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Hitoemi is the basic stance for all tsuki suburi -- even the 6th and 7th ken suburi where you tsuki after a strike.

People in Iwama have told me that hitoemi translates as "shadow stance" and is the basic "ninja" stance. Of course, they could just be yanking my chain...

My biggest trouble with maintaining hitoemi is finishing a tsuki with my right foot forward. My left shoulder always pushes forward too far and I end up with a big profile. After finishing, I'll often tap my back shoulder and hip to remind myself. :)

the warrior

I'm not sure if ninja's have a basic stance. from what I have read ninja's studied many different martial arts styles along with stealth tactics known as ninjutsu. which is why some ninjutsu styles can so differently from others.


What a neat arctile. I had no inkling.

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Aikido Quotes

  • O-Sensei: My students think I don't lose my center. That is not so; I simply recognize it sooner and get back faster.

  • Morihiro Saito Sensei: Aikido is generally believed to represent circular movements. Contrary to such belief, however, Aikido, in its true KI form, is a fierce art piercing straight through the center of opposition.

  • Furuya Sensei on Swordsmanship: Letting go of the idea of “sword” and the idea of “action” is the meaning behind “willow in the gentle breeze.” When the slight summer breeze blows, does the willow follow the “nature of the willow,” or does it follow the “nature of the breeze?” Please think about this - in this lies the essence of sword technique.