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Old 07-19-2011, 06:07 AM   #26
robin_jet_alt
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Robin,
Having met Fujita Sensei I have never seen him teaching weapons.However his statement seem to be at odds with the fact that O Sensei/Saito Sensei/Tamura Sensei /Chiba Sensei /Nishio Sensei and others trained and taught weapons.This is quite clear from all the various sources[Dvds , You tube etc] where Aikido weapons are shown.Is there an authentic verifiable source whereby Fujita Senseis comments can be authenticated?
Cheers, Joe.
Well there is this article by Stanley Pranin.

http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=31

Otherwise I am just going by what I have been told.

I don't have anything against Fujita sensei. I trained for 4 years with his student after all. I was just stating why my weapons work is so rusty.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:32 AM   #27
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Re: kamae problem

Also, I think he said something to that effect when I was at one of his workshops a few years ago. My memory's kind of hazy on that though.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:05 AM   #28
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Robin,
Having met Fujita Sensei I have never seen him teaching weapons.However his statement seem to be at odds with the fact that O Sensei/Saito Sensei/Tamura Sensei /Chiba Sensei /Nishio Sensei and others trained and taught weapons.This is quite clear from all the various sources[Dvds , You tube etc] where Aikido weapons are shown.Is there an authentic verifiable source whereby Fujita Senseis comments can be authenticated?
Cheers, Joe.
Hello Joe,

Stanley Pranin's comments can be found here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=31
Though they were made in 1996, they are still relevant.
There is also an interview here:
http://www.aikidojournal.com/article?articleID=103

As you know, I first met Fujita Shihan in 1974 and took uke for him on his visits to Europe and the UK. Since he actually started the dojo in Hiroshima and often came to teach here, I knew him also on 'home ground', so to speak. I know that he was taught the family sword art, as was another Hombu official who, also, never used weapons there.

Fujita Shihan's position in the Honbu was unusual, to say the least. He trained at the Aikikai Hombu, but was not officially a Hombu 'deshi' and was not a member of the teaching staff. In fact, I was once present at a discussion with some of those who were Hombu 'deshi' and their reaction to my innocent suggestion that for foreign aikidoka Fujita Shihan was also a Hombu 'deshi' was very sharp, not to say acrimonious. I was surprised.

Fujita Shihan worked in the Aikikai office and was secretary / PA to Morihei Ueshiba in the last years of his life. When he retired he was head of the Aikikai General Affairs department, which was a very powerful position. Of course, there are omote and ura aspects to this position and I think this explains the general distrust with which he was regarded by some shihans. But he never learned aiki-ken and aiki-jo, which would be the staple for the weapons training taught within the Aikikai at the time (at Iwama and by Saito Shihan on his Sunday training at the Hombu).

As for the statement that 'weapons practice is not part of aikido', well, I think it is demonstrably false as it stands. To make the statement true, one has to change the goal posts so much that soccer becomes something like cricket. However, one person whom you should talk to is Yoshimitsu Yamada Shihan, who in my (albeit limited) experience has never taught a weapons class. Both Mitsunari Kanai and Akira Toheo taught weapons, but not Yamada. I am sure you remember Chiba Shihan's uchikomi training, standing and kneeling, which I first encountered at the Chiswick dojo.

Do you have the set of Saito Sensei's old volumes? If you do, you should notice that the prefaces, written by Kisshomaru Ueshiba, Gozo Shioda, Shoji Nishio and another person I do not know, were not translated into English. Kisshomaru gives his own views on the weapons training his father practised in Iwama and I fail to understand why it was not translated. I have translated Kisshomaru's comments and posted them somewhere on Aikiweb, but I forget where.

Finally, there is a huge ambivalence about weapons training in the Hombu. It seems to be a taboo subject at present, but the issue still lingers. Here is an example.

In 2010 the IAF took part in the SportAccord Combat Games in Beijing and gave a demonstration. You might have heard bad reports about this, but you should discount them. Some people believed that the IAF was introducing competition in aikido though the back door, but this is completely untrue.

