The Five Attitudes

The five attitudes are: Upper, Middle, Lower, Right Side, and Left Side. Although attitude has these five divisions, the one purpose of all of them is to cut the enemy. There are none but these five attitudes.

[Kamae (attitude), from the verb kamaeru: to build, set up, adopt a stance, posture or defensive attitude]

Whatever attitude you are in, do not be conscious of adopting the attitude; think only of cutting.

Your attitude should be large or small according to the situation. Upper, Lower and Middle attitudes are decisive. Left Side and Right Side attitudes are fluid. Left and Right attitudes should be used if there is an obstruction overhead or to one side. The decision to use Left or Right depends on the place.

To understand the essence of the Way, you must thoroughly understand the middle attitude. The middle attitude is the heart of attitudes. If we look at strategy on a broad scale, the middle attitude is the seat of the commander, with the other four attitudes following the commander. You must appreciate this.