Thought For The Week

Thought for the Week (August 4th, 2003)

From Heather Adamson, Shodan
Mohawk Valley Karate Club


Onagaishimasu Hanshi, Sensei, and deshi;

The Mohawk Valley Karate Club wishes the best of luck to those who are
testing this August. It is an honor to be able to test for a black belt or more
advanced rank, and it is only through hard work, dedication, and guidance that one
will reach that point. Regardless of the outcome, all should be proud.

One of the most basic and important techniques is Kiba-dachi, meaning
horse-riding stance. For this reason, it is also one of the first techniques taught
to white belt students. This technique which places the feet at forty-five
degree angles with knees bent, is a technique which is vital to the practice of
Shorin-Ryu karate. In this stance, the hips are pushed back and lowered to the
center of gravity, while the groin area is protected. The low stance not only
strengthens one's leg muscles but also prepares the student for other low and
anchored stances such as zenkutsu- dachi and naihanchi. Kiba-dachi is seen in
all of the primary katas, and is the foundation for those katas more advanced.

One advantage to using Kiba-dachi is the ability to defend attacks from the
sides and front of the body. The stance provides one with balance and
stability. Due to its anchored nature, Kibadachi is a stance, which makes it most
difficult for an attacker to knock one off their feet. The stance, when kept low,
allows for one to remain on their feet regardless of the attempts made. This
has been seen by white-belts through black-belt demonstrations. The
demonstrations consisted of adult males in Kiba-dachi stance remaining strong and unmoved
while others hit and stand upon their legs. Although, not the most advanced or
contemplated move, kiba-dachi is one of the most useful.

Arigato, Heather Adamson Shodan
Mohawk Valley Karate Club