Since the IAF was planning to give a demonstration in China, which has a very long tradition of martial arts, no tradition of aikido to speak of--and potentially very vivid memories of scars inflicted by the Japanese military in World War II (the same military who practised aikido with General Tojo in Manchuria), a few of us in the IAF thought long and hard about what kind of aikido demonstration to give. You might remember Terry's demonstrations in Liverpool and I am sure you have done similar demonstrations in the northeast. What do you demonstrate to a potentially critical Chinese audience?

Well, we planned a demonstration that included all the usual tanto-, tachi-, jo- dori, but also Aiki-ken and Aiki-jo, but this was almost sabotaged by the All-Japan Aikido Federation, which is really the Aikikai, but with a democratic fig-leaf. One of the participants at a meeting (who was a longtime student of Mitsunari Kanai Shihan) was asked: can you really state that kumi-tachi and kumi-jo constitute the essence of aikido? Unfortunately, there was no one from Iwama present at that meeting to give a good answer. As it turned out, we left the content of the demonstrations to the participants themselves, and aiki-ken and aiki-jo did feature quire prominently.

So, to come back to your question after a long detour, my own aikido teacher in Hiroshima, M Kitahira Sensei, who has serious rank in jo-do, stopped teaching weapons at the dojo (shortly after I arrived in Japan), on the grounds that O Sensei believed that such training was not necessary. On the other hand, M Sekiya Sensei, K Chiba's father-in-law, told me (also shortly after I arrived in Japan) to find a teacher and train in a koryu weapons system, in order to give the required depth to my aikido training. My regret is that to have followed Sekiya Sensei's advice would have meant a total break from my own teacher.

Best wishes,

PAG

EDIT: This is a long post and Robin posted while I was composing it--in the middle of a large typhoon.

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 07-19-2011 at 07:09 AM.

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Old 07-19-2011, 07:27 AM   #29
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Re: kamae problem

Hope you are doing well in the typhoon Peter. We are still just getting a bit of rain. I expect we will have a bit more wild weather tomorrow.
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Old 07-19-2011, 10:50 AM   #30
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Robin Boyd wrote: View Post
Hope you are doing well in the typhoon Peter. We are still just getting a bit of rain. I expect we will have a bit more wild weather tomorrow.
It passed us by earlier today, just the fringes.

P A Goldsbury
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:24 PM   #31
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Re: kamae problem

Dear Peter,
Thanks for your comments on the question of Weapons.In my time here in Britain/U.S.A primarily studying with Chiba Sensei we /I was exposed to Weapons work in the early 70s by Sensei.To this day Chiba Sensei is constantly working and evaluating the study of Aikiken /Aikijo /Batto Ho.
The other influences in respect of weapons work was of course Saito Sensei who came to the U.K early 70s.I also have very fond memories of Sekiya Sensei and his beautifully executed swordwork.
Since O Sensei did not have a codified system of weapons work it suggest to me that in most cases the development of weapon work was largely based on a teachers own personal study to a great extent.
Certainly Chiba Sensei encourages students to acquire skills in Batto Ho. I must confess my knees cannot handle this so I leave this to the young turks.
Hope you didnt get too wet recently. Being an ex Brit rain should be a doddle for you. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:58 PM   #32
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Re: kamae problem

There no such things like “universal best of all kamae”. Sometimes your body/feet position must be aligned, sometimes must be square with parallel feet. All depends of the goal that you want to achieve. Paying too much attention to the external form may result that you will not develop any content.

As far as kicking somebody that has square kamae, this is very risky activity. We use to establish square kamae as an ‘easy target’ as an ambush for those naïve minds who will commit to an attack. It is enough to turn hips in the moment of the contact to smash them down to unify with tatami, really no effort LOL

Nagababa

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Old 07-19-2011, 03:54 PM   #33
Marc Abrams
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
There no such things like "universal best of all kamae". Sometimes your body/feet position must be aligned, sometimes must be square with parallel feet. All depends of the goal that you want to achieve. Paying too much attention to the external form may result that you will not develop any content.

