The seiza position is the formal kneeling position used in Japanese martial arts, as well as the kneeling position used by the Samurai.
Seiza ho is the act of moving from kamae into the seiza position. Contained within the movement is a study of how height is dropped (also called a level change) while good posture is maintained. The movement is found at the tail end of many osae (pinning) techniques. For this reason, the movement can be thought of as a training exercise, as well as a formal method for switching between the kamae and seiza positions. For example, the two partners, shite and uke, will perform seiza ho together while moving into any suwari (kneeling) technique.
- Start standing in kamae
- Drop straight down to the back knee
- Do not allow the weight to move backwards
- Toes together
- Knees one to two fists width apart
- Keep the center of gravity forward
- The weight settles so that the buttocks are just above the heels
- Fingers together, flat palms resting on the inner aspect of the mid-thigh, pointing in
- Weight still forward
- Maintain good posture and an active position with the buttocks held a few millimeters above the heels
To reverse the procedure (move from seiza to kamae), do these steps in reverse:
- Tuck the toes underneath and pull the weight backwards onto them
- Bring the lead leg forward and place the foot so that the knee comes halfway across the arch of the foot, with the hands coming up into kamae position
- Rise into kamae, with the weight kept forward