Random thought on Kamae

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Brad Ellin, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    Came to me last night and couldn't get to a computer that worked...
    Proper kamae: It's not thinking about doing the kamae. It's not "not thinking" about doing a kamae. It's not the physical manifestation of the kamae (hicho no kamae, ichimonji no kamae, etc). It's that instance between thought/no thought and the physical. That is true kamae.

    Questions? Comments? Opinions?
  2. takaharu

    takaharu New Member

    As a well known master ones said :

    The posture and encouragments of the body are explained in the martial arts but the highest point are the posture of the mind and spirit. :D
  3. sshh

    sshh Not Talking Anymore

    developing effective kamae

    Sounds like you’re trying to describe something that is hard to describe. Happens a lot in this art, doesn’t it? Good thing we train, or else it would be even harder to figure out. :)

    My understanding is that kamae means posture, but also means attitude. So there are aspects of both mind (spirit) and body in the makeup of effective kamae.

    Again, it is my limited understanding, but I’m under the impression that any physical skill can be developed towards a point of natural smoothness, and that is in part the goal of training kamae (and taihenjutsu in general).

    I’ve heard it said by several teachers that “taijutsu is walking.” I’m sure most of us training in martial arts are reasonably good at walking (we should all get more practice, of course :) ). We had to start somewhere though – with the kata: try to stay balanced, put one foot in front of the other, and go in the right direction to end up where you want, etc. After doing an activity long enough, however, it no longer requires much thought. The forms are thrown away.

    This process of shu-ha-ri (learn the form, learn from the form, throw the form away) works for kamae as well as other kata training. It’s all well and good to say that proper/true kamae is this-or-that, but without the experience of the process to attain it, it cannot be realized as such.

    Another way in which I’ve heard this process described is as follows:

    1) One starts in a state of unconscious incompetence (ignorance) – you don’t know that you don’t know.
    2) Then there is conscious incompetence – now you know that you don’t know
    3) After some practice, conscious competence – you know what you know, but you’re not necessarily good at it yet.
    4) Finally, unconscious competence – the skill can be performed without much thought, and one acts with natural smoothness.

    I did a quick google search on these keywords and found this: http://www.learning-org.com/99.02/0064.html

    Back to kamae, specifically: proper/true/effective kamae must combine all aspects of body posturing, mental attitude, and purpose – just like walking.

    My opinion, for what it's worth (I'm not an expert or anything).
  4. Tudoggz

    Tudoggz Valued Member

    the way i think of kamae or maby how ive been taught. is that kamae is or should b a projection of a strong and resiliant ( mind my spelling :( ) heart.

    the way i take that is, a person can know how to take kamae technically perfect. so body is sittting well, feet are good ect ect. but u also must have heart or warrior spirit behind your kamae, or your just standing. i might be confusing ppl here lol or ppl will think im a nut. another way of looking at it is sumone in kamae who looks strong tuff and has a feeling projected out of them they mean buisess or strong intent maby, have heart, a person who looks unsure, scared, pushed back and not stong is in kamae technically, but has no heart.

    maby i just went of topic lol or i didnt get wat i meat across. anyone ask me to explain more if u like! and i am no expert either :( so i may be wrong but thats how ive thought of kamae.

    peace ppl
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2004
  5. sshh

    sshh Not Talking Anymore

  6. cloudgodd

    cloudgodd New Member

    I think you are trying to refer to AIKI

    Aiki is “Internal energy,” and it signifies harmony from within the student. This energy emanates from the student, projecting a calm and confident spirit that can penetrate the enemies mind, destroying their will to fight.
    The attainment of Aiki cannot be forced, it simply happens. In essence, Aiki is the method of dominating the enemy with the spirit alone, where a simple glance is all that is needed to utterly defeat anyone who stands in the path of the student’s objective.
  7. JimGould

    JimGould New Member

    Just a thought. Kamae is the start and end of every technique. Maybe just Maybe it's the bit in the middle thats most inportant ;)
  8. Lanakin

    Lanakin It's all about discipline

    Could you run that by me in more latense terms? I have no idea of what you said, lol. Basically, I got Kamea or whatever is thinking about.. The.. Thing.. See how confused I am!?

