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Re: Kamae

Subject: Re: Kamae
by Darren on 2010/9/21 5:47:01

John, that is an excellent post! The subject of Kurai Dori is not mentioned much, but is key and I'm glad someone has brought it up. There are different ideas of proper distance, but the idea of distance equal to "a sheet of skin" is a kihon directly attributed to shape of space, timing and distancing as a connection to another. It is easy to view this as a defensive act, to move away just enough so that you are 'just missed', maybe causing an overreach or affect balance. But, really it is neither defensive or offensive. From what I've been experiencing, it is more of an absorbing of space feeling, often as a forward movement (but not always), and with little contact (a sheet of skin distance). It takes great subtleness. But, the feeling in the uke is one of confusion and sets up an excellent base of control as the uke struggles to realize they aren't feeling what they would expect to feel. And, this feeling is a key point in understanding Soke's budo, IMO.

If you are only focused on doing the "by the book" kamae, you are focused on the wrong thing, IMO. You have to be in direct relation to the uke, to attach yourself, yet remain unattached. You have to keep moving at all times. This level of control takes kamae to a whole other level, as the physical shape you assume is not a shape, but rather an ever flowing, evolving mass that is in direct relation to the attacker(s) and the surrounding environment. I saw this heavily from the Juppo Sessho theme a few years ago, but actually it has always been there.
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