Sep 29 2008

Kamae, a moment in Time

Published by at 11:30 am under Bujinkan Training Drills

    One of the most important drills that I have ever seen is a taihen jutsu drill taught to me by Bill Atkins.  What he does in this drill is he has one person attacking (unarmed or with a weapon) with simple attacks (no tricks to start) and the other person is moving from kamae to kamae avoiding the attacks.  It is simple to memorize all the kamae, but can you use them.  Do you know which kamae belongs where and when?  Do you understand the attitude that you need in each kamae to get an effect in your opponents kamae?  If not you need to start at the beginning.

    Take the gyoko ryu kamae (ichimonji, jumonji, hitcho and shizen).  Move from one kamae to the next.  Once your body understands the kamaes on a mechanical level it is time to move on to application.  Understand moving against attacks trying to get to a place where you are flanking your opponent.  What I mean by flanking your opponent is if you draw a circle around someone looking down from above, you can divide the circle into thirds.  The front third where they are strong.  The third starting to their right and the third going to the left (ending right behind them) where they are weaker.  Your goal is moving in kamae from the region where your opponent is strong to the one where they are weak.  Simple yes?  But wait there is more.  You want to move to a kamae at a range where you can bring all of your weapons to bear on your opponent.  What range do you need to throw kicks?  Punches?  Knees and Elbows?  What weapons can your opponent use to attack you?  What will it take to defend yourself from these attacks?  Can you move differently to prevent the possibility of being attacked like this.

    Until you understand this movement, you will not be free with your taijutsu.  Until you understand your distance, you are not doing the arts of the Bujinkan.  Please make sure you understand taihen jutsu the skills of changing your body (kamae).

    Your life is on the line, practice well.

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