Tuesday, 10 February 2009
Back stance blues
I have noticed the back stance (kokutsu dachi) appearing more and more frequently in the training syllabus, both in the combinations and in the kata, particularly pinan godan where it is done twice. I find it a difficult stance to get into mainly because we have to step forward into it. Stepping forward into a back stance does not feel very natural! It is very difficult to get your weight distribution correct i.e. most weight on the back leg when you have just stepped forward. There is a tendency to want to put your weight forward initially and then adjust it backwards - but this is wrong. When sensei demonstrates the move it looks natural, elegant and strong. When I do it it looks, well feels, awkward, ungainly and unbalanced! I expect with practice I'll get better at it but I can't imagine why you would step forward into this stance in a real self-defence situation. According to Nakayama in his book 'Best Karate - fundamentals' the back stance is... "useful for blocking when moving backward, or for getting the body safely out of the opponent's range," implying that you step back into the stance. So is stepping forward into back stance peculiar to shukokai style karate? I don't know - I would appreciate some insights from any senseis out there.