In the Hachiji Dachi (Natural Stance) the feet are about shoulder width apart and the toes point outward at about 30°. The knees are generally straight but not locked. The hands can be in several different positions, depending on circumstances. Weight should be evenly distributed along the entire bottom of the feet.
The stance derives its name from the similarity of the foot positions to the Kanji for the number eight.
Hachi, the Kanji for the number eight, is depicted at left. As with many terms in Japanese the name is derived in part from its similarity to a common Kanji depiction.
In some martial arts systems the Hachiji Dachi is used as the foundation for the Yoi posture. We prefer using Heiko Dachi for this purpose, though we have no objections if you experiment with using Hachiji Dachi in its place. In most formal uses however you will want to utilize Heiko Dachi when establishing the Yoi posture.
You may also see this stance referred to as Shizentai. There is no discernible difference between Shizentai and Hachiji Dachi.
Hachiji Dachi is easily established from Heiko Dachi by settling back slightly onto the heels and then rotating the balls of the feet outward approximately 30°.