Moto Dachi is a general fighting stance in which the feet are set comfortably wide (a little longer than the length of your shin) and the knees are slightly bent. In most martial arts styles the front foot faces directly forward and the back foot is rotated toward octagon angles 5 or 7 (depending on which leg is forward). The heel of the front foot lies in a line directly forward of the heel of the back foot much like Renoji Dachi (but with the feet further apart front to back). So the heel of the back leg and toes of the front leg are positioned along the one-two axis of the octagon.
In Tensoku Ryu we typically turn the front foot from its forward facing position so that it is generally parallel to the back foot. This is not a requirement, but we find it is a more practical application of this stance. It helps support our concept of center and does not impede our ability to move while in this position. As a Tensoku Ryu practitioner you can use either foot position, which can vary with your intended application.
This stance is commonly called the foundational stance. Within Tensoku Ryu we also frequently refer to it as the fighting stance. Due to our foot positioning the front torso is naturally rotated away from our opponent, moving many of our vital organs out of the opponent’s direct line of fire.
Moto Dachi is regularly used as the primary initial stance when participating in Kumite. We suggest there may be other useful stances as well, but you will notice most Kumite participants begin from this or a very similar stance.
This stance is narrower and more erect than Sochin Dachi. Sochin Dachi is great for many things, but it is not often useful as an initial fighting stance. It leaves you too open to attack from an opponent and heavily roots you at a time when rooting is not an advantage. We therefore utilize Moto Dachi (and similar stances) as a more practical stance during the initial stages of a conflict.