Our taijutsu training is a martial art of distance.
The idea of controlling the distance, along with timing, rhythm, and balance in our movement.
When one enters the dojo, bojutsu (6-foot stick) training is important.
While we are learning a traditional training tool with the bo, it is also used as a *tool* to be able to *see* distance- through the six feet of the stick.
A way for the new student to begin to understand distance by being able to see it along with the angles that control it- through the excercises of the bo.
This *lond* distance is used to understand the different distances of taijutsu.
What are these distances?
There are four, and we begin to explore them through the posture of shizen no kamae.
In shizen no kamae, you stand relaxed and in balance, able to move in any direction unhindered.
One is aware of a the distance around them.
As a training partner stand across, about ten feet or so away, this is the first distance.
In order to close they will have to take numerous steps and/or move very quickly. Very few training partners will start at this distance as they want to close and not have the movements they make so easy to see.
How can we use kamae to keep this distance?
The next distance has your training partner at about six feet or so- this is close enough with regard to dsitane that they can reach you by taking a single step. This step gives you an opportunity in movement- ukemi, to take the balance, timing, and rhythm of your training partner.
The third distane is one where they are across from you can can reach out without stepping- at this point it becomes different to take distance, timing, and rhythm.
In all of these distances- including the fourth, kamae is used with ukemi to unbalance your trainig partner along the way, so that when waza are applied, the work is already done and there is nothing that can be changed or resisted- the waza help them along with way.