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I was under the impression that in hasso-no-kamae, the sword should be forward of the face, facing the right shoulder. I cannot remember who taught me this.

However, Sakai-sensei has his sword behind his head but still facing his right shoulder, as can be seen in this clip; Sakai-sensei is the one on the left, doing the hasso-no-kamae.

On the other hand, Dave Fielding (with Mike McCavish) does it how I think it should be done.

Which is the correct one?

Does it even matter?

Is there some cross-contamination from different kenjutsu styles getting mixed in here?


The question seeks clarification on an Aikido kata which roots in kenjutsu as that is where the sword work comes from. Kendo uses hasso-no-kamae as well therefore it makes sense to have experts from there aware of the question.

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    I tried referring my Kenjutsu instructor to this, but he said it's so different from what he practices that he could not comment, and that he feels it's only an Aikido technique. – Macaco Branco Jan 30 '19 at 17:47
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I couldn't find a reference for aikiken, but for aikijo Saito sensei shows the hasso no kame with the jo behind his head as can be seen in this from one of his books. If we assume the stance is the same for jo and bokuto, then I would say that the form in the first video should be the correct one.

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