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  • Hasso-no-kamae

    In the position of hasso-no-kamae, is the only option to attack when you lift the sword over head and strike men like kata no.4?

    Also is hasso-no-kamae used often by other kendoka here with any success in keiko?

    I read a little passage about this stance, it reads..

    Hasso-no-kamae
    "Also called the tree kamae, use it to attack your opponent after carefully observing and adapting to their movements."

    I still cannot understand if this stance is defensive like gedan-no-kamae or an offensive stance like hidari-jodan-no-kamae.


  • #2
    Hasso... in Kanji, means "eight directions". Ideally you can cut 8 parts of your opponent??

    I was told that Hasso was used in ancient combat. As the Japanese armors were quite bulky, especially around the helmet, it's relatively difficult to go up to Jodan/raise your sword above your head.

    ...but I'm not sure if this is the practical reason to use Hasso~

    ???

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    • #3
      In the search for why we do these things in Kendo like Jodan and Hasso kamae it gets to an utterly confusing state in trying to compare them with older Budo. I think we just have to accept that they are modified versions of old techniques.

      Principally we are confusing them with styles of swordsmanship that worked on cutting unprotected parts of the body such as into the neck, under the arms,wrists, under the chin, in between the legs, etc.

      The practice of bringing the hands behind the head to cut from hasso all seems slow and strange to me. I have only ever seen it in Kendo related kata. But I am sure others must do it some form.

      In doing this one is momentarily blinded by ones own sleeves when wearing Japanese clothing. One sees the use of tasuki for demonstrations in some ryu. But under normal circumstances this was not done.

      Also cutting from either right or left hasso in older styles sees the hands raised so high that the lower wrist is tucked in and is higher than the ear. Cuts are directed up and forward. Body cuts sometimes finished in gedan. We never see arms straight and outstretched on completing cuts even in Iaido.

      Much different to the adapted kata we now see.

      Many thing to consider. Its fun to adapt and try things out if possible. But that's exactly what it is.

      Gedan Kamae is defensive? That's news to me. I don't consider any kamae as defensive. Maybe Shinkage ryu as taught to people of high standing with the purpose of nullifiying the opponent?

      Hyaku

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      • #4
        I have a question about this stance.

        When you go into Hasso no kamae do you turn to your left or right side? Is either side correct? Or must you be on one side as mandatory? What about Fumikomi when in Hasso? Can you use your right foot? Or must you use your left?

        On a side note... can you score a point by holding your Shinai with your right hand? Say, for some odd reason you lost your left handed grip on the tsuka, and now have the opportunity to strike a clean men. Only problem is you are holding the shinai with your right hand, and there isn't enough time left to bring your left hand back on the tsuka.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Sakabato View Post
          On a side note... can you score a point by holding your Shinai with your right hand? Say, for some odd reason you lost your left handed grip on the tsuka, and now have the opportunity to strike a clean men. Only problem is you are holding the shinai with your right hand, and there isn't enough time left to bring your left hand back on the tsuka.

          In the situation you describe, No.

          As for Hasso no Kamae, it is useless in terms of Shinai Kendo. It has no practical benefits whatsoever, and it's best to concentrate on learning the basics

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          • #6
            There's an older kendoka in Sydney that uses Hasso in shiai. I thought it would be rude to ask, so I'm not sure as to the exact reasons for it. His style seemed to focus on ojiwaza against his opponent's inevitable strike to kote

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            • #7
              What are the situations when you can score with the right hand alone? The situation I described is no good... so I'm interested in knowing when it can be done! Also, must the strike have right Fumikomi or the regular left? Or does it matter at all?

