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Featured Article / Review
General Terminology - Senmongo

General Terminology - Senmongo


Terminology from Dojo to Dojo, association to association and style to style may vary based on the specific techniques however Japanese is the general language of Karatedo. Although this list is likely to never be complete, it is accurate specifically towards Gojuryu Karatedo and ever expanding. 

... full article
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Articles Home » 剛柔流 Techniques » Dachi - Stance
Dachi - Stance

There are distinct stances in Gojuryu, eight of which are considered essential stances among others, all of which are relative to one another. Each stance is influenced by another in increments by a mere 45° or 90° angle and/or a parallel to horizontal position, and distances are measured by the Karatedo practitioner own foot size (relative to their body size). Those essential stances and all others being stances found later at advanced levels will be described at some time in this report with an exception to some postures (found in the posture section) such as Yoi, which is really a Kamae. All in all, the most common stances are found below:

Heisoku Dachi Musubi Dachi Heiko Dachi Soto Hachi Monji Dachi or Soto Dachi Uchi Hachi Monji Dachi or Uchi Dachi

Shiko Dachi no Tachi Kata
Shiko Dachi Heikaku Shiko Dachi Shakaku Shiko Dachi Chokkaku

Sanchin Dachi no Tachi Kata
Migi Sanchin Dachi Hidari Sanchin Dachi

Zenkutsu Dachi no Tachi Kata
Han Zenkutsu Dachi Zenkutsu Dachi Kokutsu Dachi

Zuri Ashi Dachi Tei Ji Dachi ‘Re’ Noji Dachi Neko Ashi Dachi
Sagi Ashi Dachi Moto Dachi Kosa Dachi



Neko Ashi No Unsoku

 Heisoku Dachi is formed by placing feet together parallel with no distance between them (heels and toes and knees close together)
 Musubi Dachi can be formed from leaving Heisoku Dachi and placing the balls of both feet out at 45°. Heels shall remain together. If you were to look down at this point your feet should look as if they were in a “V” position. Your knees are straight and instead of being locked are in a natural relaxed position. This stance is used when standing at attention.
 Heiko Dachi. This parallel stance is made from the point of Musubi Dachi by lifting up on the balls of you feet and bringing you heels in line with the front of the foot, you should now be standing in a parallel stance with your feet one foot length apart or even better, feet should be at about shoulder distance. Your knees are straight and instead of being locked are in a naturally relaxed position.
 Lifting the ball of the feet and placing your toes 45° outward again creates Soto Dachi(traditionally called Soto Hachi Monji Dachi). Your knees again are straight and instead of being locked are in a natural relaxed position.
 Uchi Dachi (traditionally called Uchi Hachi Monji Dachi ) is further moved out with the heels again but deeper past a parallel stance (heels spread out 45°). This stance should be regarded as ‘Inside Stance’ because the feet are facing 45° inward. Uchi means inside.
  • Shiko Dachi no Tachi Kata


Shiko Dachi no Tachi Kata is the grouping of the three versions of Shiko Dachi. The standard Shiko Dachi is developed by another Shift of the ball of the foot outward 45° (untraditional this is called Horse Stance). It should be prominent that when in this posture, the upper legs (thigh area) are bent far past 45° and showing the pupil is strong and deep in their stance. The knees should be directly an above the feet (if the student is looking at them self in the mirror) and the back should be slightly arched but straight compared to a slump forward and the hips should be pushed back into a sitting position.

(Shiko Dachi is also misrepresented as Kiba Dachi or in English straddle leg stance however, differs in that Kiba Dachi the feet are pointed straight, stressing the ankles where as in Shiko Dachi the feet are pointed to 45°.)

 Shiko Dachi Heikaku Starts from Heiko Dachi. Move your right foot directly out to the right into Shiko Dachi
 Shiko Dachi Shakaku starts again from Heiko Dachi. Move your right foot directly forward and out 45°.
 Shiko Dachi Chokkaku also starts from Heiko Dachi Te Obi. Slightly more difficult it steps from Heiko Dachi forward 90° with the right foot, your body now facing right angle however you head turned 90° into the direction your head started.
  • Sanchin Dachi no Tachi Kata

Sanchin Dachi is the root and substance to Gojuryu. Sanchin Dachi in known as immovable stance should be thought of as absorbing energy from the ground up and into your body and using its energy to your advantage not just gripping and holding onto the floor. To formulate Sanchin Dachi, the student should go back to Heiko Dachi. Place the right foot one-foot length ahead of the spot it was at (right heel just on the imaginary line that its toe ended at). Turn the right heel out 45°, next bring the right foot back a bit until the heel rests on the same horizontal line as the toes of the left foot. While grabbing the ground with the feet in a twisting out motion, the knees should be slightly bent inward as to protect the groin area from attack; the buttocks pushed forward, the inside and outside of the thighs tightened. Your center of gravity should be located at the point midway between both feet.


