even better, suwari waza practice are all good advice.

Hmm.... may consider the bedroom activity though.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:03 AM   #6
deepsoup
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
Go to a swimming pool and practice walking through the water.
Later, if you learn some of the more esoteric ki projection "woo-woo" stuff, you could also practice walking on it.
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Old 03-10-2005, 12:06 PM   #7
mj
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

hah!

Are you going to the Skenfrith course?

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Old 03-10-2005, 12:43 PM   #8
Adam Alexander
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Thanks for the advice. I'll be putting it into action this evening

About this one:

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
There is nothing difficult abt this movement, hiriki-no-yosei ichi exercise

Take some time with this thought in mind,"What is the lesson in this kata and how does it work?" You may find that it's more difficult than you think. And then try it with a partner holding you.
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:09 PM   #9
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
Are you going to the Skenfrith course?
Hoyuss. See you there?
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Old 03-10-2005, 02:47 PM   #10
mj
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Wouldn't miss it.

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Old 03-10-2005, 10:26 PM   #11
Paul Sanderson-Cimino
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

I just spent some time practicing using my back leg as the main power behind movement. It's remarkable what awareness of the back leg does for mobility and power!
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:00 AM   #12
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Take some time with this thought in mind,"What is the lesson in this kata and how does it work?" You may find that it's more difficult than you think. And then try it with a partner holding you.

Hi Jean,

I don't find it difficult at all. I have done it thousand of time in my almost decade of practice, and yes with partner as well and yes, they do resist; as part of our training.

Lesson to be learned: How to move your body as a single unit and as a result generating immense power. Sum of parts greater than whole kind of theory.

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:51 AM   #13
siwilson
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Hi Boon

I've been doing martial arts since I was 12 (I am now 33) and, like yourself, Aikido for almost a decade in Shudokan and now Ken Shin Kai, but I must say that I find Kihon Dosa difficult - not in just doing it, but in "Doing It!" I am sure you know what I mean, when you push hard from the was front now back leg in Tai No Henko Ichi and extend the body flexing the front knee, where you feel yourself stop and your knee is screaming, "Ow, are you crazy?" Where your calf knotts up in Hiriki No Yosei Ichi and you can move forward fine but it is agony pulling yourself back in to Kamae. And as for holding position!!!!!!

I think that is why I like Kihon Dosa Renzoku!!!!

Osu!
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Old 03-11-2005, 12:48 PM   #14
Adam Alexander
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Hi Jean,

I don't find it difficult at all. I have done it thousand of time in my almost decade of practice, and yes with partner as well and yes, they do resist; as part of our training.

Lesson to be learned: How to move your body as a single unit and as a result generating immense power. Sum of parts greater than whole kind of theory.

Boon.

If you say so. However, you fail to mention that you also can learn the ideal space between your feet for maximum speed and power for your body when moving forward and backward. You also learn how to unbalance uke with your elbow. You also learn the feel of staying on the outside of uke's power.

I'm certain that your posts intent is much broader than my interpretation of it. However, to say that the purpose of Hiriki no Yosei is to 'generate great power' is an, IMHO, a severe over-simplification.

Sure, I've read Shioda Sensei's books which state purposes of the basics. However, in practice, I've found that maintaining openess to the sensations while I do these techniques has opened up a much broader perspective.

As far as practicing for years and doing it thousand of times and finding it all easy, I'd respond,"Don't sell kihon dosa short."

If you believe you know the lesson, you'll stop looking for it.
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Old 03-11-2005, 01:00 PM   #15
Adam Alexander
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

One other thing. Hip position. During kamae and movement, I've always been told to keep my hips squared with my centerline.

It seems pretty obvious to me. Yet, I must ask. Should my hips be level to the ground and square to the front? If so, is this just a matter of practice to get the flexibility to maintain it?

Also, Michael, about your recommendations, what an effect that has on movements. Although I can't maintain the feeling between the hip and rear leg, for the second that I do, my 45's feel like I've got a cable in my hip just ripping me around with extraordinary speed, stability, and (I think) power.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:04 PM   #16
Steven
 
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote:
I just spent some time practicing using my back leg as the main power behind movement. It's remarkable what awareness of the back leg does for mobility and power!

Hi Paul,

If ever in the Sacramento area, please come by for a visit. I'd love to explore this topic with you in person. Could be fun.
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Old 03-11-2005, 09:52 PM   #17
xuzen
 
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Hi Jean,
Quote:
If you say so. However, you fail to mention that you also can learn the ideal space between your feet for maximum speed and power for your body when moving forward and backward. You also learn how to unbalance uke with your elbow. You also learn the feel of staying on the outside of uke's power.

