Stances (Dachi)

One of the most important aspects of karate training is stance practice. Proper stance is the foundation for effective technique. Without a strong stance, punches, kicks or blocks can not be executed properly. For example, if you first punch or block with one foot off the floor, then repeat the technique with both feet on the floor, you can feel a tremendous increase in power with the second technique.

In Kyokushin Karate, there are a number of stances from which we practice technique. The purpose of some of these stances (Heisoku Dachi, Musubi Dachi, etc.) is to demonstrate proper demeanor and attitude, while the purpose of other stances, is to strengthen the body, and facilitate body movement, proper breathing and the successful completion of the technique.

Heisoku-dachi: Formal attention stance

The feet are close together, both are pointing straight ahead. Weight is distributed 50/50.

Back to the top Musubi-dachi: Informal attention stance


Both feet are turned out at 45 degrees with heels touching. Weight is distributed 50/50.

Back to the top Yoi-dachi: Ready stance

Feet are shoulder width apart, both are pointing straight ahead. Weight is distributed 50/50.

Back to the top Zenkutsu-dachi: Forward Leaning stance

Zenkutsu Dachi is a basic stance from which the majority of our basic techniques are practiced. The stance is slightly wider than the shoulders (men) hips (women). The length of the stance will vary depending on the body proportions of the student. However, the weight and position of the front and rear legs should be consistent.
The weight distribution on the front leg is 60%. The front leg must be bent at a sharp angle so that when looking down at the knee, the toes cannot be seen

The weight distribution on the rear leg is 40%. The knee of the back leg should be locked, keeping the leg straight. The back foot is set at a 45 degree angle which allows the upper body to remain square to the stance and also facilitates forward movement.

Proper forward movement in Zenkutsu Dachi is as follows:


Turn the heel of the front foot in 45 degrees, this is referred to as 'canting' the heel. Do not pick up the toes and move them out; this is incorrect.
Draw the rear leg up using the adductor and quadriceps muscle groups of the forward leg. (Do not push off with the back leg.)
When the rear leg has become even with the front leg, the adductor and quadriceps muscle groups of the forward leg will now push and drive the rear leg into its desired position.
At the moment of completion of the stance, the weight is naturally transferred to the new front leg, and the new rear leg locks into place by means of the heel driving outward and back into it's 45 degree position.<.p>

Note: When moving forward, always keep the legs the same width apart; do not allow the feet to come close together. Also try to maintain the same height throughout the movement. Do not allow yourself to move up and down.


Back to the top Kokutsu-dachi: Back stance

The rear foot is turned out at a 45 degree angle supporting 70% of the weight. The front foot is straight ahead, with only the front pad of the foot on the ground, supporting 30% of the weight. The center of gravity is back. Toes of the front foot are approximately 2 foot lengths from the toes of the rear foot.

Back to the top Kiba-dachi: Horse (side) stance

Description of the stance is here

Back to the top Neko ashi-dachi: Cat (foot) stance

This stance is very similar to kokutsu dachi. However the weight is distributed about 90% on the back foot and 10% on the front foot and the feet are closer together. The heel of the front foot is in line with the toes of the back foot.

Back to the top Sanchin-Dachi: 3 Battles Stance (Mind, Body, Spirit)

The feet are approximately shoulder width apart and both are turned inward 35 to 45 degrees. One foot is positioned slightly forward so that the heel of the front foot is in line with the toes of the back foot. Your weight is distributed 50/50. Your center of gravity is directly over an imaginary point on the floor directly under the groin. Toes should tightly grip the floor, and hips are tucked under, pushing the hara (center) forward and up.

Back to the top Kumite-dachi: Fighting stance
Description of the stance is here


Back to the top Moro-dachi: Augumented stance

Description of the stance is here

Back to the top Tsuru ashi-dachi: Crane (foot) stance

Stand on one foot, which points straight ahead. Hold the other foot in the sokuto (foot edge) position with the sole lightly touching the side of the leg at approximately knee height of the supporting leg. Yoko geri (side kick) is often practiced from this stance.


Back to the top Kake-dachi: Hook/Cross stance
There are two ways of stepping into the kake dachi, both of which start by bringing the rear foot forward beside the front foot; the first way is to bring the rear foot up and in front of the other leg; the other way is to bring the rear up up and behind the other leg. The reason for this is that it is usually a way of gaining distance when attempting a technique, such as a kick. The first way ( in front ) can be to gain distance for a roundhouse, back or crescent kick; the second way ( in behind ) can be to gain distance for a side or hook kick. Both could be used for a deep front kick attack or to help with bridging a large gap for any hand techniques. As well, the hook stance can be used as a halfway step when twisting to do a spin kick

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