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Class Notes – Jumonji

March 8, 2012

My sensei always said that kamae always depended on distance. Not your inner attitudes (Sorry, Hayes!) or stuff like that.

Over the years, especially after I went around interacting with practitioners of other martial arts, I’ve become convinced that the jumonji no kata, of kihon happo, is meant to be used at a very much closer range than I see other people practice it at. Consider:

1) This kamae was squared on to the opponent, unlike ichimonji, which has the body more bladed towards the opponent. You take this type of stance when the opponent is close in, able to easily attack you with either arm.

2) The counter, the boshiken, is done with the same arm used for the jodan uke. You do that when you don’t have time to step in with a lunge strike, such as the various shuto or other techniques practiced in the sanshin no kata. And that is when you are within the range boxers call standing toe-to-toe.

So during class, the beginners would practice this against the standard lunge punch, but the more experienced have to practice it against a lead punch (jab) done by an opponent at that range. When you try this, make sure that the distancing is correct. The lead punch HAS to be able to hit if the student doesn’t handle it correctly, otherwise all you are doing is training a student to over-react to feints.

This is a very uncomfortable range to train at, and with good reason. It’s a no-man’s-zone, when attacks come fast and furious, and usually the winner is whoever gets there first-est with the most-est. Unless you are very skilled, you are stuck with only hand strikes, because you are too far away with grappling and too close for kicks. Boxers and Muay Thai people can do loads of damage within this range, and will seek to bring the battle to this distance and keep it there.

So if you want to be a complete martial artist, you need to be comfortable at this range, or train to be able to counter other people’s efforts to bring the fight here!

It takes more than a few lessons to get comfortable at this range and still stay true to the principles of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, but you gotta start somewhere, right? 🙂

俊傑 (Shunketsu)


From → bujinkan

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