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Leg's width in kamae.

by Felipe
(Brazil)

I'm not sure about the proper words to explain my doubt today, but let's try.


Talking about legs, I've noticed that there are different ways of standing on chuudan no kamae. We often see some kamae with spread legs, like Masahiro Miyazaki sensei, and we see some kamae with "closed legs", like Naoki Eiga sensei. (Let's use these Sensei names to make examples forward)

I find the two ways very beautiful, aesthetically. My senpai told me that I should try both and choose the one which fits me better, which allows me to feel comfortable to stand and attack.

But, even after some months (or more than a year, not sure) I still haven't decided which one is better to my body. With the "Eiga's style" I feel more stable and with a stronger kamae. But with "Miyazaki's style" it looks like I can move in and out more freely and quickly, and even attacking with a longer impulsion, though my hear legs is already stretched (which sounds weird, doesn't it?).

I practiced Shotokan Karate for 9 years when I was younger. Shotokan's stances are very wide, and though I haven't practiced it in the last 6 or 7 years, I fell that my body still remembers it very well. Maybe it's predetermining my kamae in Kendo, though I think both martial arts are very different.

Could you explain the benefits and differences of using these two different kinds of leg's stance?

Answer: Sooo sorry to take me so long to reply! I thought I already did! Generally speaking, wider stances are those who can strike from a far distance. You can strike quickly with this stance but it is easier to destroy your posture.

The stances with your feet relatively closer might not be as "quick" as the previously mentioned stance but then you can keep your posture good.

I tell my students to have their feet closer since they do not do kendo for "quick" strikes and also I don't want them to destroy their posture either.

My personal choice is to have my feet relatively closer because of my back and also I cannot jump as far as I used to :)

Hope this helps!

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