Kendo lessons of Hamasaki Mitsuru

Kamae: Offense and defense at will



Kamae is among the basics of Kendo, and the right Kamae enables body movement that allows for both offense and defense with complete Kikentai-Icchi. Are you aware that your Kamae might have serious issues that need to be fixed? This applies both to the observable Kamae of the body and the unobservable Kamae of the spirit. This topic is always relevant regardless of time.

Unlimited variety, freedom in offense and defense
Always keep an offensive mindset and create all-in pressure 

Hamasaki Mitsuru, Hanshi 8th Dan
Born in Kumamoto Prefecture in 1949. He went from PL Gakuen High School to Senshu University. After graduating, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Police Department.Won the All Japan Invitational 8th Dan Championship, National Police Team Tournament, National Sports Tournament and the All Japan Prefectural Championship. He also participated in the All Japan Championship. Retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in March 2010. Currently, he is an Honorary Teacher of the Metropolitan Police Department and a director at Senshu University Kendo Club, Nihon University, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, and Hyakurenkan.

Physical Kamae and Spiritual Kamae
A correct Kamae comes from a correct posture

Kamae includes both the observable physical Kamae and the unobservable Kamae of the mind. If you have an elegant Kamae, your striking motions will naturally have style and you will be able to produce beautiful Ippons.

Posture is the foundation of Kamae. Your posture must be stable, harmonious, without a sense of forcedness in all parts of your body, and durable enough to respond appropriately and freely to any changes in your opponent. The right posture creates the right Kamae, from which rational movements are created.

Kendo techniques have the following flow: Kamae → mutual Seme → selection of opportunity and striking technique → Yuko Datotsu (valid strike) → Zanshin. Therefore, having a good Kamae in duels is a cornerstone of Kendo and breaking the equilibrium with an equal opponent is done by mutual Seme. When this kind of Seme is present, it creates an imminent feeling. In Kendo it is said “be mindful of the dialogue through your Kensaki” but if you can’t create a Kamae with an effective Kensaki you won’t be able to talk with a sense of imminence.

I judge examinations sometimes and have noticed that those who pass create a different atmosphere around them. From the moment they bow, there is no hesitation or any sense they need to prove themselves. The higher the Dan grade, the more correct Kendo, strong Kendo, and a high standard are required. If you merely try to imitate that posture, form and Kamae, your Kendo won’t resonate with the judges.

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