Fighting attitudes can be observed as depiction of character, disposal or prevailing sentiments of somebody, even as his momentary intellectual or psychological situation. It is not important if it is for armed or unarmed fight. Our organism applies these attitudes spontaneously at the moment where he decides that it should defend itself.
Hatsumi Sensei reports in his book, that a rightly applied attitude reflects the heart of a ninja. In other words this means that our mental nature suits completely with our intentions and there is no difference between the internal and exterior appearance (expression). This situation of absolute identification between mental and bodily activity is most natural and is observed in the movements of animals in the natural environment. It seems that only for us humans is necessary the training for the achievement of natural bodily movement.
Hicho No Kamae Often due to tightening and uncomfortable attitude the shaping of body are faced as simple attitudes without particular importance. For the better comprehension of fighting attitudes of Ninjutsu one should know that we never could observe an attitude as static pose. Each attitude contains enormous energy and dynamics, which is released when the ninja passes from the attitude in the confrontation.
There have been said and drawn many things about fighting attitudes. All these are simply a small help for the beginning. It is erroneous to believe, that someone can with these methods comprehend the attitudes. The shaping of body should not “be copied” for two basic reasons:
At first, each body makes with his own individual appearance, muscular and skeleton manufacture (physique), and a unique individual. Thus it follows that each body receives from his own his practical and comfortable versions for the basic attitudes. Through constant progressive study one develops more and more his personal meanings and particular attitudes. The body, the shoulders, the attitude of legs and the distribution of weight are altered at the duration of training, so that the shaping of body develops in, depending on the particularity of each circumstance, physics and functional attitude. Hatsumi Sensei reports that if we embrace these basic rules, the highest growth of fighting attitude will be the “not attitude” (no attitude). Ichimonji No Kamae
At second, the shaping of body has narrow relation with the five levels of matter and spirit (elements) that is presented in each confrontation or fight. Thus each person presents, according to the five symbolic elements, bodily, sentimental, mechanic and mental differentiations and particularities. We will come back in this reflection between elements and attitudes.
They are used as base from which emanate the traditional forms of greeting as well as the expression of respect or attention. They incarnate a pleasant and decent means that replaces the oral speech and the interpersonal exchange of thoughts.
- GASSHO NO KAMAE, Attitude of «standing greeting».
Both legs step robustly in the ground, the hands are folded in front of the chest with the elbows slightly elevated. The sight extends forward across the tops of the fingers.
- FUDOZA NO KAMAE , The «unshakable» attitude.
Traditional Japanese seated posture. The left leg is folded beneath the body and the seat rests on the ankle of the left foot. The right leg is pulled in across the front with the sole lodged against the left thigh. The back is straight, the hands lean in the thighs, and the gaze is leveled forward.
- SEIZA NO KAMAE, «Sitting» attitude.
Traditional Japanese kneeling posture. The legs are folded beneath the body and the seat rests on the heels of both feet. The back is straight, the hands resting on the thighs.
Defensive fighting postures
The defensive postures are used when reacting to attacks with blocks or avoidances before executing counter techniques. The body slides angularly to cut inside or outside of the attack and blocks are applied with injurious force from the safe distance created.
- ICHIMONJI NO KAMAE, Attitude of «number one».
The classical Ninjutsu pose sliding back and away from the attack. Most weight on the rear leg, leading leg holds the body upright. Shoulders relaxed and low. The extended arm keeps distance of safety, the other is protecting face and body as a shield. Both are ready to intercept the attacker’s advance. Element: WATTER
- DOKO NO KAMAE, Attitude of the «angry tiger».
This pose is assumed as the body leaps or shifts away from the attack. Most weight on the rear leg, leading leg provides the springing motion to push the body back. The extended arm intercepts the attack, the other is raised preparing the counter-attack.
- HICHO NO KAMAE, Attitude of the «flying bird».
In this pose the leading leg is raised to avoid sweeping or toppling attacks and to prepare defensive kicks. The balance is maintained by slightly flexing the ground leg knee. Both arms in protective positions from which the can grab, block or strike.
Receiving fighting postures
The receiving attitudes are used when responding to attacks with techniques that harmonize with the force of opponent. The body turns itself or is moved laterally in order to blend with the attacker’s movement and simultaneously prepares protective counter attacks. In these attitudes the ninja “opens” himself to pull the opponent in his own field of action.
- SHIZEN NO KAMAE, «Natural Attitude»
Natural standing posture of the human body. Mind is alert, body is relaxed and ready to move and adapt to any situation. The body weight is equal distributed on both legs, the shoulders down and the arms hanging naturally at the sides. From this natural posture are developed the most sudden attacks and defensive actions. Element: EARTH
- HIRA NO KAMAE, Attitude of the «prayer»
Attitude from which the body can move itself depending on the infiltration of the opponent. The shoulders are relaxed, both arms are extended horizontally at the sides and the body weight is equal distributed on both legs. The arms can be used to sweep, grab or strike as the body adapts to the motion of the attacker. Element: WIND
- HOKO (HOI) NO KAMAE, Attitude of the «raising bear»
This is an other adaptive posture from which the body can respond to an attack. It is similar to the Hira No Kamae, but the arms are held above the shoulders in a slightly bowed position. They can trap, deflect or strike as the body hops or shifts with the attack.
Attacking fighting postures
With the attacking fighting postures we are, as in the previous category in readiness, however we show clearly the intention of not reprocess. Both arms are raised ready for the protection of body and for the counter-attack.
- JUMONJI NO KAMAE Attitude of «number ten»
Both arms crossed-wrist to protect the body during advancing attacks. The elbows cover the rib cage and the fists cover the neck and face. The body weight is maintained with a slightly forward balance and the feet push the body solidly in the attacking direction. Element: FIRE
- KOSEI NO KAMAE Attitude of «challenge of attack»
The leading hand is open and raised in the height of forehead. It is used to grab, deflect or divert the opponent’s attention while the rear hand carries out the attacking technique.
- SEIGA NO KAMAE Attitude of the «correct eye position»
Similar to the Ichimonji No Kamae, but the rear hand beeing ready for attack covers the nose and the mouth protecting the face and the leading hand shows to oponents eyes.