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Old 09-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #1
PeterR
 
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Yoshinkan Basic Stance

The topic came up after class and for the life of me, and I tried, I could no find anything specific in threads gone by.

How far back does the Yoshinkan basic stance go and exactly what is it supposed to instill.

Before we go on about why a Shodokan Heathen could possible have an interest - the conversation involved basic stances across the board. Shotokan loves its shizentai or natural stance, Yoshinkan has got to be, from my perspective, the most stylized.

I have two more tidbits of information one sounded reasonable but didn't feel right and the other was a non-Yoshinkan video demo. I don't want to poison the discussion right off - so I will wait a bit.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:25 PM   #2
Steven
 
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Page 30, Total Aikido explains it.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:56 PM   #3
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

The best explanation I have heard came from Inoue sensei, when I met him a few years ago. He was talking about the characteristic rigidity of Yoshinkan aikido rather than the stance, but I see the stance as just another aspect of this. He said that the idea is to start rigid as a way to teach correct shapes and angles to beginners. From there, the idea is to get softer and softer as you progress. I think, similarly with the stance, you want to eventually move into something closer to shinzentai, but it can help beginners to come to grips with the correct shapes if they start in an exaggerated and stylised stance.

I also read an interview with Inoue sensei, where he said that the rigidity, counting, and exaggerated movements of Yoshinkan were developed for teaching large groups of people, such as in the armed forces, where the teacher did not have the freedom to engage with each student individually, so everything had to be exaggerated for the students to get any understanding of what was happening. This also makes sense to me.
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Old 09-19-2014, 05:18 AM   #4
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Yes Steve but I don't own Total Aikido.

My main interest was sparked when I watched this - please see around 1:40.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2UWNLLObdI

That appears to suggest that the stance has an earlier origin and was not something developed just within the Yoshinkan for training purposes whether just stance or riot police.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-19-2014, 09:10 AM   #5
Cliff Judge
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Mainline and Takumakai Daito ryu people will roll into a kamae that is essentially this before attacking, when practicing kata. Defender is almost always in shizentai, but in Yoshinkan Aikido I see nage initiating a technique by attacking a lot, so perhaps both sides are considered to be attacking and defending at the same time.

In the Daito ryu context, the interpretation I have heard is seigan no kamae, and the attacker is holding a "pretend" sword.

So perhaps this is something that gets us back to "Aikido is based on the movements of the sword?"

Could be more to it in Daito ryu, of course.
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Old 09-20-2014, 07:59 AM   #6
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

So what was the tidbits you heard?

The concept of a 90deg foot orientation, shimoku no ashi, or shimok ashi, can also be seen in kendo, though the foot orientation is opposite Yoshinkan's practice.

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Old 09-21-2014, 06:54 AM   #7
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

The video I posted was one.

The other was the idea that the stance is very stable forward facing - less so from other directions. The opinion, which on the face of it sounds reasonable but to me does not feel correct, was that it was tailored to the riot police course since their threat is always from the front.

Two tidbits as promised. Did not say that either was particularly profound.

The video certainly tells me that the stance was older than any police course but it still begs the question as to when and what purpose did it become kihon in the Yoshinkan. And further, at what point does one break away from that and adopt a less rigid stance.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:10 AM   #8
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
The video I posted was one.

The other was the idea that the stance is very stable forward facing - less so from other directions. The opinion, which on the face of it sounds reasonable but to me does not feel correct, was that it was tailored to the riot police course since their threat is always from the front.

Two tidbits as promised. Did not say that either was particularly profound.

The video certainly tells me that the stance was older than any police course but it still begs the question as to when and what purpose did it become kihon in the Yoshinkan. And further, at what point does one break away from that and adopt a less rigid stance.
You see that particular stance fall away when one is doing something other than kihon, and especially when facing multiple attackers. I will say many guys likely finish their zanshin in that stance so it probably seems like they are always in it. I love it for pins and finishes as well. Most guys will start and finish in a basic kamae, regardless if what they are doing.

Mr. Payet is a good example of one not always sticking to basic kamae.
http://youtu.be/M0arjf7iJto

http://youtu.be/vRpe28BBNGs

Also, a yoshikan honbu offshoot has a different kamae and zanshin (slightly) but I can't recall who.

Last edited by Adam Huss : 09-21-2014 at 09:14 AM.

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Old 09-21-2014, 09:44 AM   #9
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Quote:
Adam Huss wrote: View Post
You see that particular stance fall away when one is doing something other than kihon, and especially when facing multiple attackers. I will say many guys likely finish their zanshin in that stance so it probably seems like they are always in it. I love it for pins and finishes as well. Most guys will start and finish in a basic kamae, regardless if what they are doing.

Mr. Payet is a good example of one not always sticking to basic kamae.
http://youtu.be/M0arjf7iJto

http://youtu.be/vRpe28BBNGs

Also, a yoshikan honbu offshoot has a different kamae and zanshin (slightly) but I can't recall who.
I have only really experienced Yoshinkan twice - once a dojo visit in Toronto and the other was sort of an Aikido fest at my dojo in Himeji where I invited an Aikikai Shihan and an instructor from the Senshusei course down and we all spent the time cross-flavoring. Stance variation was interesting then and it still holds a fascination. For me one of the most difficult things about dojo visits is adopting their stance - its amazing how that can interfere was harmonious training.

