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Thread: The Most Essential Principles of Budo: Ma'ai

  1. #1
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    Default The Most Essential Principles of Budo: Ma'ai

    I hadn't planned on writing this post right on the heels of the Structure post, but a number of people asked for it, so here's my take on ma'ai.

    http://budobum.blogspot.com/2014/07/...s-in-budo.html

    Ma'ai is tricky, and dependent on many factors. What do you think? Did I capture the concept, or just flounder around waving at the air.
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

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    Hello Peter,
    Thank you for sharing a complete review of Ma'ai, but please note that the link you put, doesn't take you to your article, but just to your blog, I read it by searching the title in google, here it is http://budobum.blogspot.com.es/2014/...s-in-budo.html.

    I'd just like to add another use of correct Ma'ai off the mat in daily interaction with all kind of people.

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    Hi Carina,

    I'm sorry about goofing up the link. Thank you for posting the correct one!
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

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    pboylan

    I think you hit the nail on the head.

    Ma'ai IMO often does not get the attention it should in the gendai arts. I'm sure there are debatable reasons for that.
    Chris Thomas

    "While people are entitled to their illusions, they are not entitled to a limitless enjoyment of them and they are not entitled to impose them upon others."

    "Team Cynicism" MVP 2005-2006
    Currently on "Injured/Reserve" list due to a scathing Sarcasm pile-up.

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    Peter

    A good intro to the basics, and I think it gets even more complex and subtle. Body type, weapon type, asymmetric weapons engagements are all factors: I note all the examples provided are uncluttered, flat, and smooth surfaces typical not only in modern budo but largely, in many cases exclusively, how even koryu are practiced today.

    Not so in "real life." Obstacles in one's own path, in the opponents path - high ground vs. lower position - how much speed one can achieve over another - how much distance one can cover based on terrain, footwear, equipment...all are extremely important to maai. WHERE one expects to face a combat is critical to maai as well - long bows and long spears rule the battlefield and wide streets but are unwieldy at best in a crowded market, alley, or inside small rooms or those with low ceilings....the end fight in Twilight Samurai demonstrates that we need to think of maai in terms of immediate environment and up and down, not just near and far.

    Let alone the role that initiative plays in ma ai - to include closing or opening distance based on one's advantage in the moment, transitioning weapons when ma ai opens/closes, and so on and so on...

    Huge and fascinating topic, with lessons I think a lot about in terms of modern LE tactical response...

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    Just throwing this out there...

    The Japanese term "ma" is often glossed as "space", and thus "ma'ai" glossed as "mutual space", or more idiomatically, "distance, reach."

    But more precisely "ma" might be thought of as "interval", and thus covers values not only of space, but also of time.

    Discuss.
    Josh Reyer

    Swa sceal man don, žonne he ęt guše gengan ženceš longsumne lof, na ymb his lif cearaš. - The Beowulf Poet

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hissho View Post
    Peter

    A good intro to the basics, and I think it gets even more complex and subtle. Body type, weapon type, asymmetric weapons engagements are all factors: I note all the examples provided are uncluttered, flat, and smooth surfaces typical not only in modern budo but largely, in many cases exclusively, how even koryu are practiced today.

    Let alone the role that initiative plays in ma ai - to include closing or opening distance based on one's advantage in the moment, transitioning weapons when ma ai opens/closes, and so on and so on...

    Huge and fascinating topic, with lessons I think a lot about in terms of modern LE tactical response...
    Hi Kit,
    It's great to hear from you.
    I know gendai budo is usually practiced in nice, big, roomy dojo. Koryu budo on the other hand tends to get practiced wherever we can find some space. I've practiced in parking lots with a bit of loose gravel scattered around, small rooms with furniture in them (watch out for that lamp), out back of my house, and right now we practice in a fairly large room, but it has a really nice ceiling fan that is great for deflecting attacks if you forget about it. At least that one has plastic blades. I used to go to a place that was primarily a dance studio, and the ceiling fans had steel blades that could really mess up a jo or bokuto if you hit one. If you don't insist on only training in a nice dojo, you can have lots of fun with footwork and environmental hazards.

    Initiative is a whole other mess. Are you volunteering to guest blog on the topic? <smile>
    Peter Boylan
    Mugendo Budogu LLC
    Fine Budo Books, Videos, Clothes and Equipment Direct from Japan
    http://www.budogu.com

    Find my Budo Blog at http://budobum.blogspot.com/

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