Migi Sanchin Dachi is right foot forward Sanchin Dachi.


Hidari Sanchin Dachi is left foot forward Sanchin Dachi. See also Moto Dachi.

  • Zenkutsu Dachi no Tachi Kata

 Zenkutsu Dachi is also known as front stance. In this stance, another one of the strongest stances, with the center of gravity being midway between both feet. One way to achieve this position is to start from Shiko Dachi. Turn the right leg straight, without raising the head level, square the hips and shoulders into a linear posture with the left leg that will be considered the front. Bend the left knee so as the front foot cannot be seen all the while keeping the right leg (back leg) straight. Keep the back sustained in a straight position perpendicular to the floor. The front foot should be turned slightly inward. Be careful not to place too much weight on the front foot, and the front foot and back foot are not on the same imaginary line they are about four foot lengths in distance apart, and about shoulder width.
 Han-Zenkutsu Dachi begins from Heiko Dachi. Step out with the right side, Te Obi between one half the distance and one footstep less than Zenkutsu Dachi. This position is close to the same posture of Zenkutsu Dachi and more than often-called Hankutsu Dachi. Leg tension shall remain the same as shall back and hip position.
 Kokutsu Dachi begins directly from Zenkutsu Dachi. From this position, turn to the right 90° (as in Sanseiru) on the balls of both feet. Both feet should now be facing to the right of the original direction however the head stays turned in the direction it was originally. Kokutsu Dachi is also the name of a back stance more often found in the Shotokan style however is performed completely different.

Tei Ji Dachi. Often written as “T” Ji Dachi. This stance is in the posture of an inverted “T”. From Heisoku Dachi place the left foot horizontally behind the right foot so as the heel of the right foot is in the center of the left foot (a 90° angle).

An alteration of this stance is to, as in previous stances, advance the right foot just one full foot length ahead of where it was. It still is called “T” Ji Dachi!

 Re Noji Dachi is another variation of Tei Ji Dachi positioned by turning the heel of the back foot out 45°. This stance is mostly used in alteration or preparation of Neko Ashi Dachi.

Neko Ashi Dachi is the essential fighting stance of Gojuryu. It is the other of the two major stances (the other being Sanchin Dachi) of this system of Karatedo . Neko Ashi Dachi can be obtained from Musubi Dachi by turning the right foot forward and the moving it exactly one-foot length forward. Then lift the heel of the front foot off of the ground, and bending the knee of the front leg (general the front foot should now look as if it were in a four inch woman, high heel or at least of that position!). Now bending the back leg, push the hips back as if to sit down in a chair. 70% to 80% of your weight should be distributed on the back leg while 20% to 30% remains on the front. This is to allow the front foot the ability to move quickly into defensive or offensive positions since there is little weight on it. From the side and front view, this posture resembles that of a cat in combat or of a person sitting in a chair that’s not there.

Sagi Ashi Dachi is also part of one of the classic postures found in the system of Gojuryu. It is also known as Heron leg stance, as in the bird. By starting once more from Heiko Dachi keep either foot on the ground bending the leg slightly for balance and raise the opposite foot into Hiki-Ashi (cocked or ready to attack, position of the leg) position. The toes of the raised foot should be pulled back for kicking. This stance is classic to Kata Saifa.
 Moto Dachi made simply is made by assuming Neko Ashi Dachi and placing both feet flat on the ground.
 Kosa Dachi the crossed leg stance is used for turning in many items from Kihon Ido to Advanced Kata. Exploiting Sanchin Dachi as a starting point (lets say right foot forward), you can either A. Step across with your right foot and keep it on the same imaginary line or B. Rotate you feet and body 180° clock wise. Either way, the front of your left knee will be fitted into the back of your right knee. In the case of version A, the blade or outside edge of your right foot should first touch the ground before completing the turn. In the case of version B, The right foot should be left on the floor with the heel having been turned in 135° (90° + 45°) and the heel of the left foot raised before completing the turn. See also Stepping.




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