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Frazatto's picture
Anyone with a good grasp of Japanese vocabulary in karate?

We suffer of a problem here that what we actually use in practice is a mixture of Portuguese, broken Japanese and completely wrongly written Japanese (that is badly pronounced hahaha).

Not a issue at all I think, we have no obligation to speak Japanese as natives and the vocabulary should be anough that I can go at any other dojo and understand what is being asked of me.

I got into a discussion with my Sensei and he affirms that the command to start a posture is just "kamai" and "kamaite" is for turning when we get to the end of the training area. But I'm pretty sure that, besides being written wrong in the material we have, "kamaeite" is the command to start a posture and "mawarite" is the command for turning.

My Japanese is quite basic, can anyone that actually know the kanji and the correct verbal forms settle this issue?

SimonSutherland's picture

My understanding is that "Kamae" is the word used to represent "Posture".

The first example I use is from Heian Nidan (Shotokan) after the 3-left,3-right gestures and just before the yoko geri/uraken, we pull our fists together at the left hip. I have seen this position described as "ryoken koshi kamae" - "both fists/hip/posture".

In Heian Godan (Shotokan), after the first 2 gestures, the next one ends up with the left arm tilted slightly downwards pointing to the right. This was explained to me as the "water flowing posture" or "mizu nagare no kamae" (you can imagine a drop of water rolling down the arm from the shoulder - without the arm being tilted it wouldn't roll down, if it was titled too much it would fall off before it got to the end).

"Kamaete" is from the verb KAMAERU (構えて) meaning to adopt a posture.

If I wanted to start the kata exercise at the position with the two hands on the hip, using the first example, it would be "ryoken koshi kamaete" - the command to move into that posture.

Mawate is from the verb MAWARU (回る) meaning to turn or revolve. This is the command we use for turning 180 degrees.

Good luck with your instructor.

(I am sure you have seen Iain explaining how positions / postures are temporary transition points)

Frazatto's picture

Thanks SimonSutherland o/

So you truncate the い, cool, I thought this was a Portuguese bad habit.