Kendo Kata: Kamae Explained

Okay, now I’m gonna talk about five basic Kamae in Kata First, Chūdan –
Okay, Chūdan… Everyone knows how to take Chūdan so I am not going to go in detail but in Kata, – Kensaki is, – compared to Shinai Kendo, – Kensaki should be a little higher.
I know a lot of people take Kensaki lower in Kendo, but for – Kata purpose, keep it a little higher so it is easier for…- Easier to do Kata that way, okay? So a little higher, – at the throat –
aiming at the throat. a little Kensaki – a little higher. Nice and relax. Okay now, Gedan. Okay, .. Just straight down – And it is said that Kensaki should be a little lower than the kneecap. Okay? Alright.
Your opponent’s kneecap, – look there. Not too low. Not too high. So as long as, when you practice by yourself, your kneecap Okay All right, that’s Gedan. Now Jōdan has two ways One is Migi-jōdan. You don’t move anything from here. You’re just From Chūdan you’re just going straight up, Okay It is said – it in front of your – Not like, right in front like that; but relatively, – the same height as your forehead. But, make sure you can see your opponent under the left hand. Now, a common mistake is they do this, okay? If you can see the difference from here, this is – the correct position. Okay?
And a lot of – people do this type of thing. Your Shinai – now your sword is now right up You don’t want to do it. Okay? We want it set at about 45 degrees Of course, we don’t measure it but you don’t want, what you don’t want to do is this. All right, make sure from Chūdan – if you have good Chūdan – that all you have have to do is just lift it up. Have your left hand above your eyes so you can see your opponent, right? And then this is a big job. All right, now Hidari-jōdan is, Hidari-jōdan – You’re gonna take a step forward onto the left foot, Alright? And, The left hand should be above your left eye now a common mistake here is you’re gonna turn your sword just.. – Like that! So your blade is facing that way. Now your blade should be facing towards your opponent – So as long as you grab your sword correctly, it doesn’t matter what you take You should know which blade – which way – your blade should be – is – facing to. Okay? Of course, you’re gonna do this at the same time with your left foot forward and Left .. – Hand above your Left Eye. Left foot, – Left Foot, Left Hand, and Left Eye should be on the same line Okay? And then, that’s Hidari-jōdan All right, and a lot of people – I see a lot of people, twist their body too much. Now, I cannot say that it’s wrong because we used to have many Schools.. – in Kendo – and Kenjutsu, so, there are many ways to take Jōdan or Chūdan or Gedan as well so I cannot say that’s wrong, but You do for Kendo Kata purpose. For Kendo Kata purpose, you don’t want to twist too much Okay? And that way, – if you have – if you take a big step forward onto the back foot and then you have to turn your body sideways because of the wide stance. So, take a little step forward and keep this relatively straight Your – your body – will turn a little to your right, – because of the stance. Because you step, you took a step forward onto the left foot so your body will turn a little bit okay? Make it natural and then, – Take Hidari-jōdan. Okay? Again, this shouldn’t be like this.. stand. Not like it. Okay? – Keep this a little forward; because we have to put pressure with the left hand, – or tsuka-gashira here. Or if it’s like that, then it’s no good. And you We have to cut your opponent. So if your sword is too straight your cut will be – very weak. So make sure from there, you can cut from here. Okay? Now, Hassō – Hassō is, – as long as you can take Hidari-jōdan – Correctly from there. Hidari-jōdan all you have to do is bring your hands straight down. And, – you can, that way your left hand, is relatively Center, and – the righthand Tsuba is about… – a little lower than your mouth, okay? And, – we used to say one fist or about one-and-a-half feet away from your mouth, the Tsuba This one is a little… – a little bit. This? This is too much Now, nice and relax and this is too… You look so small. So.. – The right armpit is – a little bit open. Again, Not too much – a little bit open. Okay? And this should be a, – this should be within okay range. Now again, some people do this. Now I cannot say that’s wrong; a lot of people – In the old days, this was Hassō too or kinda, depends on schools, the names are different. But I cannot say that it’s wrong. But, the standard – from Here, – okay? And – now Wakigamae – that is a tricky one. Okay, Wakigamae