As far as kicking somebody that has square kamae, this is very risky activity. We use to establish square kamae as an ‘easy target' as an ambush for those naïve minds who will commit to an attack. It is enough to turn hips in the moment of the contact to smash them down to unify with tatami, really no effort LOL
Szczepan:

I have seen very, very few Aikidoka who if caught in a square kamae would ever be able to stop a front snap kick when the distance is close enough not to have to step to kick. I am not talking about naive minds, but experienced fighters.

Your general point about not getting too caught up in the external form is a good point that takes a lot of experience in kumite to achieve.

Regards,

marc abrams
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:53 AM   #34
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
There no such things like "universal best of all kamae". Sometimes your body/feet position must be aligned, sometimes must be square with parallel feet. All depends of the goal that you want to achieve. Paying too much attention to the external form may result that you will not develop any content.

As far as kicking somebody that has square kamae, this is very risky activity. We use to establish square kamae as an ‘easy target' as an ambush for those naïve minds who will commit to an attack. It is enough to turn hips in the moment of the contact to smash them down to unify with tatami, really no effort LOL
Dear Szcepan,
All I can say if you think you can stand in a square posture at close range with an experienced kicker I think you a either1.very good indeed 2.The kickers are poor in relation to the mae geri.
I have seen /experienced guys who can apply kicks that are fast and powerful.Certainly I would not put myself in a position like you describe.Guys who know how to kick are in my mind hardly naive minds.Any kick /punch at close range is potentially dangerous.To think otherwise is foolish.Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:26 AM   #35
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Re: kamae problem

It´s intresting that Nishio sensei who also had some experience in karate (4th or 5th dan?) chose a square posture for basic training.

Why on earth should anyone stand close enough to get kicked in the groin without the kicker needing to move first?
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:30 AM   #36
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Re: kamae problem

there are many different kind of kicks from various angles that it won't matter which kamae you are in, you are still going to get kick. many aikido folks expect single attack, one punch, one grab, one kick. how many out there expect a punch and kick at the same time or a yokomen strike and low knee cap round house at the same time? i'd bet, not many.

personally, i preferred natural kamae as in what you do normally standing around with friends and family. that way i will practicing kamae, tai sabaki as i walk around normally. which meant i practice all the time, instead of waiting to get on the mat to practice. i could rack up hours and hours of practice daily. the main thing for me about kamae is how do i move smoothly, efficiently, and at will to any place i want and my body doesn't fight me, i.e. my thought and my body movement are one.
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Old 07-20-2011, 08:31 AM   #37
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post
Szczepan:

I have seen very, very few Aikidoka who if caught in a square kamae would ever be able to stop a front snap kick when the distance is close enough not to have to step to kick. I am not talking about naive minds, but experienced fighters.

Your general point about not getting too caught up in the external form is a good point that takes a lot of experience in kumite to achieve.

Regards,

marc abrams
Well Marc, in your previous post from this topic you was talking about YOURSELF delivering a kick. Are you experienced fighter?

Nagababa

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Old 07-20-2011, 09:13 AM   #38
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Szcepan,
All I can say if you think you can stand in a square posture at close range with an experienced kicker I think you a either1.very good indeed 2.The kickers are poor in relation to the mae geri.
I have seen /experienced guys who can apply kicks that are fast and powerful.Certainly I would not put myself in a position like you describe.Guys who know how to kick are in my mind hardly naive minds.Any kick /punch at close range is potentially dangerous.To think otherwise is foolish.Cheers, Joe.
Hello Joe,
Your are not reading carefully my posts. Additionally, first you were talking about gentle kick, now suddenly we can see fast escalation to "experienced kicker" at close range. I suppose in your next post you will talk about facing top MMA artists in formula K1 or UFC? hahahahahah

You simply don't understand what square kamae means and when is used for. I'm not your teacher, so I'll not lecture you how should you practice.

