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Old 03-16-2005, 09:16 AM   #1
Ron Tisdale
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Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

In another thread, Michael Stuempel said, in relation to the hip tilt in Yoshinkan kamae:

Quote:
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.
Hi Michael (and everyone else),

This is an important detail for me. I have had the same experience as you have (instructors and sempai making a strong point about this hip tilt). But I have one issue about this...several experienced budoka who focus on other arts (judo, koryu, other things) have stressed needing to have your hips under you to be able to be effective in grappling arts. I myself from a wrestling background (though I wasn't very good at it) understand what they are saying. Sometimes it seems that the pelvis tilt contradicts this idea...if I compare it to, say, the shizentai of judo, for example.

I guess I'm just asking for the opinions of others on these points...

1) is this a marked exception where keeping the hips under you is bad (mid range grappling as opposed to close range grappling)?

2) is this an exception because kamae is not a fighting stance, but a training stance?

3) if 2 is true (it is true on its face, but I'm asking is it the reason for the difference) at what point in a confrontation would you use the hip tilt, and at what point would you use something closer to shizentai (if you would use something like shizentai)?

4) am I missing something about the hip tilt in relation to the rest of my posture (or even if I'm doing it correctly, but misunderstand what others mean when they speak of keeping your hips underneath you/shizentai)?

Complicated question, I know, and I appologize in advance. I'd particularly like to hear ideas from experienced yoshinkan, shodokan, and judo/wrestling/sword folks if possible...Taiji folks too...

Best,
Ron

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-16-2005, 12:54 PM   #2
Brehan Crawford
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

I'm going to note before chiming in that I'm really a beginner compared to pretty much everyone else here, I don't know much about anatomy, and I reserve the right to be completely wrong.

But as far as I can tell, when standing with the feet side-by-side, say shoulder or hip width apart, when I tuck my sacrum underneath and relax the hips, making them level with the ground, my back straightens up, my head rests much more comfortably on my shoulders, and my knees naturally turn to be in line with my feet, instead of turning in as they usually do. This is what I was taught in Tai Chi and have read in numerous books by people that supposedly really know what they're talking about.

When one foot is in front of the other, as they are in a hamni stance, my hips tend to want to rock forward a bit and my butt tends to stick out a little but I try to not let this happen. I find that keeping the sacrum tucked helps me initiate movement with my hips and shift weight easily from one leg to the other. It is harder to spread my legs wider apart and take big steps while doing this but over time I've been able to make them longer and longer as my hips progressively stretch and relax.
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:23 PM   #3
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Thanks Brehan, that's good information for me...and it jives with what I've generally experienced in aikido.

RT

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Old 03-17-2005, 02:08 AM   #4
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Hi Ron,

I've been told this as well (recently, actually) but not from any of the teachers I had at hombu.

The analogy I was given alot at hombu was that when you try to push against a wall or push a car up a hill or something like that you need to tilt your hips down to take pressure off your lower back and to get the most power from your back foot in order to push. I actually just tried this against the wall here in my office...luckily no one was looking

Also...there's a difference between tilting the hips down so that your butt sticks out and tilting your hips down so that everything becomes a straight line. This is what Takeno Sensei's manipulation of my kamae showed me. Perhaps tilting the hips down is the wrong way to say it...perhaps a better way would be to say "roll your hips forward until they lock in line with your back leg and the hips become in-line with (part of? welded to?) the plane that your back leg makes with the joint at the hips.

Unfortunately, I haven't trained in any of the grappling arts to see the contrast. My suspicion is that the premise that I have been told that Aikido takes is that you apply all your power at a single point at a single time and that this hip tilt helps that happen. It is possible...and again I don't know...that other systems emphasize something else (perhaps ease in moving in any direction?) which the hip tilt would not help with.

WRT point (2)...although Kamae is a training stance, I don't think it would emphasize something so strongly if it weren't one of the key things we were supposed to take away from it. Same with the "weight forward" idea and the circle that your arms make to put them in front of you being where they are strongest.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-17-2005, 02:42 AM   #5
creinig
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
perhaps a better way would be to say "roll your hips forward until they lock in line with my back leg and the hips become in-line with (part of? welded to?) the plane that your back leg makes with the joint at the hips.
I actually have to tilt my hips *backward* "until they lock in line with your back leg", as I have a slightly hollow back (expr?). So maybe a more universal tip would be to, well, *wiggle* your hips until (and that's the important part) "they lock in line with your back leg"...
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Old 03-17-2005, 05:27 PM   #6
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Hip placement (kamae) is a minor part in Judo. Judo will willingly go into a space with a weakened position if it can rotate/expand/contract to create kuzushi/tsukuri/kake.

