Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Terminology - Stances

Stances - the placing of the feet, angling of the legs and knees, and the ratio of body weight load between either leg, are literally the foundation for all movement and techniques in karate. Thus it is extremely important to thoroughly know and practice the main stances that are employed in Gojuryu, as well as, preferably, memorize their Japanese terminology, as given below. 
Ultimately, the stances become incorporated into a natural flow of motion, rather than discrete techniques - the so-called  "no stance" of Musashi. 
Additionally, more information can be found here and also at wiki:

      Rough translation & explanation

-dachi (tachi)
heisoku dachi
musubi dachi
heiko dachi
hachiji dachi

sanchin dachi

shiko dachi

kiba dachi

zenkutsu dachi    

han zenkutsu dachi
kokutsu dachi

han kokutsu dachi

renoji dachi

neko ashi dachi   

sesan dachi
Closed foot stance” (feet together – parallel and touching)
Joined stance” (heels touching, feet open at a right-angle)
Parallel stance” (feet parallel, shoulder-width apart)
“Kanji for “8” i.e.  stance” (feet shoulder-width apart, feet open almost at a right-angle, toes pointing outwards - not found in any kata)
Three battle stance” (Feet shoulder-width apart, the toes of one foot and the heel of the other meeting at an imaginary line passing under the body - see image above right - toes angled inwards, the upper legs, abdomen and lower back tensed; when the feet are parallel, it is called heiko sanchin dachi)
Straddle stance” (feet double shoulder-width apart, toes pointing outwards, knees bent to almost a right angle)
Horse-riding stance” (Upright shiko dachi with the toes and knees turned inwards)
Front foot stance” (feet shoulder-width apart, front leg forward; front knee bent so as to obscure the front foot, rear leg completely extended; 70% of weight on the front foot)
Half front foot stance
Rear foot stance” (Reversed zenkutsu dachi – found in the kata Seipai)
Half-rear foot stance” (found in the kata Sepai and Kururunfa – this nomenclature is primarily used on mainland Japan; in Okinawa, the "stance" is the natural consequence of turning the hips and feet 45 degrees in sanchindachi and has no specific name)
Japanese letter  stance” (back foot facing forward, front foot a foot-and-a-half step to the front and point outwards at 45 degrees)
Cat foot stance (Renoji dachi with 90% of the body's weight placed on rear foot and the rear knee bent)
Stance from the kata Sesan” (modified Shiko dachi facing sideways)

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