  9. cloudgodd

    cloudgodd New Member

    I think what Jim is trying to say is that kamae is posture in motion....But I could be wrong.....Cloud
  10. JimGould

    JimGould New Member

    well I like to make people think for them selves so maybe a clue. When you start a punch there is a moment when you you are in a posture, then you punch and there is a moment when you are in a posture. But is it not the actual punch that is the technique and the Kamae at the start and finish are (in a fight) very brief moments in time.
  11. SilentNightfall

    SilentNightfall Eien no Ninja

    Technically, one is always in kamae. In a fight, however, it is all about being in the proper kamae from the start of the fight 'til its conclusion. One must always assume the kamae which is most advantageous for each second of the confrontation. The most advantageous kamae will be determined by your opponent, most likely, and will change frequently as you attempt to control your opponent's balance, space, etc. You just use the kamae that makes it easiest for you to begin controlling that balance, space, etc. and soon you'll find that the conflict is over. As far as the specific kamae studied in Ninjutsu, you can find yourself in Hicho, Ichimonji, Jumonji, etc. during a fight, but I'll bet money that if you do, you will only be assuming that kamae for a split second as you flow from one technique to the next. Hope this helps. Ja!
  12. Tudoggz

    Tudoggz Valued Member

    Thanx cloud godd that might help ppl understand me better hehehe
    this is an awesom topic btw :D
  13. cloudgodd

    cloudgodd New Member

    no prob it just sounded like AIKI to me so that was my guess....I guess I was right....Cloud
  14. Lanakin

    Lanakin It's all about discipline

    Confusing is what it is. Even if I do get it, I'll forget by tomorrow. Why bother. :D

  15. Kalifallen

    Kalifallen looking for partner

    You're right Kurohana and SilentNightfall.
    In the beginning you learn the kamae but you also know one kamae. The natural position, ichimonja seize position (I think I spelled that right?). As time goes by, you may not realizing it but you have conditioned your body to get into that kamae at the time it is needed.
    As Kurohana said, don't think and it will happen. That is also the time when you realize you have mastered the kamae.

    Anyway, it is the same with everything. For example, of no thought, someone decides to attack you. You get into a defensive or reflective position. If you are moving down a deserted alley and you hear sounds you become silent and try to hid in the shadows. If you sense danger you jump back into the offensive position. And many other examples of using no thought in exersices/training.
  16. sshh

    sshh Not Talking Anymore

    Keepin' it random -

    Discussed this in yesterday's training session:

    One of the beauties of bujinkan budo - the fighting kamae are derived from natural body language that we all already know, it's just learning how to take advantage of their benefits in many situations that we train for.

    An example:

    You are in a conversation - shizen, starting from zero - equally balanced in all directions, focus straight ahead - when you go to meet someone and you stand before them confidently and shake their hand.

    Shaking hands – two hands coming together in greeting – gassho?

    You listen to what they have to say, and it seems friendly enough, so you relax and widen your stance a little (maybe put your hands on your hips); the discussion could go in any direction though, so you stay balanced - this is hira-no-kamae.

    The other person says something you don't quite agree with; you cross your arms over your chest (maybe even taking a small step back) - jumonji, protecting the heart.

    You wish to interject, so raise a finger to signal that you want to make a point. Your other hand goes back to your hip and your weight shifts forward a little to assert yourself - kosei-no-kamae.

    You feel you have to defend your position on the matter at hand, so you shift your weight back a little and make a guarding gesture with your hand at heart level – shoshin-no-kamae.

    The other person starts to be overly aggressive, so your other hand comes up to a guarding position in front of the heart – ichimonji.

    Alternatively, instead of defensively receiving their point of view, you shift your weight forward a little to reassert yourself and get the other person to pause – bobi-no-kamae.

    If you have to get more aggressive yourself (offense being the best defense), you can angle yourself a little more away from the other person – to further protect the heart – while pointing your finger at their eyes to let them know you are being direct and to put them on the defensive. This is seigan-no-kamae.

    If things need to get physical, you can signal your anger by raising your other hand up near your head in a fist ready to strike – doko, or a more defensive posture – tenchi inyo – the rear hand points to the sky.

    Another alternative – you no longer want any part of what is going on, so you throw your hands up in frustration and back away – hoko.

    If you have to get away quickly, dive to the side and roll or run away – ihen-no-kamae.

    What about hicho? Ever stand around for a while and your feet get tired, so you shift all your weight to one foot and maybe even lift the other up a little to stretch the ankle? There’s a posture designed to protect the leg. :)

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