Final point - is I never felt that the Yoshinkan people I trained with were locked into their stance and were never as robotic as legend would have it. Good strong aikido.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old Yesterday, 01:51 AM   #10
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Yes Steve but I don't own Total Aikido.
Well shame on you.
It's readily available and I highly recommend you get a copy. If you can't get one let me know. Be more than happy to send you a copy.
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Old Yesterday, 02:14 AM   #11
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Quote:
Steven Miranda wrote: View Post
Well shame on you.
It's readily available and I highly recommend you get a copy. If you can't get one let me know. Be more than happy to send you a copy.

Peter Rehse Shodokan Aikido
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Old Yesterday, 05:30 AM   #12
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

I am actually surprised at how many non-Yoshinkan practitioners own, and get stuff out of, Total Aikido. I suppose the name says it all. You'd want to get the version with notes written in the margins, I think its a later edition.

Peter,
I feel like the 'rigidity problem' a lot of people attach to Yoshinkan aikido are from people who've never trained in that style, or people who don't understand what they are seeing and/or feeling when they do actually train with people of that style.

-Anyone coming straight from senshusei to train with you is going to be very much 'practiced' into doing very strict kihon, lol.

Last edited by Adam Huss : Yesterday at 05:33 AM.

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Old Yesterday, 04:42 PM   #13
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Quote:
Peter Rehse wrote: View Post
Final point - is I never felt that the Yoshinkan people I trained with were locked into their stance and were never as robotic as legend would have it. Good strong aikido.
I say then, that those people you trained with were not doing Yoshinkan. They are always in that stance. Always. A post above said the stance was to teach beginners. Well, they are still doing it at 3rd Dan and above. Once you get out of Japan, people have more varied experience and they include stuff that just ain't Yoshinkan. Yoshinkan is defined by that stance and the kind of robotic kata they do. But that is in fact, a strong point. I really enjoyed my time doing it - I learned a lot about every technique in so much pedantic detail. I have never learned so much in any other place. But I prefer the freedom Aikikai allows me. To me, if it is not regimented, it is not Yoshinkan. Senior practitioners do loosen up, but they will still do their basics over and over, and will loosen up within the confines of those basic elements. It is the essence of Yoshinkan. The only person I saw within Yoshinkan who was free of this system was Gozo Shioda himself. He did whatever he wanted as he often did demos, but even then, he would produce many standard 'shapes'.

Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : Yesterday at 04:46 PM.

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Old Yesterday, 05:53 PM   #14
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote: View Post
A post above said the stance was to teach beginners. Well, they are still doing it at 3rd Dan and above. Once you get out of Japan, people have more varied experience and they include stuff that just ain't Yoshinkan.
Hey, I'm just passing on what Inoue sensei said. Then again, I suppose he is no longer a part of the Yoshinkan organisation...
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Old Yesterday, 09:04 PM   #15
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

I think Total Aikido does explain it perfectly

Our dojo has a mixture of stances (lots of different backgrounds). I learned the Basic Kamae from a former Yoshinkan guy. It felt really awkward at first, but after a short while it felt completely natural and relaxed. It is the stance I now use by default. It is easier on my rotten knee (for whatever reason) and it definitely helps keep my center oriented forward and seems to allow movement in any direction.

If you watch baseball, some players have textbook stances and can't hit. Other players have crazy, awkward stances and lead the league in hitting. Some players (Hall of Famer, Rod Carew, for example) had different stances for different pitchers and situations. So I'm thinking, "being one with your stance" is probably more important than using the "perfect" stance.

All paths lead to death. I strongly recommend taking one of the scenic routes.
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Old Yesterday, 11:59 PM   #16
Adam Huss
 
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Re: Yoshinkan Basic Stance

Quote:
Robin Johnson wrote: View Post
I think Total Aikido does explain it perfectly

Our dojo has a mixture of stances (lots of different backgrounds). I learned the Basic Kamae from a former Yoshinkan guy. It felt really awkward at first, but after a short while it felt completely natural and relaxed. It is the stance I now use by default. It is easier on my rotten knee (for whatever reason) and it definitely helps keep my center oriented forward and seems to allow movement in any direction.

If you watch baseball, some players have textbook stances and can't hit. Other players have crazy, awkward stances and lead the league in hitting. Some players (Hall of Famer, Rod Carew, for example) had different stances for different pitchers and situations. So I'm thinking, "being one with your stance" is probably more important than using the "perfect" stance.
In the typical sankaku dachi you have two points of movement in the leg; the ankle and the knee. The Yoshinkan basic kamae stabilizes both those joints, while maintaining a forward positive stance, vice a more neutral one. That is likely why your knee feels better, it's being naturally stabilized by the stance.

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