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Old 11-09-2006, 09:47 PM   #1
xuzen
 
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Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Dear friends,

In Judo, when Kuzushi + Tsukuri + Kake are in harmony, you get an Effortless Throw.

I am opening this thread to solicit ideas if we could find similar equivalent concepts in aikido to tell new practitioners in order for them to understand the mechanics of a Good aikido throw/techniques. I have some ideas, let me begin:

1) Tai-Sabaki (Irimi & Tenkan)
This concept should be the first principle. A Tori should always always use Tai-sabaki skill to get out of the line of hostile intent.

2) Kamae (Posture)
A strong Kamae, like Tsukuri (Body positioning) will allow a Tori the proper body mechanics to generate the necessary power to effect a throw. Without a good kamae, ukes are usually unstable and they are open for counters from more experienced martial artists.

3) Kokyu Power (Focused Power)
In this concept, I think a focused power using Tori's entire body momentum to apply a singular force at a small are on uke will produce an effective technique. For example let's visit Mae Otoshi (Hiji-ate). Using Tori's entire forward momentum to go against the elbow joint of Uke will produce a very effortless throw.

I could be wrong, but the above are some of my thoughts currently to help me explain aikido techniques to newbies. I hope this will help them to understand the mechanics behind aikido techniques. So what do you all think? Am I out of my league here?

Boon.

SHOMEN-ATE (TM), the solution to 90% of aikido and life's problems.
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Old 11-10-2006, 04:13 AM   #2
Amir Krause
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

I think the principles you present are right, but not in all cases.

Tai-Sabaki is most important, but the purpose of it is not only to get out of the line of attack, sometimes one takes the current center rather then move aside and create another center.

As far as strong Kamae, I am not sure I agree. i think the concept I study has more to do with the idea of change and flexibility rather then the idea of being strong. The Kamae should be adequate to provide the basis one needs for his actions, it should not be very strong and stable in the static sense but rather in the dynamic sense (If pressure is applied, one moves with it and changes the Kamae rather then absorbing and resisting.

As far as Focus, this concept is applied in some techniques and then there are other technique to teach splitting the focus into several simultaneous streams (think of Tenchi Nage as an example of splitting).

You mentioned Kuzushi at the headline of your thread. In my opinion, one can not underestimate its importance.


Amir
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:09 AM   #3
Dazzler
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Amir Krause wrote:
As far as strong Kamae, I am not sure I agree. i think the concept I study has more to do with the idea of change and flexibility rather then the idea of being strong. The Kamae should be adequate to provide the basis one needs for his actions, it should not be very strong and stable in the static sense but rather in the dynamic sense (If pressure is applied, one moves with it and changes the Kamae rather then absorbing and resisting.
Depends on how you interpret Kamae perhaps.

If you interpret it as stance of an individual then you have a case.

If you look at it as relationship of Tori and Uke , and their relative positions and stances then teaching beginners that standing in the line of an attack is tactically un safe is highly important.

Especially in something like horse riding stance!!

D
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Old 11-10-2006, 05:27 AM   #4
ian
 
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

I think these are pretty useful. I've tried myself to write a list of principles to apply, but it actually got quite long and boring. Sometimes its good just to point out their major problems and work on those 1st.

I notice there is no 'unbalancing'. I was training last night with a beginner with about 4 weeks of practise, doing irimi-nage, and her timing was perfect. As I went to grab or strike I was completely taken off balance due to her movement and gentle redirection and was thrown really well and quickly. I think (unlike most judo training) the techniques in aikido start with unbalancing through timed response, and the rest is just like helping them fall to the floor. Christian Tissier is a good example of this principle:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=CxdVF_R334U

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Old 11-10-2006, 06:01 AM   #5
Dazzler
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
In Judo, when Kuzushi + Tsukuri + Kake are in harmony, you get an Effortless Throw.

I am opening this thread to solicit ideas if we could find similar equivalent concepts in aikido to tell new practitioners in order for them to understand the mechanics of a Good aikido throw/techniques..
Hi Xu

I think this is exactly the principle behind Aikido.


I've been taught the following ...

At its highest level (way beyond me.............) Toris yin is harmonised with ukes yang energy. or visa versa....

