|Soke Hausel, stands in shiko dachi to teach white |
crane Shorin-Ryu at a UW clinic in Laramie.
Shiko Dachi (sumo stance)
In many of the Japanese dojo (道場), there is an insistence that students practice kiba dachi where it is designated with no room for interpretation. However, many Okinawa schools are not so concerned with exact placement of feet. It is much more important to keep knees bent for effective self-defense. To the uninitiated, shiko dachi and kiba dachi look the same and they can be used interchangably.
|Hanshi Andy Finley, 8th dan, stands in zenkutsu |
dachi while teaching nunchaku clinic at
University of Wyoming.
When you check your stance, look at the position of your knees and feet. If your back foot is perpendicular to your front foot, you are likely standing in fudo dachi or kokutsu dachi rather than zenkutsu dachi. Examine to see if your back is straight?
|Sensei Tyler Durfee, 3nd dan, stands in |
kokutsu dachi while training with
kama, Seiyo Hombu, Mesa, Arizona.
The back stance is slightly different for Shorin-Ryu karate than Shotokan karate. In most systems of karate, feet are perpendicular to one another with knees bent. However, in Shorin-Ryu, the back foot and knee are at a 100 to 110 degree angle with the front foot, with both heels slightly off-set off the embusen line rather than in a straight line. The separation of feet from front to back, and side to side, should be the same as in zenkutsu dachi. Kokutsu dachi is typically used for defense.
The cat stance is a great stance to defend from. As you practice cat stance, be sure all of the weight is on you back leg and both knees lie over the insteps.
As you practice this stance, periodically lift your front foot to see if you have to adjust your balance to keep from falling forward. If you do, you need to readjust and get all of your weight on the back leg.
|Soke Hausel in crane|
stance during karate demo
at Chinese New Year.
The stance is also known as sagi-ashi dachi, which translates as heron-foot stance (鷺足立 ). Typically, it is used in avoidance of foot sweeps, shin or foot strikes, and was featured in the Karate Kid movie. In some cases, we interpret its use in kata, as an exercise to assist students in building leg muscle and balance.
|Soke stands in musubi dachi at |
UW clinic in Laramie
|Iaigoshi dachi (kneeling stance) demonstrated by|
Hanshi Neal Adam, 8th dan, at Seiyo Hombu in