Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive


Technique of the Week (June 4th, 2006)

Sensei Lorenzo Aguon Downtown Karate Dojo
Aloha Activity Center 725 Kapiolani Boulevard #101
Honolulu, Hawaii



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Zenkutsu-dachi VS. Neko-ashi-dachi

Zenkutsu-dachi:
From the ready stance, the practitioner steps forward with either the left or the right leg. Make sure the front leg is bent far enough so that the front knee is over the toes. The practitioner's back leg should be straight with the rear knee locked out. The practitioner distributes 70% of their weight to the front foot and 30%of their weight to the back foot. The front foot should always be pointing in the direction of the target and the rear foot pointing out in a 45 degree angle.

Neko-ashi-dachi:
From the natural walking stance (shizentai-dachi), the practitioner has either the left leg or right leg forward. The practioner then drops straight down so that 90% of their weight is placed on the rear foot and 10% of their weight on the front foot. Most of the practitioner's weight is then focused on the rear of the rear foot. Both legs are bent (Imagine sitting on a chair), the rear foot is flat on the ground and the front slightly touching at the toes (heels up). The front foot should always be pointing in the direction of the target and the rear foot pointing out in a 45 degree angle.

Both these stances vary in how they look and how they distribute their weight. But that is not all. When performing the zenkutsu-dachi stance, the practitioner sees with the eyes first, then "gets low" and sneaks into the stance, finds their foundation, then performs the technique. For example, performing Gedan Uke in the first move of Fukyugata 1.

When performing the Neko-ashi-dachi stance, the practitioner sees with the eyes first, "stays high", then drops into the stance, finds their foundation, then performs the technique. For example, performing Chudan soto shuto-uke.

Do a few katas that incorporate these stances. Then ask yourself: "Do I "STAY HIGH?" or "Do I GET LOW FIRST?" before I perform the technique in those stances. The katas have the answers!

Domo Arigato,
Sensei Lorenzo Aguon
Downtown Karate Dojo
Aloha Activity Center
725 Kapiolani Boulevard #101
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
808-533-1111
dkdojo@aol.com