Sochin Dachi (Immovable Stance, Rooted Stance or Side Stance) looks very much like a Kiba Dachi, but the focus of your upper torso is different.
In Kiba Dachi you might think of your feet being placed on the local 3 and 4 octagon angles. Your upper body is then focused on defending an attack from the general direction of angles 3 or 4. The stance might also be used (less effectively) to attack toward angle 1 (as seen in many drills where you adopt this stance and then strike to angle 1).
In Sochin Dachi the general form of the stance is similar – both feet are out relatively wide, the feet are parallel, the knees are bent significantly, and the knees both flex outward and away from the hips. However, the application of movement from this stance is different.
Imagine that your feet are aligned along the 7 and 8 octagon angles. The focus of your body is not along this axis, but instead directly toward local angle 1 (or possibly local angle 3). This is naturally where your center will be aligned when adopting this stance and is the natural place to which you would deliver strikes or kicks.
In this position the stance also allows you to strongly resist pushes and pulls directed along local angle 1 (or 3). This is why the stance is often called the Immovable Stance.
Note also that you could be focused toward local angle 1 if your feet are alternately aligned along the 5 and 6 local octagon angles. From this foot positioning you might also focus your efforts toward local angle 4.
We use Sochin Dachi extensively as our natural stance precisely because it offers strength, stability, and an automatic focus along your center. As a result, a key aspect of Tensoku Ryu is that your feet will normally be aligned at 45° to your intended area of focus. This is an essential element of much of our stance work. We consider Sochin Dachi to be the signature stance of our style since you can readily establish many other stances quickly and easily from Sochin Dachi without having to move your feet.
While in Sochin Dachi you can simply rotate your torso to change your angle of attack by 90°. For example, assume you are aligned along the local 7 and 8 angles as in the example above. Your left leg is back and your torso is focused on local angle 1. Your feet are parallel and generally pointed in the direction of angle 5. Now without stepping or lifting either foot simply turn your torso toward angle 3. You will notice that your feet are perfectly aligned to allow your center to be directed toward angle 3. Without moving you have changed your angle of attack by 90°. Your right leg has now become your back leg. This would allow you, for example, to very quickly focus on an attack from a different opponent or direction, or to initiate a movement against an opponent at angle 1 that continues in a circular manner to its conclusion when you are focused at angle 3 (e.g. a throw).
This stance is such an intrinsic part of our style that some additional discussion of angles is warranted. The following table shows most of the foot positions and angles that might be easily considered when using this stance.
|Left Foot||Right Foot||Center||Foot Orientation|
|5||6||1 or 4||Feet pointed at 7|
|8||7||1 or 3||Feet pointed at 5|
|6||5||2 or 3||Feet pointed at 8|
|7||8||2 or 4||Feet pointed at 6|
|1||2||6 or 7||Feet pointed at 4|
|3||4||5 or 7||Feet pointed at 1|
|2||1||5 or 8||Feet pointed at 3|
|4||3||6 or 8||Feet pointed at 2|
By contrast, Kiba Dachi has your feet oriented in the same direction as your center. This means your only possible angle or focus is at the angle to which your feet are pointed. It is also worth noting that you can quickly change from Sochin Dachi to Kiba Dachi simply by rotating your center 45° so that your feet now point directly along your newly established center. You do not need to move your feet to make this stance change. Obviously it is also then quite easy to shift from Kiba Dachi to Sochin Dachi. You should study, practice, and come to intimately understand these angles as they are an integral foundation for much of the studies of Tensoku Ryu.