Indeed the principle of JU practically requires it much of the time. The ideal of ippon.

In Judo 'shizentai' is a tactic of defence or attack (given the presumption of conflict as a training method...even aiki uses that). A tool that can be used or disgarded according to the situation.

There is no 'stance' that is spherically sound. Once movement is part of the influence everything changes. So in 'grappling' it would be suicide to train in 'one particular hip position' (or whatever) because people would just change their training to overcome it.

Posture is composure, being settled and calm while having an in-depth ability to understand body mechanics.

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Old 03-17-2005, 09:10 PM   #7
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
...<snip>...

There is no 'stance' that is spherically sound. Once movement is part of the influence everything changes. So in 'grappling' it would be suicide to train in 'one particular hip position' (or whatever) because people would just change their training to overcome it.

Posture is composure, being settled and calm while having an in-depth ability to understand body mechanics.
Mark,

I like this post. It reaffirm my belief that fighting posture/stance should be as close as your walking posture/stance and as close as your training posture/stance.

Boon.

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Old 03-17-2005, 10:08 PM   #8
Lan Powers
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Hi Boon,
To hijack this thread for a moment....what is the translation of the quote you sign-out with?
Thanks
Lan

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Old 03-18-2005, 02:21 AM   #9
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Lan,

iitai? iitai? iitakunai daiyo! Yowaimushi dese ne! means: -

Is that painful? Is that painful? It isn't painful. You are a wimp aren't you.
Not a literal translation, but something to that effect.

Boon.

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Old 03-18-2005, 07:47 AM   #10
ian
 
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Aikido is more upright than grappling arts because you don't want to expose your face to strikes and you want to be able to move quicker. The aikido stance is not very effective is you get into a grapple situation. I think there has to be that distance maintained between uke and nage to ensure that any 'grapple' prevents uke getting a strong hold. (Ueshiba always said to take the person from their sphere of power i.e. unbalance them by drawing them out). Obviously this is timing and miai. Miai is probably not as important in grappling arts because the distance is pretty much set by the grapple.
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Old 03-18-2005, 07:49 AM   #11
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Nice post Mark...I'm going to think about it some more, and let others post some before I respond. Keep 'em coming...
RT

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Old 03-18-2005, 03:17 PM   #12
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

If you look at O sensei stance, it has nothing to do with yoshinkan stance ......ooppppsss...
In the beginning of technique he did very "sword" stance with his weight on back foot. So he could literally jump forward doing deep irimi. As we can see it in "Budo" movie.

So I'll say: when in doubt, follow Holly Sword Way. Aikido isn't grappling anymore LOL.

Nagababa

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Old 03-18-2005, 04:01 PM   #13
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

I was expecting that ...

I actually find it easier to do deep irimi with my weight already forward...but then, I'm a clutz...

Ron Tisdale
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:35 PM   #14
maikerus
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Mark Johnston wrote:
There is no 'stance' that is spherically sound. Once movement is part of the influence everything changes. So in 'grappling' it would be suicide to train in 'one particular hip position' (or whatever) because people would just change their training to overcome it.

Posture is composure, being settled and calm while having an in-depth ability to understand body mechanics.
Mark...Good comments. Thanks.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-18-2005, 10:42 PM   #15
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Szczepan Janczuk wrote:
If you look at O sensei stance, it has nothing to do with yoshinkan stance ......ooppppsss...
In the beginning of technique he did very "sword" stance with his weight on back foot. So he could literally jump forward doing deep irimi. As we can see it in "Budo" movie.
.
Well...as we learned in Aikido Shugyou it was always Gozo Shioda's goal to surpass his teacher

Ooohh...am I going to get it for this one

As Mark pointed out quite well, there is not one stance that can answer all questions or be used in all situations. If what is being taught in Yoshinkan is a primary focus on a stance that the founder of Yoshinkan decided made the most sense in most situations, perhaps it isn't a bad thing to emphasize that. I can't claim to know why it was that this particular stance was decided upon, even though I can recite and understand most of the arguments for it. Since there are obviously equally good arguments for other stances, one wonders what made this one unique for him to develop and emphasize.

--Michael

Hiriki no yosei 3 - The kihon that makes your head ache instead of your legs
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Old 03-19-2005, 09:24 AM   #16
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Why should it be unique?

