The secret behind the fighting stance – the kamae


September 19, 2007
Yossi Sheriff

By Yossi Sheriff

The defense and attack positions in the Budo Ninjutsu are an internal state of mind that we project using the body. Like many things in our school, the meaning, the importance, are hidden behind tough physical work.

First the practitioner learns the mechanics: how to stand correctly, what is a straight back, how the feet stabilize the pelvis and the most efficient position of the hands in front of an opponent. When stances and the transitions between them are preformed well and become instinctual, the student is ready to learn other important parts of Kamae.

The positioning of the hands, the tension in the face and abdominal muscles, breathing and especially the intent turn each stance into a seal of fighting emotion.

The warrior’s state of mind has utmost importance, as important as technique. A perfect technique dwells in a winning frame of mind. A proper inner state wins battles, good technique, alone, does not. A warrior who finds himself in real combat must know that winning or loosing is not only the outcome of physical ability. Budo Ninjutsu Stances are an internal seal of emotions that helps us put things in order during chaotic situations.

Our waiting and attacking positions where designed hundreds of years ago and are continually practiced to this day to face a variety of situations: fighting against many opponents and fighting along inner fears.

Preserving a fighting tradition is like gardening; The knowledge that the warrior receives must be rooted and nurtured in a supportive environment and under proper conditions. Our knowledge lives.

The essential conditions are: an instructor, real contact sparring and outdoor practice. With these a trainee progresses from practicing the physical aspects of stance in front of an opponent to creating and maintaining a proper inner state in life.