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Kame
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Could some one explain to me the purpose of kame in a street fight in general. I know that Kame are not static but are moving so dose that mean the Kame is useful in a fight when you are continually moving and changing the Kame and distance between you and your opponent dictates? Can kame be used to since where a persons balance is?

Thanks in advance

Posted on: 2004/2/6 3:55
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Tim Craig
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Re: Kame
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I will give you the canned answer for now...

Kamae are the basis for Kurai Dori. Kurai Dori is a necessity for understanding distance and timing. Distance and timing is the most important thing in a "street fight." Therefore kamae is the most important building block for understanding how to fight.

I know it is short and way oversimplified, but I am a tad busy at work right now to be more verbose.

Posted on: 2004/2/6 4:41
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Re: Kame
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Kame can be most effectively utilized against an opponent on the street when dispatched in groups of 4 and backed by a large rat with a cane. The source of the kame was originally radioactive goo, and they flourish when nourished with pizza. The kame become more motivated and fight harder when the enemy is holding a TV reporter hostage. Continually moving and changing the distance is good, as each kame has its own characteristics, such as bo, sword, sai, and nunchaku - they also differ according to the colour of eyemask worn.

Ok sorry... I couldn't resist...
( "kame" = "turtle" in japanese )

My understanding of the kamae is that they are snapshots of dynamic taijutsu movement - like one frame taken out of a movie film. In our taijutsu movement, there are certain postures which we commonly find ourselves moving "through" which are good for both defending and attacking, and also allow good balance. When you find yourself in such a posture - that's a kamae. It doesn't have to be Kamae X from Y-Ryu, as long as it has the characteristics of good kamae in general.

Posted on: 2004/2/6 15:42
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Re: Kame
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Concur with Jeff and Shawn but would add an observation that kamae, through the construct of developing intuitive knowledge in training, can eventually flow from ones natural movement(i.e. mushin like). It flows from the feeling you have--not thinking about it . It becomes just the way your body(arms, legs, torso, hips etc....) move in the moment. As soke says "get the feeling". And so kamae proffers something that may become naturally simultaneous with ones feelings in the fight(and life).

Posted on: 2004/2/7 4:46
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Re: Kamae
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Like Shawn already said it´s like you take a picture of someone while he´s in action. There has to be a starting-point in your training, so by training kamae you´ll learn how to move proper, always guarding and protecting yourself while moving.

By continuous training it´s important to understand to make use of kamae rather than to stay in one. You can do a lot of things with them. Closing the distance or changing it to a longer distance. Open your guard to trick the opponent or hold your guard making it difficult for the opponent to attack and find another way to attack.

The greatest kamae is that of your mind/heart (your attitude). Fudoshin (imovable spirit) and Banpen Fugyu (no surprises) and whatever there also may be. I really love to see Soke standing in Shizen Tai and having this unreachable level of attitude controling the opponent all the time. It´s like you are a rabbit, doing your last moves, although you are the attacker. Soke always has this attitude that he´s controlling you all the time and you have no chance. If you try to escape or stand against his action you´ll get even more problems. That´s real Kamae-Action

Kamae also can show you that everything in life is changing. Same in a fight. So you have to change your outer Kamae all the time and adapt to what is necessary.

Kamae in my point of view can be seen as a part of the roots of a tree. It has to be developed all the time, no matter what rank you are or how long you train. It´s a basic skill of your taijutsu. You need it to survive a fight, but the best kamae maybe is the one of running away, if possible

Just some thoughts...

Posted on: 2004/2/7 8:12
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Re: Kamae
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How can I follow these posts? Shawn and Kenji have hit the nail on the head. Foundation of taijutsu is your kamae.

Posted on: 2004/2/8 10:31
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Re: Kame
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Hello,

Can't really say about Kamae in a street fight (never been in one), but had a brushing with reality a week ago concerning this issue...