However, have you ever asked yourself why judo folks use such kamae and not million others from Koryu? Well, me, I ask myself such strange questions. What I did notice, that such kamae is very useful when I want to throw someone who is not cooperating with me. Then I continued to analyze why other postures are not allowing me to do it so easily. In conclusion, all these going down to a simple biomechanics of human body.

I need a proper alignment of my body to enter to the attack and I need completely other alignment of my body in the moment of throwing. As every kamae has his strong and weak points, I have to be able to switch kamae to replace, if necessary, weak point initial kamae by strong point other kamae, on the fly!

These are only high level pointers (we are searching here to define problem, responses for question WHAT?), I'll not enter here into details (that would be discussion on realization, so responses for question HOW).
cheers

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:21 AM   #39
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
there are many different kind of kicks from various angles that it won't matter which kamae you are in, you are still going to get kick. many aikido folks expect single attack, one punch, one grab, one kick. how many out there expect a punch and kick at the same time or a yokomen strike and low knee cap round house at the same time? i'd bet, not many.

personally, i preferred natural kamae as in what you do normally standing around with friends and family. that way i will practicing kamae, tai sabaki as i walk around normally. which meant i practice all the time, instead of waiting to get on the mat to practice. i could rack up hours and hours of practice daily. the main thing for me about kamae is how do i move smoothly, efficiently, and at will to any place i want and my body doesn't fight me, i.e. my thought and my body movement are one.
I agree on many points here. In my opinion, ppl obsessed with one particular kamae are missing a point completely. Because aikido is about interaction, where nothing is predefined, there are not deaths, static situations, things are changing constantly. There is not one generic response for all questions in our life, so there is not one generic kamae for all martial situations.

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:42 AM   #40
sakumeikan
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Hello Joe,
Your are not reading carefully my posts. Additionally, first you were talking about gentle kick, now suddenly we can see fast escalation to "experienced kicker" at close range. I suppose in your next post you will talk about facing top MMA artists in formula K1 or UFC? hahahahahah

You simply don't understand what square kamae means and when is used for. I'm not your teacher, so I'll not lecture you how should you practice.

However, have you ever asked yourself why judo folks use such kamae and not million others from Koryu? Well, me, I ask myself such strange questions. What I did notice, that such kamae is very useful when I want to throw someone who is not cooperating with me. Then I continued to analyze why other postures are not allowing me to do it so easily. In conclusion, all these going down to a simple biomechanics of human body.

I need a proper alignment of my body to enter to the attack and I need completely other alignment of my body in the moment of throwing. As every kamae has his strong and weak points, I have to be able to switch kamae to replace, if necessary, weak point initial kamae by strong point other kamae, on the fly!

These are only high level pointers (we are searching here to define problem, responses for question WHAT?), I'll not enter here into details (that would be discussion on realization, so responses for question HOW).
cheers
Dear Szczepan,
Rather than say that I do not read posts carefully,I would suggest you do not fully appreciate my warped sense of humour.When I mentioned a gentle kick to the leg I was making a vain attempt at humour.You apparently did not see the joke.
Now you state I do not understand square posture.I would turn this around and suggest you are not quite familiar why aikidoka use hamni.Then again I also dont know you /or your teacher.
Now as far as Judo posture is concerned please dont try and tell my granny how to suck eggs[I hope this saying is known to you].
Prior to me taking up Aikido I was a young Judoka. In this capacity I met and trained with world class judoka.I will not bore you listing them since in most cases they are either long since retired or are dead.So I think I am fairly conversant with Judo footwork/posture.Rather than ask your self the questions why not try Judo?You will then understand the differences/sameness.
As you say each posture has its good points and bad.If you get results using or adapting certain footwork , wonderful.
I also had a little chuckle when you suggested my next comment would be about facing MMa /K1 fighters.
Unless they have a division in MMA related to guys aged 70+
I think I will give this aspect a miss.Hope you are well.
Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:46 AM   #41
Marc Abrams
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Well Marc, in your previous post from this topic you was talking about YOURSELF delivering a kick. Are you experienced fighter?
Szczepan:

Yes, I am an experienced fighter. Both in tournaments when I was a lot younger and with some street fights scattered in throughout the years, along with a bout of working as a bouncer at a big night club. I am experienced in striking arts, grappling arts and Aikido. I hope that answers your question.

