How you stand or position yourself is extremely important in martial arts training and in a conflict situation. There are a great many different ways in which you might stand or sit. Each position has advantages and disadvantages that should be understood so that the best stance or posture can be adopted at the appropriate time.
Let’s take a moment to discuss some vocabulary, because it can be confusing at times. Here are some terms you will encounter related to Kamae.
- Kamae refers to posture. It is the term used when no modifier us present. So, if you are talking about posture in general then you would use the word Kamae.
- Gamae refers to posture as well, but it is the form of Kamae that is used when a compound term or specific type of posture is referenced. For example, Gedan Gamae would refer to a mid-level posture, or a posture in which the legs are bent significantly.
- Tachi refers to a stance. Like Kamae, it is the form used when no modifier is present. So Tachi would refer to stances in general, rather than to a specific stance.
- Dachi is the form of Tachi that is used when a compound term is utilized. For example, [glossary}Kiba Dachi[/glossary] would refer to a specific type of stance. It is also a form of Gedan Gamae.
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 ...Read More
In this stance (often called the Parallel Stance) the feet are parallel to one another and placed about ½ shoulder-width apart or directly below the hips. In many cases it ...Read More
Heisoku Dachi (sometimes called the Ready Stance) is the fundamental attention stance in most martial arts styles, including Tensoku Ryu. In this stance the heels and toes come together and ...Read More
Iaigoshi Dachi (Kneeling Stance) is similar to the Soft Bow Stance but there are a few differences. The first is that the back knee descends and rests on the floor ...Read More
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 ...Read More
The Juji Dachi (X-Stance, Cross Stance, and sometimes the Twist Stance), involves positioning the back foot near but behind and to the opposite side of the front foot. Consider standing ...Read More
The Kiba Dachi is also frequently called a Horse Rider's Stance. It is often simply called a Horse Stance, a phrase which while linguistically inaccurate is still quite commonly used ...Read More
The Kokutsu Dachi (Back Stance) might be considered the reverse of the Zenkutsu Dachi. In the Kokutsu Dachi the front leg is held relatively straight (it can range from significantly ...Read More
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 ...Read More
Musubi Dachi is very much like Heisoku Dachi except that the toes point outward at about 30°. The heels are together and the hands and knees are held in the same ...Read More
Also called a Cat Stance, this stance is generally used as a prelude to an attack or an intermediate step when retreating. Sometimes it might be considered a mixture of ...Read More
Renoji Dachi (the “L” stance) is formed by moving the back leg slightly in behind the front leg until the heels are in alignment (essentially forming the letter “L”). The ...Read More
Sanchin Dachi (the Three Battles Stance or the Hour Glass Stance) is a very strong stance that is also very difficult to master. Begin this stance by placing one foot ...Read More
Seiza is a formal sitting posture that one may use whenever sitting in the Dojo (especially in formal situations or when you will be sitting for a relatively short period ...Read More
In Shiko Dachi (the Square Stance) both feet are moved outward a little beyond shoulder width. Both feet point outward from your center at about 30° (the feet point in ...Read More
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 ...Read More
The Soft Bow Stance can be considered a modified Zenkutsu Dachi in which the back leg is bent rather than straight. In the Soft Bow the degree to which the ...Read More
Our standard initial stances are depicted in the diagram below. While our martial arts students study various additional stances as they progress through the early ranks in our system, the ...Read More
The Teiji Dachi (or the “T”) stance is similar to Renoji Dachi except the back foot moves back slightly until the instep of the back foot is aligned with the ...Read More
This stance, also called a Reverse Cat Stance, is related to the Neko Ashi Dachi, but has the foot with little pressure moved slightly behind the other foot, rather than ...Read More
This stance (also commonly called a Hard Bow Stance) is a mid-level stance that places one leg forward of the other. The feet are spread at least shoulder width apart ...Read More