I'm certain that your posts intent is much broader than my interpretation of it. However, to say that the purpose of Hiriki no Yosei is to 'generate great power' is an, IMHO, a severe over-simplification.
You are right, my fellow practitioner that my intend of post was to be as summarize as possible, I wasn't in a rant mode, so sorry. And I described Hiriki No Yosei Ichi at its bare minimum. I am sure that it has some very deep meaning if one wishes to dwell deeper into it. This brings me to an article I read once upon a time before...

After showing aikido to some journalist, one very enthusiastic journalist asked Osensei what is the essence if aikido and he just did a tenkan. The journalist asked him, is that all? He smiled and answered yes, that is all. Go figure.

Quote:
Sure, I've read Shioda Sensei's books which state purposes of the basics. However, in practice, I've found that maintaining openness to the sensations while I do these techniques has opened up a much broader perspective.
Yes, aikido is a feeling art. It is just impossible to understand it by just looking at it. And I am glad you have found something that will help you understand aikido better. As for me, that way you described wasn't my way.

Quote:
As far as practicing for years and doing it thousand of times and finding it all easy, I'd respond,"Don't sell kihon dosa short."
Sell Kihon Dosa short? Nah, you've got me wrong, Jean. I wouldn't keep doing it if I think I am selling short. I do think it is important. And I believe, one should have good foundation to do strong aikido.

Quote:
If you believe you know the lesson, you'll stop looking for.
Last time I check (just yesterday), I am still learning the lesson. Haven't stop looking for it yet. But then I have taken what I have learned from kihon dosa and learning to apply it in my tech and form.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:45 AM   #18
maikerus
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
One other thing. Hip position. During kamae and movement, I've always been told to keep my hips squared with my centerline.

It seems pretty obvious to me. Yet, I must ask. Should my hips be level to the ground and square to the front? If so, is this just a matter of practice to get the flexibility to maintain it?
I believe that the hips should be square forward and tilted down so that you can have a straight line from the back foot to the top of the neck.

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Also, Michael, about your recommendations, what an effect that has on movements. Although I can't maintain the feeling between the hip and rear leg, for the second that I do, my 45's feel like I've got a cable in my hip just ripping me around with extraordinary speed, stability, and (I think) power.
I know what you mean. Try doing a 360 degree plus pivot. I think that if you can do this without any feeling of almost falling over then you are truly balanced...and then you have to try doing it with more and more distance between the front and the back foot...both feet always touching the mat.

A thought or two,

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:18 PM   #19
Adam Alexander
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
I believe that the hips should be square forward and tilted down so that you can have a straight line from the back foot to the top of the neck.
Now that's something I've heard frequently but haven't really understood. If I take that as I literally interpret it, then I'd be leaning forward in kamae (straight line from foot to head). What am I not understanding?

Also, the hips are supposed to be level, right?


Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
I know what you mean. Try doing a 360 degree plus pivot. I think that if you can do this without any feeling of almost falling over then you are truly balanced...and then you have to try doing it with more and more distance between the front and the back foot...both feet always touching the mat.
Yeah right, I'll stick to 45's for awhile But that does remind me of a thought I've had lately about rolls.

We've always done a lot of rolls. I believed it was for multiple reasons (be able to take a fall proficiently, cutting the ego, etc.). However, I'm wondering if the practical side of it isn't more leaning towards getting us over the dizziness from spinning around at high speeds for lots of reps that a samurai would encounter on a battle field.
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Old 03-15-2005, 05:55 PM   #20
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Now that's something I've heard frequently but haven't really understood. If I take that as I literally interpret it, then I'd be leaning forward in kamae (straight line from foot to head). What am I not understanding?

Also, the hips are supposed to be level, right?
.
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 straighter...it 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.

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Yeah right, I'll stick to 45's for awhile But that does remind me of a thought I've had lately about rolls.

We've always done a lot of rolls. I believed it was for multiple reasons (be able to take a fall proficiently, cutting the ego, etc.). However, I'm wondering if the practical side of it isn't more leaning towards getting us over the dizziness from spinning around at high speeds for lots of reps that a samurai would encounter on a battle field.
I have no idea. I do rolls and flips because they're fun and I don't want to get hurt. I feel safer in the air. <wry grin>

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:33 PM   #21
Adam Alexander
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
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 straighter...it just wasn't up and down and perpendicular to the ground.
Alright, be patient with me--I'm real slow. So you're in right stance kamae and you're facing north. First, the line (through your hips) running E/W, that should be parrallel to the floor? Second, when your hips were adjusted, would you say they were rotated as if they were a cylinder rolling N?