Back to the issue at hand, ADVANCED martial artists can and should use a square kamae as long as the distance between the two is still at an approach (as opposed to closing distance). This is not stuff to teach beginners or even intermediate people (in my own opinion).

So, what about you, are you an experienced fighter?

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:15 PM   #42
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Marc Abrams wrote: View Post

So, what about you, are you an experienced fighter?

Regards,

Marc Abrams
Not at all!
I don't practice aikido for fighting purposes. So I'll be very careful not to enter into close mae if I meet you one day, promised

Nagababa

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Old 07-20-2011, 01:37 PM   #43
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Szczepan,
Rather than say that I do not read posts carefully,I would suggest you do not fully appreciate my warped sense of humour.When I mentioned a gentle kick to the leg I was making a vain attempt at humour.You apparently did not see the joke.
Now you state I do not understand square posture.I would turn this around and suggest you are not quite familiar why aikidoka use hamni.Then again I also dont know you /or your teacher.
Now as far as Judo posture is concerned please dont try and tell my granny how to suck eggs[I hope this saying is known to you].
Prior to me taking up Aikido I was a young Judoka. In this capacity I met and trained with world class judoka.I will not bore you listing them since in most cases they are either long since retired or are dead.So I think I am fairly conversant with Judo footwork/posture.Rather than ask your self the questions why not try Judo?You will then understand the differences/sameness.
As you say each posture has its good points and bad.If you get results using or adapting certain footwork , wonderful.
I also had a little chuckle when you suggested my next comment would be about facing MMa /K1 fighters.
Unless they have a division in MMA related to guys aged 70+
I think I will give this aspect a miss.Hope you are well.
Cheers, Joe.
Hello Joe,
If it is true you did actually practice with world class judoka, you are familiar, that they use almost identical kamae like in sword practice or in boxing. We in aikido struggle to have similar agility in all directions as in boxing, and our roots are from sword practice -- what would be a good reason to adopt all time such strange posture as L kamae?

In L kamae you can't walk naturally in such kamae, can you? Your shoulders, hips, backbone, knees and feet are twisted each in different direction so can't align whole body in the way to deliver maximum power in one point. You can't create your power from big toe of back foot. Even if you create some modest power from shoulders, you can't shift it efficiently thru the joints to your attacker….

I fail to see a single advantage, really….

Nagababa

ask for divine protection Ame no Murakumo Kuki Samuhara no Ryuo
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:57 PM   #44
Marc Abrams
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Not at all!
I don't practice aikido for fighting purposes. So I'll be very careful not to enter into close mae if I meet you one day, promised
Szczepan,

I do not practice Aikido for fighting purposes either. I use this practice to take the fight out of a fight. Funny enough, training in Aikido has made me better when I do fight. Hopefully one day, we will meet, since neither of us are fighting the other, the distance should be close enough to train together with mutual respect and close enough to toast down the suds later. First round is on me.

Regards,

Marc Abrams
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Old 07-20-2011, 02:12 PM   #45
Phil Van Treese
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Re: kamae problem

Why worry about "correct" kamae??? In my school we teach from a natural stance---as it would be on the street should you be attacked. From whatever position you are in is where you must react from and not wasting time to get into a stance. From whatever position you are in, you then flow into your waza using the attacker's strength etc against him. Don't worry about the "correct" position but rather the correct execution of your waza. How your sensei shows kamae should be the norm for your class.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:02 PM   #46
sakumeikan
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Re: kamae problem

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote: View Post
Hello Joe,
If it is true you did actually practice with world class judoka, you are familiar, that they use almost identical kamae like in sword practice or in boxing. We in aikido struggle to have similar agility in all directions as in boxing, and our roots are from sword practice -- what would be a good reason to adopt all time such strange posture as L kamae?