Hence the name ...Ai (Man) Ki...(energy / life force..whatever floats your boat and Dao...as in Tao. A much better translation than Do "the way".

Assuming there is a state of balance which is disturbed by Uke applying a positive attack. This is redressed by Tori applying a negative absorbing receiving move to restore the balance.

A more powerful attack requires less effort to address, less powerful requires more input from Tori.

However, (Im sure this is already far too fluffy for many)

There exist a set of rules which must be applied in order for the Aikido to remain martial.

These are really what most people can practice...more of an Intermediate level perhaps).

You've already nailed some of them - Kamae...bad relationship can be dangerous for Tori ( As per CTs shihonage in the clip. Lovely throw but at one stage he's stood right in front of uke who waits compliantly to flip).

Maai - distance. eg Kotagaeshi at arms length, Irimi nage of behind ones partner and weapons if 5 feet away.

Shisei...good posture.

Irimi / Tenkan, Tai Sabaki, Kokyu, Kokyu-Ryoku.

and so on.

Simple merging yin and yang is all very nice but unless the bases are applied then, yes - aikido can be a bit of a dance. Throws become throws for the sake of it and the "Aikido" can be dangerous for the person doing it.

We tend to teach beginners simple techniques with a few of the more obvious bases thrown in, ...Many people stay at this level...they believe the techniques are what aikido is...

In my experience ...As people progress we build on this to the point where the techniques are used to practice the bases eg. important stuff.

(Hence our view that they are not really techniques at all but tools to learn the bases).

Finally... I believe the masters of Aikido just blend.

I can't say what happens at this level of purely blending energy.

I'm not there yet and have really just dabbled.

I suspect there will be little outward difference but hopefully both I and my ukes will feel the difference!

I'll let you all know!

Regards

D
(in full fluffy friday mode)
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Old 11-10-2006, 07:51 AM   #6
David Yap
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Hi, Ian,

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
...I notice there is no 'unbalancing'. I was training last night with a beginner with about 4 weeks of practice, doing irimi-nage, and her timing was perfect. As I went to grab or strike I was completely taken off balance due to her movement and gentle redirection and was thrown really well and quickly...
She did unbalance you with the irimi-tenkan (tai-sabaki) movement, this is a form of kuzushi

Quote:
I think (unlike most judo training) the techniques in aikido start with unbalancing through timed response, and the rest is just like helping them fall to the floor...
I think you should address the similarities rather than the differences

One of my aikido instructors always compare aikido movements to karate and tae-kwon-do. He tells the class that aikido technique is one swift movement while karate/tae-kwon-do is in a 1-2-3 sequence. As a non-yudansha in karate/tae-kwon-do, it shows how little he knows about these other MA. I just wonder how he would react against a "reverse" punch

I suggest that you watch the whole video clip on YouTube "The Essence of Judo" by Mifune. At the higher level (non-competition), you can see Mifune demonstrating what you would term "aikido" techniques.

Just my two sen.

Best training,

David Y
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Old 11-10-2006, 07:53 AM   #7
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Boon,

Good thread.

Regards

David Y
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Old 11-10-2006, 09:25 AM   #8
ChrisMoses
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
Dear friends,

In Judo, when Kuzushi + Tsukuri + Kake are in harmony, you get an Effortless Throw.

I am opening this thread to solicit ideas if we could find similar equivalent concepts in aikido to tell new practitioners in order for them to understand the mechanics of a Good aikido throw/techniques. I have some ideas, let me begin:

1) Tai-Sabaki (Irimi & Tenkan)
This concept should be the first principle. A Tori should always always use Tai-sabaki skill to get out of the line of hostile intent.

2) Kamae (Posture)
A strong Kamae, like Tsukuri (Body positioning) will allow a Tori the proper body mechanics to generate the necessary power to effect a throw. Without a good kamae, ukes are usually unstable and they are open for counters from more experienced martial artists.

3) Kokyu Power (Focused Power)
In this concept, I think a focused power using Tori's entire body momentum to apply a singular force at a small are on uke will produce an effective technique. For example let's visit Mae Otoshi (Hiji-ate). Using Tori's entire forward momentum to go against the elbow joint of Uke will produce a very effortless throw.