Sorry for the confusion.

Also, about foot placement. In class, for the first few months, I was always told that my feet should be shoulder width apart. Further, that's what Shioda Sensei states in his books. However, I used your suggestion about the belt over the heel, knee over the toe. My back leg finds it's own place...but my feet are then much shallower than shoulder width or one and a half times my foot apart. But your recommendation feels great and that's what it looks like in all the pictures.

What's up with that--am I misunderstanding the whole "one and a half" rule, or when I find the right spot for my hips it'll all come together?


Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
I have no idea. I do rolls and flips because they're fun and I don't want to get hurt. I feel safer in the air. <wry grin>
How many do you do during warm-ups? I always favored the classes where we did the entire regimen--from back breakfall up to jumping back breakfall 2.
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Old 03-16-2005, 05:27 PM   #22
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Also, about foot placement. In class, for the first few months, I was always told that my feet should be shoulder width apart. Further, that's what Shioda Sensei states in his books. However, I used your suggestion about the belt over the heel, knee over the toe. My back leg finds it's own place...but my feet are then much shallower than shoulder width or one and a half times my foot apart. But your recommendation feels great and that's what it looks like in all the pictures.

I have heard about shoulder width and 1.5 foot lengths apart.

I've also been told that from kamae, when you do the 1st step of seiza ho to bring the back knee down to the front ankle, that your back foot shouldn't have to move to achieve this.
So the length could also be measured as the distance from your knee to your heel, measured back from your front ankle.

Too many ways to measure it. ;-)
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:25 AM   #23
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Stuart Norton wrote:
I've also been told that from kamae, when you do the 1st step of seiza ho to bring the back knee down to the front ankle, that your back foot shouldn't have to move to achieve this.
So the length could also be measured as the distance from your knee to your heel, measured back from your front ankle.
That's the way I teach it (and, incidently, the way I was taught )

When you do that first movement in seiza ho, your front knee should be at the same line as your front toes (the line being drawn just in front of both) with your back foot toes up and the foot straight up perpendicular from the mat.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:38 AM   #24
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Alright, be patient with me--I'm real slow. So you're in right stance kamae and you're facing north. First, the line (through your hips) running E/W, that should be parrallel to the floor? Second, when your hips were adjusted, would you say they were rotated as if they were a cylinder rolling N?
That description works for me.

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
Also, about foot placement. In class, for the first few months, I was always told that my feet should be shoulder width apart. Further, that's what Shioda Sensei states in his books. However, I used your suggestion about the belt over the heel, knee over the toe. My back leg finds it's own place...but my feet are then much shallower than shoulder width or one and a half times my foot apart. But your recommendation feels great and that's what it looks like in all the pictures.
Two thoughts.

One is that the "best" distance varies from person to person, but there is a way that is taught in the beginning until the subtly changes and you "own" the feeling. Shioda Sensei used the "shoulder width" because it's an easy way to describe it, although I prefer Stuart's knee to back heel description...easier for me to check by going into seiza.

The second is that we should probably beware of looking for something too easy and really think about balance. If we try to make kamae "ours" too soon, then it will probably be weaker than if we try to follow the teaching. I think the photos you see are probably when the teachers are demonstrating their Aikido (as in a demo) rather than teaching basics. Using Takeno Sensei as an example again, his feet are a lot straighter (not quite parallel) when in kamae (not closer together, just pointing in the same direction). His hands are also down. I don't believe he teaches this though, although I could be mistaken.


Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
What's up with that--am I misunderstanding the whole "one and a half" rule, or when I find the right spot for my hips it'll all come together?
I hope so... <wry grin>

Quote:
Jean de Rochefort wrote:
How many do you do during warm-ups? I always favored the classes where we did the entire regimen--from back breakfall up to jumping back breakfall 2.
Depends on the class being taught...but we rarely do jumping back breakfalls.

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:54 AM   #25
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Re: Kamae...the saga continues...

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
I have no idea. I do rolls and flips because they're fun and I don't want to get hurt. I feel safer in the air. <wry grin> --Michael
I used to have a sweatshirt with a nage waza design, and the text underneath

"you can't get hurt in the air"


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