Bujinkan Kyu Kamae

We start by thinking about all of the kyusho- weak points on the human body in the Bujinkan martial arts. Imagine you and a training partner standing across from each other in shizen.

With the ability to strike, there are many targets- head, chest,knees and legs. By shifting back to ichimonji no kamae one has begun to protect certain kyusho and lessen the kyusho exposed to a training partner.

Taking part of the body off the center-line, arms up in defense, shifting the weight to be ready to move the front leg- hicho no kamae.

There are also considerations with each kamae to control distance and timing which lead to the movement of waza.

Beyond just body postures, or ways to hold the body these kamae are very complex, each with a unique personality of movement.

Kamae also make sure that as you move, you are moving in correct balance and body posture.

We try to always keep kamae in the mind when moving.

In our last class we explored a training drill where one is walking and a training partner begins to approach from behind- that place where you can’t see the person but know that they are behind you.

The waza (technique) explored had one waiting for the correct distance, followed by turning around and striking with an omote shuto to uko.

It was OK to look over the shoulder first, or as a training partner approaches in order to sigh the distance and know when to perform the waza- caching the movement where they are out of balance and in mid-step.

This turning around and looking over the shoulder was an important part of the waza- knowing in turning the head it can only move so far before structure is broken- kamae, the kamae of shizen is broken.

Knowing how to turn the head using footwork and the hips as opposed to the neck and spine- which would cause one to lock the body and constrict movement- breaking kamae right in the middle of trying to do waza.

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