I could be wrong, but the above are some of my thoughts currently to help me explain aikido techniques to newbies. I hope this will help them to understand the mechanics behind aikido techniques. So what do you all think? Am I out of my league here?

Boon.

I think the concepts you lay out are used to create kuzushi, tsukuri and kake correctly. Good judoka do the same thing. I also believe that the solid judo kihon is what made it possible for the early generations of Aikido teachers to progress so quickly, and why so many here in the west who only do aikido plateau out at fairly low level of skill.
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Old 11-10-2006, 04:33 PM   #9
eyrie
 
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

I agree with Chris. These things are the "tools" to apply the principles.

Ignatius
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Old 11-23-2006, 03:44 PM   #10
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

I believe that it should be Tsukuri, Kake, Kime. The Kuzushi is part of Tsukuri in which you "create" or "make" the start of the technique. Kake means to "put on" and Kime is to "finalize."

I mentioned these things to my students in one of my dojos many years ago. At a summer camp, during a drinking session, he asked the Shihan about the importance of these concepts. Here is the answer: "Those ideas come from Judo. Yes, Tsukuri, Kake, Kime are very important to Aikido since in Aikido they do not exist." My student looked stunned for a second, then smiled knowingly, thanked him, and went away to drink some more..

At Masakatu, we learn using Tsukuri, Kake, Kime. At Agatsu, Tsukuri, Kake, Kime begin to flow together. At Katsu Haya Hi, when you are truly doing Aikido, they no longer exist since by the time you are finishing Tsukuri, Kake is also done as is Kime - they are all one. That is why it is Katsu Haya Hi - "Victory faster than light."
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Old 11-23-2006, 09:08 PM   #11
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
I in Aikido they do not exist.
It is not the first time I hear such statement from a shihan. Personally I suspect that the explanation is much simplier. As we do cooperating practice there is simply not need to use these concepts.

Nagababa

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Old 11-23-2006, 11:49 PM   #12
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

And I know Shihan that have no problem with the concepts with regard to Aikido.

However they are Judo teaching concepts and are quite effective when teaching aikido even if they are called different things.

In actual judo randori they all tend to blur into one thing - effective technique. So yes in doing judo they don't exist either.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:20 AM   #13
ChrisMoses
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Hiroaki Izumi wrote:
I believe that it should be Tsukuri, Kake, Kime. The Kuzushi is part of Tsukuri in which you "create" or "make" the start of the technique. Kake means to "put on" and Kime is to "finalize."

I mentioned these things to my students in one of my dojos many years ago. At a summer camp, during a drinking session, he asked the Shihan about the importance of these concepts. Here is the answer: "Those ideas come from Judo. Yes, Tsukuri, Kake, Kime are very important to Aikido since in Aikido they do not exist." My student looked stunned for a second, then smiled knowingly, thanked him, and went away to drink some more..

At Masakatu, we learn using Tsukuri, Kake, Kime. At Agatsu, Tsukuri, Kake, Kime begin to flow together. At Katsu Haya Hi, when you are truly doing Aikido, they no longer exist since by the time you are finishing Tsukuri, Kake is also done as is Kime - they are all one. That is why it is Katsu Haya Hi - "Victory faster than light."

I think there are a lot of people in Aikido who think this way. The short version is that they can't throw me, but a judo newbie with a basic understanding of the traditional phases of nagewaza can. That's enough for me.

Chris Moses
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Old 09-13-2007, 10:27 PM   #14
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
I think there are a lot of people in Aikido who think this way. The short version is that they can't throw me, but a judo newbie with a basic understanding of the traditional phases of nagewaza can. That's enough for me.
My definition of Katsu Haya Hi is a 300 Win Mag or .50 Barrett from 900 yds when you don't know I am there. I think that will throw you. Tsukuri, Kake, Kime all in one.