Surely it is just a tool to allow a decent centre of gravity, posture and focus. Someplace comfortable and secure for us to learn from - like a good chess opening. Just because some use the Queen's Bishop and others open (hehehe) with the King's Pawn doesn't mean they are not both doing the same thing.

Were all boxers/grandmasters/chefs/teachers the same?

As is said again and again by everyone here...correct principles create correct technique.

As all the old masters die we are getting to the stage (it seems) where people deify the teaching methods. They are the tools not the goals.

Water does not have a shape unless it is in a vessel.

I'm not saying anything negative btw

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Old 03-23-2005, 08:12 AM   #17
Ron Tisdale
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

[quote]As all the old masters die we are getting to the stage (it seems) where people deify the teaching methods. They are the tools not the goals.[\quote]

Exactly. Which is why I posed the question.

Ron

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Old 03-23-2005, 06:23 PM   #18
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Brehan Crawford wrote:
... when standing with the feet side-by-side, say shoulder or hip width apart, when I tuck my sacrum underneath and relax the hips, making them level with the ground, my back straightens up, my head rests much more comfortably on my shoulders, and my knees naturally turn to be in line with my feet, instead of turning in as they usually do. This is what I was taught in Tai Chi and have read in numerous books by people that supposedly really know what they're talking about.

When one foot is in front of the other, as they are in a hamni stance, my hips tend to want to rock forward a bit and my butt tends to stick out a little but I try to not let this happen. I find that keeping the sacrum tucked helps me initiate movement with my hips and shift weight easily from one leg to the other.
I think what you are saying is tilt the hips up (sacrum underneath), which goes against what some others have been saying. I also think that the hips should tilt up. To me, down is wrong. In this respect, many arts are the same (even though they are often not aware of it).

When standing normally the hips are neutral, neither back nor down, but on meeting your partner to make technique they automatically move up to solidify the connection somewhat between the upper and lower parts of the body - it also straightens the back. In fact, I sometimes call it undendable body.

Try this lie on the floor and press your tummy up - shoulders and heels on the ground. See how your hips are. This is part of 'my' unbendable body training The stand up and make the same thing happen when meeting uke. It will help your understanding no end. Well, it does for me.

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Old 03-23-2005, 11:08 PM   #19
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Hello friends,

Since we are on the standing(stance) thread; I thought of posting my rant here... Work is on the slow side today. So 'scuse me.

Background - I had the privilege to study under two good aikido teachers (in my opinion they are great, so it is a matter of personal opinion) of very different background.

My first aikido sensei is an Aikikai man and I remember our stance is as though we are holding a katana/bokken and the mindset is as though we are weapon fighting. The emphasis is on timing of entering and distance to effect a technique. I would say it was a softer style because the idea behind his aikido is perfect timing and proper placed atemi will effect a favourable technique.
[Sense an opening ---> enter ---> using perfect timing ---> atemi
---> follow with technique ---> osae/nage]


My second aikido sensei is a Yoshinkan man and he is advocating his students (esp yudansha) to remain at neutral stance (shizentai)during randori/jiyu waza. I feel that he is more of a pugilist or jujutsu than a weapon man. His argument is that in kamae, we tend to lose the microseconds time initiative should the opponent comes from the other side and hence by having shizentai we are able to react accordingly by yielding or blending with the attack. It also confuses our opponent because he/she will not know how our reaction will be (i,e. not telegraphing out intention).
[Wait for an initiative ---> apply principle of kuzushi ---> atemi (optional) ---> technique]

Sometimes these two stance confuses me, on one hand I am tempted and have attempted with the weight forward kamae stance where I can lunge in like the ken-do shomen strike and take first blood (figuratively). But then in my dojo shizentai stance is advocated which in my opinion is more reactive than proactive. This shizentai stance is a real bummer when your uke is the waiting type. On a final note, IMO the kamae stance is a very "yang" stance, a more aggressive and initiative seeking stance whereas the shizentai is a more "yin" stance, a initiative waiting stance.

OK, end of rant... going back to work now.

Boon.

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Old 03-24-2005, 01:05 PM   #20
wendyrowe
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

My responses here are based on how we train with Jason DeLucia Sensei.
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
...have stressed needing to have your hips under you to be able to be effective in grappling arts...
Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
... is this an exception because kamae is not a fighting stance, but a training stance?
We always keep erect posture "as if you had a rod going straight down from the top of your head straight into the ground." Sacrum tucked, definitely, though I don't think about it. Kamae is definitely a fighting stance; you see it all the time in MMA and we use it all the time in Aikido. Seems to me that if you're moving instead of static, you need to be in kamae.