Went to renew my bus ticket in a kiosk, and as I was paying the lady behind the desk I noticed a guy fiddling with something under a shelf, hidden form the cashiers view. I gave the guy a look, he ignored me and continue, and seemed to push something up his sleeve. The cashier still had not noticed anything. So, I confronted the guy, asking him what the h**k was he doing. First he tried to deny my accusations, but as I kept pressing, the cashier lady finally took interest too. She came around the desk, and I pointed out the guy and his... fiddling, and we found an opened cell phone cover package, with no covers inside. I told her that I had him seen doing something, possibly slipping inside his jacket sleeve. The lady told she was calling the guards. This was scary enough to the guy and he produced the pocketed cell phone cover and went to pay for them (which the lady let him do). The guy left, cursing me to high heaven (or the lowest pits of netherworld).

What does this ordeal have to do with Kamae?

During my "confrontation" with the man (in his early 20's, somewhat shorter and lighter than my whopping 6'2" 80 kg I had him more or less cornered (the reasonprobably why he did not run), there were shelves behind me and him, there were other customers (older ladies) around within a few feet from us... no space to move, really, no space to "take a Kamae" if the words turned to blows or what not.

I kept my distance as well as I could, yet not leaving him an opening for running, kept him covered from attacking the other customers or the cashier, and did my best to cover myself, too

I remember hearing, that at the beginning of the year Soke had spoken about "hiding your Kamae"... That was what I found myself doing; I had to be prepared for his other than verbal attacks, yet not giving out anything (and thus possibly even provoking an attack), keeping my end covered by positioning and angling, keeping him closed in and badly balanced should he decide to take it up the physical way.

Luckily in the end he did seem satisfied with the verbal attacks, and some feeble physical threats (he was some what under the influence of alcohol).

A "lesson" in this for me was the way I found myself observing the man, the situation, the surroundings, the movement of others around us. By keeping my Kamae

My 2 cents (of civic duty)!

Ari Julku
Shidoshi
Bujinkan Dojo Helsinki
Finland

Posted on: 2004/2/8 20:09
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Re: Kame
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Good stuff here on kamae. After hearing Nagato-sensei castigate us for the last couple of years running about how everybody needs to have much better kamae, it's good to see the topic discussed in some detail.

My wee bit:

1. Kamae as "posture" and not just as "position" means that you have to pay attention to your heart and intent as well. It's entirely possible to be in the right physical "position" for a kamae, but not have the appropriate "posture."

2. Ditto on Shawn's snapshot analogy. The kamae is not the end purpose of the movement, it's a moment within the movement. The point of the ichimonji isn't the ichimonji itself, it's what happened to get you there and what happens afterward. The ichimonji (or other kamae) in isolation is just another static stance. Gotta keep it alive and moving. Using Shawn's analogy, what are the frames that surround that piece of the film that shows the kamae?

3. So far as a real fight goes, you adjust the kamae to the context. If you're a slave to the physical position of the kamae and can't adjust to the reality you're facing, then you've created a Dead stance and not a living movement. On the other hand, I think it takes a decent understanding of the kamae to know when you're moving in an adjusted version of the kamae and when you're being lazy or sloppy.

Really good stuff people are posting on this. Should be required reading, even for us old-timers.

Posted on: 2004/2/21 4:11
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Re: Kame
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Kamae is not only done with the body (called tai gamae) but also with your mind (called kokoro gamae).

Kokoro gamae is the posture of the heart and mind. It is the intention and resolve produced by the heart, processed by the mind, and revealed in one's appearance, behavior, speech, and action.

You "take up" kamae according to the situation. The most advanced kamae eventually is 'no kamae' no kamae. This means that after a long time of training all kamae blend in to a single kamae which is not necessarily visible anymore.

Posted on: 2004/2/21 6:09
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John Walker
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Kamae as Koppojutsu
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As I understand it, koppojutsu is the term used to describe attacking using bone or structure alignment. Could it be said that using kamae is also koppojutsu, because you are using your own structure to best effect when interacting with others?


Posted on: 2004/2/21 8:37
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Simon Fraser
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