Shotokai Karate-do technical description
O-sensei and Gigo (Yoshitaka) Funakoshi
“In the old front stance, the rear leg was kept straight, and the navel was pointed squarely at the opponent (see photo). The stance was very cramped; eventually it was abolished as a result of discussions between Master Funakoshi and his son Gigo. However many karate-ka still adhere to and practice this old form. And while it is not practical, it will enable one to strengthen his ankles. From this point of view, it may be a good idea to practice it. “The Way of Karate, Beyond technique.”
The old technique was therefore very tense, there was furthermore tension and contraction in the lower leg and ankle together with the hips and upper body. Today this technique is natural and relaxed. These changes were furthermore guided by the basic philosophical premises that movements must be fluid and penetrate through the objective.
The position in itself is described as follows: the largest portion of the body weight is on the front leg, approximately 70% on the front leg and 30% on the back leg. Heels are inline with advanced students and the distance between the heel axis of the front foot respect that of the back foot is 4 and 6 inches in beginners. The distance between the feet in the longitudinal direction will vary between karate-ka due to the length of their legs but in general it can be said to correspond to aprox. 60% of the karate-ka’s height. The front foot is pointing straight forward or slightly to the outside.
(free of parasite movements)
still practiced by some.
The backbone must be straight at every moment, perpendicular to the floor and shall not be inclined in any direction.
While advancing you must NEVER fall on your heels! The advance is explained graphically in an animation here on our site. First you go through nekoashi-dachi, then kokutsu-dachi, then fudo-dachi and finally zenkutsu-dachi in the contrary position.
July 19th, 1998