is .. – Your, – Right foot goes backwards. This is problem only Kamae stance you take by – pulling your – front foot backwards like this. Okay?. Now the purpose is to hide your sword. So from here, – to take Wakigamae – Make it big. It used to be like small, – Now, big – like taking Hassō – and drop your sword down. Now, the left hand should be a little to your right – to your right, – than your bellybutton. probably one fist away? Now the angle of the sword – okay – is facing to your right. Okay, so not facing down. But facing to your right little bit. Not sideways. Diagonally right. Down. Okay and the main thing is to hide your sword. Now the backfoot, – You can.. – it is side on so you cannot keep your back foot straight. Okay, and if you keep your back foot straight, it’s pretty hard to hide your sword so you can relax your right foot, – All right, and then keep – keep – your sword behind you. All right, and then – When you walk – this is very tricky – when you walk keep your left shoulder towards your opponent – So it can prevent this: A lot of people walk like this – Okay? They’re not hiding their sword anymore. So, – From here, keep your left shoulder towards your opponent and this goes one – two – three –
and then you can hide your sword all the way to your Opponent – before you cut.
Okay? So, that is another – important point.
So if you – when you practice those stances –
make sure you don’t turn your…- turn your body too much and – Know what you’re doing: the purpose of the Kamae. Okay, if you – when you – when you have to hide your sword. You have to hide your sword; you cannot walk like this. right? From here, – One – two – three –
and the Wakigamae is the one you can relax your right hand too. You can go from here.
You can relax your right hand Okay? And then one –
Two –
Three, – And go back to Chūdan. Now, Kodachi, – Kodachi is the same thing. Make sure you have your left hand on your hip when you have your sword out. Okay? And this is Chūdan, right? And Chūdan Hanmi is your body is side-on. There are two ways, as far as I know, – So, – one You do Hanmi like this, Okay? And two, not so much, – alright? So, it’s very important for you to follow what your teacher says and then you have to update – you have to keep up with all Japan Kendo Federation or international Kendo Federation updates. Okay, so I cannot I cannot say which one is good or correct at this very stage. From here – When you take (ippon-me) Chūdan Hanmi, okay.. – make sure take a little step forward and turn. This is my way, so I’m gonna do my way, right? And – in Kensai you face the Kensai point at the face of your opponent, – alright? After I do more like that, – that – because some say a little bit like this – Okay, like I said, not sure which one is correct at this very stage, but what I do is like that. Okay? Okay, – now Nihon-me is going against Gedan so, – a little lower, okay? Now sanbon-me, is Gedan, so, – Just – straight down. So that’s Kodachi Chūdan
Two different Chūdans, – against Jōdan, – Against Gedan. Then number three is Gedan Hanmi.
So, that’s how you take – – stances for Chūdan. I would like to send special thanks to my patrons for their constant support through

6 thoughts on “Kendo Kata: Kamae Explained

  1. Arigatogozaimashita Imafuji Sensei. It is important to practice correct Gamae until they all feel equally comfortable. Meaning time spent both just standing in correct posture, and also performing correct Kiri Waza from the Gamae. Practice in front of a mirror helps also. Your right the different Ryu do things differently especially in Ko Ryu.

    Thanks again!

  2. I’m self-learning kendō. This video is extremely helpful, especially that I couldn’t find any other video that explains all of the five kamaes. I highly appreciate it Hiro-sensei! 🙏🏻

  3. Arigato Goszaimashita Imafuju Sensei. I practice kenjutsu here, in Brazil, and you helped me a lot to get trought the basics. I watch your videos inbetween my training sesions, don't tell my senpai!!

  4. Sensei, question regarding Kodachi no kata (shidachi side): Upon taking any kamae, where should the left thumb be? Should it be visible up front (as if you still have tachi on your waist/obi belt), or at the back of the waist?

  5. Hi shinshe, I interested to learn Kendo and I have been downloading basic I, II n III then commenced training. Are you have on line training with video curriculume to follow when we completed done and we getting Exam with certificate?
    J.A Tang
    Makassar Indonesia

Leave comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *.