Iain posted a quote on Facebook...
"Although there are hundreds of different stances, they all exist for the same purpose: to defeat the enemy." - Yagyu Munenori (1571 - 1646)
We talk about stances juch as zenkutsudachi and so on. Tachi meaning stance. Then we talk about fighting stance and we call it Kamae. What's the difference?
According to wikipedia, tachi refers to what happens below the waist, i.e. how you arrange your feet, legs and hips. Kamae meaning posture, refers to the whole body. So tachi talks about the mechanisms of different ways of standing, but kamae is all about your entire frame - and that would include your arms, hands and head. Would it also include your attitude and focus? And your fighting spirit?
It would be interesting to see the original Japanese version of the above quote to see if it refers to tachi or kamae.
In kata we talk about stances - so they are the positions into which we move. Momentary pauses in the routine. But we also have kamae, which represents each posture... awareness and application.
So kamae is dynamic. It is constantly changing and fluid, whereas tachi are 'fixed' positions. In kata the tachi are dots in the picture, but we join the dots with kamae. I'm sure you all realise the kata is (mostly) about the movements, not the positions. To use another analogy, kata is a 'video', not a sequence of 'photos in a book' (or even one of those flick books kids make).
What are your thoughts on tachi and kamae?