Kidding aside, I think you misunderstood what the Shihan meant. He is pointing out, as Peter did, that to make a technique into a Waza, you have to go beyond the point that the technique can be divided into Tsukuri, Kake, and Kime. They have to blur together seamlessly and the Kuzushi has to be the Kake rather than becoming it. The closest in Judo Waza I can describe what I mean is Uki Otoshi. The Kuzushi is the Kake and Kime when completed thoroughly so the Tsukuri is the Kake and Kime. Thus, the differentiation between Tsukuri, Kake, and Kime do not exist in a good Uki Otoshi. When you get into Shiai, or even a good Randori, if you are still at the level of differentiating between Tsukuri, Kake, and Kime, you will be countered by someone who does not differentiate. As soon as you think Tsukuri, the Aite is already going, Kake/Kime. This is even moreso in Aikido where everything, all techniques, are Kaeshi Waza.

Rock
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:22 AM   #15
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

In teaching, training, and learning these concepts/tools may be seen as separate... in the doing... ALL ONE.

Whether someone ever gets to the successful "doing" stage of any budo depends on the quality of the teaching, training, and peer group you train with.

Hey Rocky, I repeat, it's good to have you back and posting. By the way... Have you seen the AS50 that the Brits developed? Semi-auto, five rounds 2000+ yards downrange (on a mansized target) in 1.5 seconds. With hardly notiicable recoil!!! Lust, Lust...

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-25-2007, 12:31 PM   #16
Rocky Izumi
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Sometimes I wonder why so many people get what I say wrong? Maybe I am too cryptic in my writing? I thought what I said first would have been completely transparent but apparently it was not. I seem to keep having this problem on this and other threads. How can I improve my writing so that people do not misunderstand me so much?

So Chuck, where did you get the chance to fire one of these AS50s?

Rock

Last edited by Rocky Izumi : 09-25-2007 at 12:31 PM. Reason: off topic and not aikido
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Old 09-25-2007, 01:08 PM   #17
ChrisMoses
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
In teaching, training, and learning these concepts/tools may be seen as separate... in the doing... ALL ONE.

Whether someone ever gets to the successful "doing" stage of any budo depends on the quality of the teaching, training, and peer group you train with.
I'd forgotten about this thread, just noticed your reply Rocky. Chuck, I agree that all three phases of a throw are part of one movement when you're really doing it. Here's a video that might help illuminate what I was getting at. It's of Tissier Sensei at Boulder Summer Camp. Watch how in almost every technique, he gets kuzushi, then completely relinquishes it during the tsukuri phase of his waza. Then when he goes to throw, he has to use simple leverage to force the throw. This is particularly true in the irimi-nage to osoto-gari(ish) thing he does starting at around 1:21. He breaks balance, then gives it back and walks around until about 1:30, when he forces a hip throw on a fully balanced uke who's kind of going along for the ride. This is in stark contrast to someone like Mifune (sample vid here, his randori starts at about 2:09), who manages to pull off some pretty amazing one motion stuff but still keeps the phases of the throw in their correct order. You can tell by watching uke, their body is stuck in space while he re-positions for the throw. Yes, it's all one motion, but it's correct motion. Hope that's clearer. (Note, that I realize that Tissier was demonstrating/talking, but this is how a lot of people do their waza, so I think it's still useful as an example.)

Chris Moses
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:07 PM   #18
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

I agree Chris that lots of people have a disconnect and uke usually falls because either they're taught to or they have been taught to let someone get kime on a joint lock and it hurts so much they give in to keep damage from being done.

I agree with Rocky that Tsukuri (both jibun o tsukuri and aite o tsukuri) happen at first touch which results in kuzushi. This can be done in s l o w m o t i o n so that it can be seen easily, but it really all happens at the same time. Kake into Kime is decisive. ALL ONE. Many people that appear to do it at speed can not do it slowly because all of the things that need to happen at the same time aren't. When tori takes the sente there are things happening in tori's body and uke's body also.. these things must be connected (ki musubi, ateru, etc.) in both minds and bodies because they are really one happening when aiki is done properly. Lots of names that it can be called and argued about... but it's still the same thing.

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:18 PM   #19
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Rocky,

I haven't had hands on an AS50... yet. But I'd sure like to. I first saw it on the TV and then called a buddy of mine who has experience with it. It sure looks like a peice of gear that will take its place in every sniper's tool kit. Kinda the ultimate shomen ate.

