Ippon Dachi

Ippon Dachi is the One-Legged-Stance. In this stance, one leg is raised and the foot is brought adjacent to the pedestal leg. The raised foot may be placed in several different positions, depending upon what is required or advantageous at the moment. The most common raised foot positions are:

  • Tucked behind the pedestal leg with the top of the raised foot resting near the top of the calf of the pedestal leg.
  • Placed at the side of the pedestal leg such that the toes point downward and the sole rests near the knee and outside of the shin. In some cases the foot may be significantly higher, but then the heel of the raised foot makes contact with the supporting leg.
  • Crossing the thigh of the pedestal leg such that the ankle of the raised foot rests against the front of the pedestal leg.

Other foot positions are also possible, again depending on what is required or useful at the moment. This stance is often used to initiate a change of direction, move to the inside of an attack, or to use the raised leg as a block. The stance should always be considered transitional.

If you experience difficulty with balance during this stance then try the following potential solutions:

  • Bend the pedestal leg slightly. This affords you a third additional point of adjustment for your balance. If the knee is straight then only your hip and ankle can help stabilize your structure. If the knee is bent slightly you have an additional way to shift and maintain your balance.
  • Ensure you are relaxed. When you are tense up you will begin to wobble. Be as relaxed as possible (for the situation). Bending your knee also lowers your center of gravity slightly which can help.
  • Double-check to make sure you are standing with an erect posture such that your ankle, knee, hip, shoulders, and head are all aligned in a reasonably straight line. If something is out of position you will have balance problems.
  • Ensure your head is up and your eyes are focused forward. If you are looking down or to the side you will have a harder time maintaining balance. Head tilt is a common cause of balance problems.
  • Keep your arms relatively close to your body. If your arms are extended too far they function as a weight that attempts to pull you over.
  • Place your elevated leg a little bit lower or in a different position. With time you can slowly raise it as your balance improves.

You will also note that the second foot position above is the beginning posture for many kicks, including Mae Geri, Yoko Geri, Ura Mawashi Geri, etc.

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