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Kamae is the most important aspect of your technique.

Without having strong, stable kamae our movement and technique will account for nothing. Kamae is often overlooked. Within most programs of study, it is regulated to the very beginning of study and never looked at or assessed as the student develops. Too often do you see students told to imitate these postures, without any explanation as to why they are practicing them. Even worse are those instructors that will demonstrate a technique, which involves starting in a particular posture, who subsequently drop all kamae from their movement, only to assume it again at the very end after the movement has been completed. Kamae are not start and end point of a movement. Kamae are learnt to provide us with the stable platform from which to base any offensive or defensive movement To truly understand kamae, one must understand not only the physical aspect, but also the mental aspect of the posture. Each and every posture not only has physical presence but also an attitude depending on what strategy or tactic one is employing. I use the term posture while others use the term stance. While both words have the same meaning, I prefer to use posture as I feel it rolls smoothly off the tongue, while the term stance tends to be shot out. I use the term posture as this is how I feel each kamae should be assumed. Smoothly and softly, rather than hard and fast. I feel that using the term posture helps understand what it is we are hoping to achieve when studying kamae. So why learn kamae? We practice kamae so our bodies, through muscle memory, instinctively assume a certain posture depending on the threat or task at hand. We use Ichimonji no Kamae (Figure One Posture) so often that we often drop into the posture at the drop of a hat, but often forget all about it as we progress through our technique. The training philosophy within the Mahoutsukai Dojo revolves around five main points. These are: Posture Kamae Power Sanshin no Kata Balance Kihon Happo no Kata Technique Kihon / Waza / Kata Strategy Gunryaku Tenkan Ho

The first and most important is posture. Lets look at this model in another format. We will look at this training model as a tree. The first thing a tree requires is good soil to grow in. It must be stable, solid and nutritious otherwise nothing could grow there. One the tree has established itself it requires a strong root system in order to feed itself and provide a good hold of the earth. A stout, solid trunk grows in order to support all the branches the tree will need so it is able to produce leaves in order to catch the sunlight it needs for energy. When the tree is ready it bears fruit, which falls to the ground and so the cycle repeats. The fruit on the tree can be look at as the strategic or tactical element in our model. This is often the bit most people reach for and try to consume without understanding how it got there. To understand strategy, one must have a solid grounding in all the other aspects of any movement, whether that be on an individual basis or in control of a multitude of things. The branches are our techniques. These branch out in many directions. The twist and adapt to the environment. In their multitude they allow the tree to produce many leaves, supplying energy and allowing the tree to bear fruit. The trunk represents our ability of create and break balance. Without balance we have nothing. If the trunk of the tree does not grow straight and strong it will fall. Any tree that is unable to grow straight and tall will always adapt itself to maintain its balance. The roots are our power generation. Without power, any movement will flounder and fail, just as without an extensive root system our tree will not get the nourishment required and will wither and die. Just as the tree spreads its roots for nourishment, so must we understand how to generate power effortlessly and easily to we can survice. Lastly the soil represents our posture. Without good, solid ground beneath the tree, it will not grow nor flourish. Without a solid foundation under it, the tree will fall at the first hurdle it encounters. Without a solid foundation the tree will not be able to grow into the giant it has the potential to be. So with good soil, large roots, a strong trunk, lots of branches.well eat some delicious fruit