Stances: The “Root” of Karate

I am more convinced then ever that stances play an intracate part of Martial Arts. Take for instance the other day when a co-worker Bobby aka “Moose” wanted to fool around a bit. He threw a type of side kick towards my knee. I reacted as alwas, by moving my front foot foward and locking into a kiba-dachi or horse stance. My stance was rooted when his foot struck and basicly bounced off of my leg.

He of course thought he had gotten me, where as, I protested. Now he is a big guy and as I stand 6′ at 250 lbs, he both towers over me as well as out weighs me by 50 lbs or more.

The problem was, since I had moved forward in my stance towards him when he was moving forwards towards me, when his foot made contact with my leg he was no where near being extended. Thus as he extended his kick all he succeded in doing was pushing him self backwards off of my leg.

As we repeated the motion in a slower speed and I explained what I was doing while he was throwing the kick, I could see his eyes widen as he began to understand my point of view and the agreed with me. Clearly he was impressed as I had a clear moment of satori.

So now the question remains is how does one train in stances for actual combat conditions. Answer: Kata. In practicing kata, one moves in sequence from one stance to another until the moves are natural. Once you have achieved this state of natural movement of stances, applying them in bunkai is the next logical step. Then when actual combat occurs, you will move to positions or stances naturally without thought as each moment dictates. Thus saving yourself from a possible broken knee.

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One Comment to “Stances: The “Root” of Karate”

  1. A nice article. I try to tell my daughter that all the time. She is taking Tae Kwon Do. She doesn’t listen to me cause what do I know. She’s 9 and has solved lifes great mysteries already.Ha Ha Ha. Keep writing and God bless

    your friend, Mike

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