Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (April 28th, 2008)

From Sensei Rob Neff
High School for Leadership & Public Service Ueshiro Karate Club

TOTW – Sitting, Standing, and Walking

"When walking just walk, when sitting just sit, above all don't wobble."

To this quote I would like to add, "When standing just stand." This
week I would like you to think about proper etiquette when sitting and
standing, in addition to a few thoughts on walking.

During any karate function whether it be when sitting at the beginning
or end of class, during a promotion, doshikai, or end of year compai
karate practitioners should sit in either Seiza (kneeling sitting) or
Anza (cross-leg sitting). The only exception would be if you are
injured. Otherwise we should sit in one of these two fashions and do it
with Fudo (posture and attitude, immutability). As Hanshi often says, sit

tall and touch the top of your head to the ceiling with your shoulders down.

Sitting for long periods of time can be uncomfortable for many of us.
Suggestions on how to get through these marathon events include
switching between these two postures and changing which leg is on top
when sitting Anza. We should try to change our sitting position when it
will draw the least attention from others. This would be in between
kata when someone is on the spot when you are a spectator. We do not
want to distract the person performing. Additionally, it would be in
between speakers when sitting in a circle with a group. If you must
stretch out your legs, do it briefly and then resume sitting one of
these two ways. We should not play with our feet or leave our legs
stretched out in front of us.

When standing during karate (for instance, when listening to our Sensei
or observing other students doing kata), we should stand in one of two
ways unless told otherwise. These two stances are Kio-tsuke (attention
position; see Red Book table of contents page) and Kamaekata -
Sotohachiji Shizentai-dachi (ready stance and Yoi position for the pinan
kata; see page 71 in the Red book). We should be standing relaxed, but
again with Fudo. Our eyes should be fixed straight ahead unless we are
observing someone demonstrating kata or a technique correction.

When walking in Shizentai-dachi again be sure to demonstrate Fudo and
lead with the belly. Try to take the arch out of your lower back. Make
sure the head is balanced over the body.

Lastly, it is important for the higher ranks to show the lower ranks the
way by demonstrating proper etiquette regarding these techniques. We
must try our best not to fidget and show proper courtesy in this regard.
If you sit, stand, and walk tall you are less likely to be a target. In
fact, you will be fully prepared for anything.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,
Sensei Rob Neff
High School for Leadership & Public Service Ueshiro Karate Club