              Originally posted by stealth_monkey
              There's an older kendoka in Sydney that uses Hasso in shiai. I thought it would be rude to ask, so I'm not sure as to the exact reasons for it. His style seemed to focus on ojiwaza against his opponent's inevitable strike to kote
              Hi, Sensei James Yamasaki from Pasadena Japanese Cultural Institute in C.A. uses Hasso no Kamae from time to time. It seems to be useful for knocking incoming men strikes to the side by sweeping the tip of the shinai across the forehead . The stance fully protects your Do and rear Kote from possible strikes... but leaves your leading Kote open. And well men is open too, but since the shinai is so close to the side of your head you have the ability to respond quickly.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Sakabato View Post
                What are the situations when you can score with the right hand alone? The situation I described is no good... so I'm interested in knowing when it can be done!
                If your left arm is missing and you therefore do Gyaku-Katate-Jodan... That's the only time I have seen one-handed right-hand attacks scored... As for Fumikomi, at higher levels you can do fumikomi with either foot, as long as you do it properly.

                As for the effectiveness of Hasso... until I see someone even qualify for a shiai like the All Japans or the WKC using it, I will remain convinced that it is useless in a Shiai situation (against a skilled opponent)...

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                • #9
                  I thought it was a matter of efficiency. With kendo's rules anything Hasso can do Chudan/Jodan/(Nito...?) can do better - so no-one bothers with Hasso, because it's like shooting yourself in the foot. Am I wrong?

                  The way I see it compared to Hasso: Jodan is superior for offense, Chudan is superior for doing oji-waza and Nito is superior because you can practice kendo and tossing salad at the same time.

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                  • #10
                    The last time someone used hasso with me in a practice I threw in a tsuki. That sort of finished that foolishness.
                    Hasso no kamae's purpose, (if I understand it correctly is/was:
                    - To serve like a jodan if you are wearing a kabuto that has enough 'ornamentation' that you can't get your arms around it.
                    - To ideally place the sword to do kesa-giri ...which is not legal in shinai kendo.
                    - To place the sword so you can reasonably do sueho (spelling?) ..which again is not likely to be so good in shinai kendo.
                    - To provide a perspective that also makes it difficult to judge the length of your sword...which is pretty useless in kendo when you know the shinai's
                    maximum length.

                    In summary from my limited understanding. In adopting Hasso no kamae you've placed the shinai so that it is relatively worthless in attack, in accordance with what Hasso is for and what is legal in shinai kendo, and to do so you've given up the advantages of chudan with respect to warding off the opponent.

                    This is not to say that one cannot find something in Hasso that works against some opposition by some kenshi...but for myself chudan is hard enough and sufficient for my practice without mixing in other kamae (though I did make a multi-year forray into jodan when I had a competent jodanist around to help me out).

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                    • #11
                      Andy you are missing nito for right handed cuts, I have seen someone score with the shoto in the right hand (dou) in the us nationals. Also there are some situations where you cut the dou with the right hand, but it is a advanced technique and I wouldnt even worry that it exists until you are yondan or up.

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                      • #12
                        Some people will use hasso when transitioning from chudan to jodan if the maai is close. As a normal kamae, it is too exposed for shinai kendo.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ender84567 View Post
                          Andy you are missing nito for right handed cuts.
                          Yeah, I stand corrected on that, most Nito-players in Kyoto (there are actually a surprisingly large amount, some graded as high as 6dan) hold the Daito in their right hand, so all of their Ippon are usually scored using right-handed Katate-waza too... Never seen anyone score with the Shoto in Japan yet though, though admittedly most people don't bother trying...

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                          • #14
                            The only practical use for hasso that I can conceptualize comes when trying to do katsugi-waza.

                            I don't know if it's correct to say, in that instance, that hasso is used... but that's the closest I can visualize...

                            for the uninitiated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSlr2...ayer_embedded#!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by stealth_monkey View Post
                              There's an older kendoka in Sydney that uses Hasso in shiai. I thought it would be rude to ask, so I'm not sure as to the exact reasons for it. His style seemed to focus on ojiwaza against his opponent's inevitable strike to kote
                              Really?
                              Who is this?

                              I've never seen anyone in Sydney fight with hasso

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