I shoot a Rem. 308 LTR that is pretty tight out to about 1000 yds. I cant' even do it justice like I used to ... I guess that goes for lots of stuff.

Chuck Clark
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Old 09-25-2007, 04:57 PM   #20
G DiPierro
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Christian Moses wrote: View Post
This is in stark contrast to someone like Mifune (sample vid here, his randori starts at about 2:09), who manages to pull off some pretty amazing one motion stuff but still keeps the phases of the throw in their correct order. You can tell by watching uke, their body is stuck in space while he re-positions for the throw. Yes, it's all one motion, but it's correct motion. Hope that's clearer. (Note, that I realize that Tissier was demonstrating/talking, but this is how a lot of people do their waza, so I think it's still useful as an example.)
Amazing how similar Mifune looks to this guy. The techniques are different because they are doing different arts, but they have the same kind of stiffness when someone is trying to throw them coupled with a softness and relaxation when they are throwing. And they both do all elements of the throw correctly.

Sad that this is the exception rather than the rule in aikido. Most people train the way Tissier does, with no real understanding of how to do a throw effectively. Even his tsukuri is often lacking: notice the clash with uke's arm as he enters into the yokomenuchi at 1:00. Uke visibly bounces back before moving forward again, and Tissier even knew in advance exactly what the attack would be! It's not surprising the that overall standard of aikido is so poor when someone who is ranked as high as Tissier shows so many fundamental errors. He mostly is just manhandling a cooperative partner, and too often this is what passes for "good martial aikido" these days.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:36 PM   #21
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Daren Sims wrote: View Post
Depends on how you interpret Kamae perhaps.

If you interpret it as stance of an individual then you have a case.

D
This is going way back up the post. The original post suggested that if you have good Sabaki, Kamae and Kokyu then you have good technique.

Someone disagreed about the strong Kamae, saying that being stiff could be counterproductive,

So I want to point out that it depends on how you interpret strong. When Japanese Sensei say strong, they more often than not mean good, or effective. Certainly stiff kamae is not strong kamae.

(Kamae is really a state of balance from which you can, ideally, move in any direction without wasted movement or energy)

I often see translations of Ai - Ki - Do that are embellished but the Ai simply means together, or meeting.... and the ki is no mystical concept, it is a very common expression meaning awareness, or energy.

When someone says that the individual elements do not exist in Aikido...sabaki, kamae and kokyu do not exist, for example, he is in agreement with the original poster, that when in balance these things do not exist, something new exists, and that is the state of Aiki, from which the power we see in AIkido is produced.

Last edited by Nikopol : 09-25-2007 at 07:40 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 10-26-2007, 08:24 AM   #22
xuzen
 
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Vincent Nikopol wrote: View Post
Kamae is really a state of balance from which you can, ideally, move in any direction without wasted movement or energy)
Wow! Vince... that is the best definition of kamae I have come across so far. Did you come up with this yourself or did you read it from somewhere else?

Boon.

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Old 10-26-2007, 11:50 PM   #23
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

"Mushin Mugamae", a basic concept of Kenji Tomiki Sensei. Open to whatever needs to happen... "... a state of balance from which you can, ideally, move in any direction without wasted movement or energy."

The Book of Five Rings has similar ideas about posture and movement.

Chuck Clark
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Old 10-26-2007, 11:59 PM   #24
xuzen
 
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
"Mushin Mugamae", a basic concept of Kenji Tomiki Sensei. Open to whatever needs to happen... "... a state of balance from which you can, ideally, move in any direction without wasted movement or energy."

The Book of Five Rings has similar ideas about posture and movement.
Boon heads to local dojo library....

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Old 10-27-2007, 02:20 PM   #25
ChrisMoses
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Re: Kuzushi, Tsukuri, Kake and stuff...

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
"Mushin Mugamae", a basic concept of Kenji Tomiki Sensei. Open to whatever needs to happen... "... a state of balance from which you can, ideally, move in any direction without wasted movement or energy."

The Book of Five Rings has similar ideas about posture and movement.
Karl Friday also discusses mugamae's importance in Kashima Shinryu in his "Legacies of the Sword". Another worthwile read.

Chris Moses
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