Selected Shotokan Stances

** Execute KIAI when dropping into this power stance.

Hachi-Dachi  (ready stance)   50/50     Stand erect, knees bent, fist in front of belt line with elbows slightly bent, buttocks tucked under – toes straight ahead – shoulder width stance.

Kiba-Dachi**  (horse riding stance)  50/50    Feet two shoulder widths apart, knees bent to outside, fists against sides above belt – toes straight ahead – buttocks tucked under, air sucked down low.

Zenkutsu-Dachi**  (forward stance)  60/40     One leg forward, back leg 2 shoulder widths back and one shoulder with wide. Forward leg bent at a 90 degree angle, knee over big toe, and bearing 60% of body weight. Back leg is locked out straight for power, bearing 40% body weight. Both feet pointing forward. The arm strikes down with a hammer fist stopping one fist distance above bent knee. The other fist returns to side above belt, palm up.

Kokutsu-Dachi**  (back stance)  30/70     Should be roughly two shoulder lengths, front foot facing directly forward and back foot facing 90 degrees to the side. The front leg bent should not be locked straight, there should be slight bend, the back leg is bent heavily, but naturally, do not force the knee outwards. 70% of the weight should be on the back leg and 30% on the front and the heels should be in a straight line. Hands are in shuto (knife hand), forward hand in front of body and back hand against chest, palm up.

Nekoashi-Dachi**  (cat stance) 10/90      Front leg is up on ball of foot - 90 degree angle to the back foot - heel of foot almost touching back leg (1"- 2"gap). Back leg is bent and bearing 90% body weight. When moving forward, step out first with the front foot and then bring rear foot into position (like a cat on the pads of it's feet). Supporting knee is over big toe.