In L kamae you can't walk naturally in such kamae, can you? Your shoulders, hips, backbone, knees and feet are twisted each in different direction so can't align whole body in the way to deliver maximum power in one point. You can't create your power from big toe of back foot. Even if you create some modest power from shoulders, you can't shift it efficiently thru the joints to your attacker….

I fail to see a single advantage, really….
Dear Szczepan,
A picture they say is worth a thousand words.Go to You Tube. Key in Biran on line. View the many vids there. Cheers, Joe.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:00 PM   #47
Mario Tobias
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Re: kamae problem

an ideal stance for me is where you can adequately respond to an attack. if you are in the street and somebody suddenly attacks you, do you have time to go to kamae? I doubt it. One of the few colleagues I've been training with whos also has been in a lot of streetfights also doesn't like his would be opponents to know he knows martial arts or that he's intending to defend himself by going into a kamae stance. Going into a stance would give it away and make his opponents more aggressive. so I think launching a response from a no stance is more realistic. Timing for the response/blending for an attack is more important IMHO. If your timing sucks, will your kamae save you?
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:53 PM   #48
hughrbeyer
Dojo: Shobu Aikido of Boston
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Re: kamae problem

I'm wondering if this whole discussion of kamae is too limited. Surely you don't just assume a kamae and wait for someone to clobber you? Surely you move from kamae to kamae throughout the encounter, starting from before your attacker moves into striking range? (Unless you're taken by surprise, of course.) So really, the question is, what's the appropriate kamae to move into to receive the initial attack? And that, of course, will depend entirely on what the initial attack is.
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Old 07-20-2011, 10:03 PM   #49
graham christian
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Re: kamae problem

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Mario Tobias wrote: View Post
an ideal stance for me is where you can adequately respond to an attack. if you are in the street and somebody suddenly attacks you, do you have time to go to kamae? I doubt it. One of the few colleagues I've been training with whos also has been in a lot of streetfights also doesn't like his would be opponents to know he knows martial arts or that he's intending to defend himself by going into a kamae stance. Going into a stance would give it away and make his opponents more aggressive. so I think launching a response from a no stance is more realistic. Timing for the response/blending for an attack is more important IMHO. If your timing sucks, will your kamae save you?
Hi Mario.
I like it. For practice purposes you can learn the different kamae, whether 'square' or 'natural' and if you really study them both you can learn a lot.

However, once the body is used to moving in such fashion then the emphasis changes. As an example I would say you are now learning to move from centre without having to focus on which foot is where as they will naturally move.

So as you say in the street if someone attacks you from the side then at that moment you are in a sideways on kamae. I bet no ones been trained in that one. ha. ha. It's now about moving and blending with whatever is there and is more to do with the factors you describe.

All things have their right place and right perspective.

Regards.G.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:35 PM   #50
NagaBaba
 
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Re: kamae problem

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Hugh Beyer wrote: View Post
I'm wondering if this whole discussion of kamae is too limited. Surely you don't just assume a kamae and wait for someone to clobber you? Surely you move from kamae to kamae throughout the encounter, starting from before your attacker moves into striking range? (Unless you're taken by surprise, of course.) So really, the question is, what's the appropriate kamae to move into to receive the initial attack? And that, of course, will depend entirely on what the initial attack is.
I understand kamae as a training tool that strongly influence the conditioning of your body AND influence the way how you execute the techniques. So the choice of some strange kamae will distort the techniques. As a consequence it will deform the content that those techniques are supposed to build in students' body. So transmission of the Founder legacy will no longer be possible.

Coming back to your question, every technique have similar stages, and the moment of interception of the attack is only one of them. The requirement of each stage is different when it comes to kamae so you must understand it, learn and know how to apply automatically in different circumstances. It will not come in spontaneous way; it is a conscious learning process.

Nagababa

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