June 23rd, 2013
From Sensei Ron Marchetti, Shihan, Ueshiro Cocoa Dojo
Bend the Knees and Maintain Correct Foot Spacing
Onegai Shimasu Hanshi, Kyoshi, Sempai and SRKUSA Deshi,
It is interesting to note that three of our common stances require the same foot spacing and to have the knees bent because they are low stances. Zenkutsu Dachi (front leg bent stance) is learned at our first class and the common mistake is to avoid bending the front knee. It is most important to encourage getting low to develop the necessary foundational strength that can be built on for many other stances. The second stance that is introduced early in our training is Jigotai Dachi (horse riding stance). Again it is important to bend the knees and note that the foot spacing for both stances is the same. The foot position is not the same but the distance between the feet is the same. Once again it is important to encourage all deshi to get low and bend the knees to develop a strong foundation. Naihanchi Dachi (straddle leg stance) is the third stance introduced at Ni Kyu (Brown Belt) rank that has the same foot spacing as Zenkutsu Dachi and Jigotai Dachi and also requires the knees to be bent. Once again the foot position is different for Naihanchi Dachi. The foot spacing for these three stances requires the distance between the feet to be the length of the leg from the knee to the heel plus one fist. Common mistakes are to have too little distance between the feet or too much distance between the feet which leads to straight legs. The correct foot spacing allows each deshi to bend the knees. This must be encouraged. Photos showing foot spacing and position along with more detailed descriptions are available in The Essence of Okinawan Karate-Do by Shoshin Nagimine on pages 65 & 66.
Sensei Ron Marchetti
Shihan, Ueshiro Cocoa Dojo