Kyoshi's Technique of the Week

Thought/Technique Archive

Technique of the Week (May 13th, 2007)

From Sensei Kurt Tezel, San Dan

Cocoa Beach, FL


There are two primary factors to maintaining good balance and a strong foundation from Shizentai-dachi, Zenkutsu-dachi and Nekoashi-dachi. The first factor is the width and length of the stance. The other factor is the angle of the back foot. Hanshi frequently encourages us to correct this angle by simply stating, "Forty-five degrees or more". When the angle of the rear foot is less than 45 degrees, the foundation is compromised. If you’ve ever been on a bicycle and tried to stop and balance on two tires you will instinctively turn the front tire at an angle to stay up. This is because you need both vertical and horizontal support in order to balance. This same principal applies to these stances. Narrowing the angle in the rear foot may also cause undo strain on the calf muscle and could result in an injury. As long as the hips and shoulders are square to the target, chances are you will never be told to reduce the angle of your back foot. The best illustration of this concept can be seen on page 32 and 33 of the Shorin-Ryu Okinawan Karate Question and Answer Book (the "Red Book"), where Master Ueshiro demonstrates Fukyugata San-dan.

Domo arigato gozaimasu,

Kurt Tezel, San Dan

Cocoa Beach, FL