Category Archives: 01-Kamae


A Journey Through O’Sensei’s Budo – 1: Kamae

 – – – “…your overall kamae should arise from following the energy flow of the [myriad] kami, according to time, location…”

– – – Budo paragraph 1

On Sunday,  September 15,  Kimbal Anderson Sensei taught a workshop on Kamae – using paragraph 1 of the 1938 manual Budo as a reference point. We explored the interaction of ki, and aiki-inyo at a very basic level, exercises allowing the body freely to follow the guidance of Great Nature, where the motion comes from aiki-inyo.

  “When you see that every technique comes from that – and when you have that feeling – you can understand. When you look at a picture you will not see the same black and white, static ‘ok, put your foot here, your hand does this…’ – and if someone describes it this way you can see that that is not aiki – it’s a description of a picture.

“O’Sensei described aiki really well, when he talked about hooking up to Dai-Shizen and letting this move you – basically, when he was saying, ‘follow the guidance of the Kami,’  really that’s the the forces of nature for us. And not to resist this intuitive understanding, and to get a body that is built to surf that thing, so the rigidity has to go, the violence and the preconceptions – – – that’s really the whole thing. When you get the feeling of it – then you can perform any kata from that place and it just naturally happens. You end up with Nature correcting you and not me or yourself. Nature does it perfectly…”
– – – Kimbal Anderson Sensei

O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae

Always place yourself in shizentai, with complete flexibility.

– – – reported by Nobutaro Hayashi,  quoted by Nidai Doshu in A Life in Aikido, p.263

  (late 1930’s)


O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae (2)

In the past people often wondered: “What form is the stance that presents no openings?” Yet, such a stance has no form, instead it is a harmonious state of connection through ki that is given life through the unification of spirit and body.

– – – passed on by Kanshu Sunadomari in Enlightenment through Aikido p.120

O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae (3)

– – – Take a mental stance with the ki of love as your primary mindset.  This is also training in the mindset of takemusu.

– – – passed on by Kanshu Sunadomari in Enlightenment through Aikido p.134

O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae (4)

Open your heart in a sphere, and your body in three directions.

– – – reported by Henry Kono in Remembering O-Sensei,  ed. Susan Perry p.91

O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae (5)

When uke comes to attack, he doesn’t exist, Ueshiba doesn’t exist.

– – – reported by Henry Kono in Yin and Yang in Motion, interview with Guillaume Erard.

O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae (6)

Your inhale should be as if  you are gathering into the interior of your body the marvelous essence of the universe.

– – – reported by Motomichi Anno Shihan  in   Journey to the Heart of Aikido,
p. 224

O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae (8)

I am one with the [natural] universe – and I am nothing else.

– – – reported André Nocquet, Maître Morihei Ueshiba: présence et message p.240

O’Sensei no kuden: Kamae (9)

You must open your body to the breath of the kami.

– – – translated (and possibly paraphrased in translation) by Itsuo Tsuda, reported by André Nocquet Shihan in  Maître Morihei Ueshiba: présence et message  p.69