Quote:
Ian Dodkins wrote:
The aikido stance is not very effective is you get into a grapple situation... Ueshiba always said to take the person from their sphere of power...
We strive to stay upright (seiza) when grappling, and that's what Sensei Jason shows in his groundwork DVDs; and since BJJ guys expect you to work in guard, being more upright takes them out of their sphere of power. This clip shows what I mean about getting upright; and as a bonus, you'll see that Sensei is in shizentai as he's working the escape:

http://venus.secureguards.com/~aikid...op=show&pid=91

Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
...My first aikido sensei is an Aikikai man and I remember our stance is as though we are holding a katana/bokken and the mindset is as though we are weapon fighting. The emphasis is on timing of entering and distance to effect a technique
Quote:
Xu Wenfung wrote:
...My second aikido sensei is a Yoshinkan man and he is advocating his students (esp yudansha) to remain at neutral stance (shizentai)during randori/jiyu waza. I feel that he is more of a pugilist or jujutsu than a weapon man. His argument is that in kamae, we tend to lose the microseconds time initiative should the opponent comes from the other side...
We always stay wound up (kamae) since that will make our entry fast and powerful. One could argue that in shizentai you don't have an advantage in either direction since you have to shift your weight to move either way.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:26 AM   #21
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Rupert Atkinson wrote:
I think what you are saying is tilt the hips up (sacrum underneath), which goes against what some others have been saying. I also think that the hips should tilt up. To me, down is wrong. In this respect, many arts are the same (even though they are often not aware of it).
I think that if you're using normal strength, you have various options. If you're going to use kokyu power, though, your only real choice is to relax the lower back and allow the buttocks to drop as a result of the relaxation. Kokyu power doesn't go well through stiff joints or too-bent joints ... and a stiff lower back is a stiff joint. Deliberately tucking or holding the hips in an artificial position is not relaxation and that seems to be the main point to consider, IMO.

Mike
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Old 03-28-2005, 11:06 AM   #22
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Deliberately tucking or holding the hips in an artificial position is not relaxation and that seems to be the main point to consider, IMO.
Now, this gets a little to my question...and yet having seen film of Takeno Sensei and talked with people who have taken ukemi from him and who have been taught by him, I would say he does display kokyu ryoku, and teaches that the hips should be placed as described above. My question is: what am I missing?

Thanks,
Ron

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Old 03-28-2005, 11:56 AM   #23
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Ron Tisdale wrote:
Now, this gets a little to my question...and yet having seen film of Takeno Sensei and talked with people who have taken ukemi from him and who have been taught by him, I would say he does display kokyu ryoku, and teaches that the hips should be placed as described above. My question is: what am I missing?
Hard to say. There was/is a long-time mistake of a lot of Taiji people who "tucked" the hips because that's the way it got translated. It finally turns out that the Chinese man who said it meant for them to let the hips naturally tuck under when they relaxed the back. That's one possibility. The other possibility is, as I said, that there are gradations of this kind of power and you can do some things and still have some power, but not necessarily all the power you could be having. Lots of possibilities.

FWIW

Mike
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Old 03-28-2005, 07:13 PM   #24
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Mike Sigman wrote:
Kokyu power doesn't go well through stiff joints or too-bent joints ... and a stiff lower back is a stiff joint. Deliberately tucking or holding the hips in an artificial position is not relaxation and that seems to be the main point to consider, IMO.
Mike ... I wouldn't call it an artificial position or unrelaxed. Lining up your body to focus power at a single point at a single time may require training, but why call it unnatural? Consider the changes that competative swimmers and runners go through in order to improve their "natural" ability.

I think its just training and constant training to get to the point where you can do this "naturally and relaxed"...which means, Ron, you aren't missing anything except the 50 years Takeno Sensei has ahead of you in training.

Just a thought,

--Michael

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Old 03-28-2005, 07:19 PM   #25
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Re: Kamae vs Shizentai (hips underneath)

Quote:
Michael Stuempel wrote:
Mike ... I wouldn't call it an artificial position or unrelaxed. Lining up your body to focus power at a single point at a single time may require training, but why call it unnatural? Consider the changes that competative swimmers and runners go through in order to improve their "natural" ability.
Hi Michael:

No way to really answer this one without a face-to-face demonstration about relaxation, kokyu, etc., etc. Which reminds me... who in the U.S. would be a consensus recommendation as someone who well demonstrates classical Yoshinkan kamae, ability, etc.? I'd like to watch a live Yoshinkan training session sometime.

Regards,

Mike
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