Seiza 正座 & Zarei 座礼: Siting Straight and Seated Bow

From “Gōjū-Ryū Karate-Dō Desk Reference 剛柔流空手道 机参照: Volume 2: Dōjō Auxiliary, Glossary & Terminology 道場の補助、用語集 と 辞書

Seiza 正座 & Zarei 座礼: Siting Straight and Seated Bow

  • Seiza 正座 means “sitting straight” and is a basic upright kneeling position we use for Karate-dō 空手道 and Budō 武道 (Martial Art).
  • Zarei 座礼 (seated bow) is the act of bowing from the seated position of Seiza 正座.


To sit Seiza 正座, begin from a proper standing posture with your hands to your side. Keep your back straight and square above your hips at all times then;

  • Lower your hips, maintaining your center in vertical alignment while,
  • Bending your left leg first, slide your left foot backwards.
  • Bring your left knee to where the ball of your left foot was previously located while,
  • Following with your right leg sliding your right foot backwards placing your right knee to where the ball of your right foot was previously located.

From this position, you should be seated on your ball of foot (with your toes bent). Pause for a short moment on the balls of your foot before laying your toes flat and straight where you should now be seated correctly in Seiza 正座. The feet should not overlap on top of each-other.

  • For ladies, the legs should be closed with knees closer together.
  • For gentlemen, the knees can drift slightly apart however not more than approximately one knee width.

To return to standing position, perform the preceding in the opposite order, beginning with the right leg and remember to keep your posture and your back vertical using your core muscle network. You should again, center your shoulders directly above your hips and your hips directly above your feet.