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Graziano
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Shotokans Kokutsu Dachi Applications

Hi to everyone, which in your opinion  the application of shotokan's kokutsu dachi ?

How can you use it o real self defense o Ju kumite?

Ok many say none application!!! On okinawa karate there aren't kokutsu dachi, but neko ashi dachi, ok but on kung fu there is the same stance called SAN CHI PU O FOR SIX STANCE ECC. and all know the karate come from the kung fu. Kokutsu dachi is my favourite stances because maybe I understood how use it, my sensei many years ago told me and I found the same thing on a book but I am nobody, I'd like your opinion!

JWT
JWT's picture

I have always found kokutsu dachi to be one of the most useful transitional postures in appropriate self defence application.  

I have found it particularly effective when I want to make a subtle movement offline but with the hip underneath an upward moving or lifting arm (for appropriate muscle recruitment) - such as in Haiwan Uke or Manji Gamae.  I've also found it incredibly useful for shifting and reorientating (such as in Heian / Pinan Sandan and Yondan applications). It's also great for using the front leg to take the balance by moving forwards underneath the other person's leg while keeping your own weight more to the rear.  

But I would say not to get too caught up on individual stances. They are freeze frames, made more important as platforms by photography. They are part of broader principles of movement and appropriate weight distribution and power generation. The lines between zenkutsu dachi, kiba dachi, shiko dachi, fudo dachi, kokutsy dachi are little shifts as to where in application you feel the need at any point in time to apply weight and how you intend to use your hips.  

Personally when standing I use Fudo Dachi more than anything else in my self defence training (once actively hands on), and then maybe kiba dachi, kokutsu dachi, sanchin dachi, zenkutsu dachi and a hachiji dachi/reoji dachi hybrid. On my back I tend to use kiba dachi and kosa dachi.  

Hope that helps.  

All the best  

John Titchen

Marc
Marc's picture

Graziano wrote:

which in your opinion  the application of shotokan's kokutsu dachi ?

The word "stance" (Dachi) is misleading. As John already said, a karate stance is not ment to be static. It is a freeze-frame of the moment when one technique ends and the next technique begins. Just like you would not leave your arm extended after delivering a punch. Instead you would punch and then immediately pull your hand back. The fully extended arm is just a snapshot of the moment when the punch ends and before the arm is pulled back.

The names of the stances describe their appearance.

Kokutsu-Dachi (KK) = 後屈 立ち = backwards bending stance / backwards yielding stance

Zenkutsu-Dachi (ZK) = forward bending stance / foward yielding stance

Kiba-Dachi (KB) = horse riding stance

Neko-Ashi-Dachi (NA) = cat foot stance

...and so on.

As far as I understand, all the major stances represent body weight shifts in different directions.

With KK you shift your center of gravity inwards/backwards, like you would do when playing tug-of-war.

With ZK you shift your center of gravity forwards, like you would when pushing a car.

To be exact, I think that the stances are about manipulating the combined center of gravity of your body and your opponent's body (as opposed to your own center of gravity alone). This is also found in the principles of Judo or Aikido throws.

As a basic application of KK alone (without any hand techniques) you could imagine being grabbed by the shoulder and stepping backwards to bring your shoulder back. The attacker then would either release his grip or keep his grip and stumble forward.

Now add the hands movement of a Shuto-Uke to the above. The arm that pulls back to rest at your chest can secure your attackers arm while the arm that strikes with the sword hand can hit your attackers neck.

There are many more possibilities, of course.

Graziano wrote:

On okinawa karate there aren't kokutsu dachi, but neko ashi dachi

Many versions of the Heian/Pinan katas have NA where Shotokan has KK.

So functionally, they might be the same (have the same purpose). Although, because of their difference in length they do allow for different applications.

Tau
Tau's picture

If you haven't already, listen to Iain's podcast "My Stance on Stances." I have a couple of specific applications but generally I don't see the stance as being specifically applicable, but as one part of the greater subject of technique and movement.

Iain Abernethy
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Tau wrote:
If you haven't already, listen to Iain's podcast "My Stance on Stances." I have a couple of specific applications but generally I don't see the stance as being specifically applicable, but as one part of the greater subject of technique and movement.

There’s an article version of it too that maybe useful:

http://iainabernethy.co.uk/article/my-stance-stances

However, it essentially says the same as others have in this thread, and does not really add anything extra.

Stances are fluid in application so Kokutsu Dachi would be used anytime your bodyweight needed to shift backward and down. My favourite quote on stances in Genwa Nakasone’s, “Karate has many stances; it also has none.” If we “freeze fame” movement then we have a “stance”. However, in application we are constantly moving so we have “no stances”.

All the best,

Iain

Graziano
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JWT wrote:
I have always found kokutsu dachi to be one of the most useful transitional postures in appropriate self defence application ...

Great answer thank you!!! I consider this stance a good way for dodge a attack without using the hands in this way 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lInNgYAiUI

also Masatoshi  Nakayama in his book BEST KARATE (volume 3 kumite 1 chapter GO NO SEN)  wrote about use of this stance also on ju kumite there is a video by Norihiko Lida

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caBxkhC1aDg

Graziano
Graziano's picture

Iain Abernethy wrote:
There’s an article version of it too that maybe useful:

http://iainabernethy.co.uk/article/my-stance-stances

However, it essentially says the same as others have in this thread, and does not really add anything extra.

Stances are fluid in application so Kokutsu Dachi would be used anytime your bodyweight needed to shift backward and down. My favourite quote on stances in Genwa Nakasone’s, “Karate has many stances; it also has none.” If we “freeze fame” movement then we have a “stance”. However, in application we are constantly moving so we have “no stances”.

I read your article and your answer, and it's correct in fact Masatoshi Nakayama in his book DYNAMIC KARATE wrote more or less the same thing look to page 23-24 of book or 13-14 if you use the scribd

https://www.scribd.com/doc/132880998/Dynamic-Karate

and if you look al chinese form  not only Tai chi but also Shao lin Hun gar etcc. the stance are indistinguishable.

Graziano
Graziano's picture

Thank you so much to everyone!!! I asked your opinion and I got it. I want say my opinion right now. For me kokutsu dachi, and similar stance are born from the instict of the men of going to the back in front of attack read this article

http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.it/2011/03/flinch-reflex.html

how I just told you here is a video like example

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lInNgYAiUI

in my opinion when the opponent attack is much fast, and your reaction time isn't  good you go at back. On some martial arts like old sckool of ji jutsu TAI JUTSU this strategy is much used, they call kokutsu dachi ICHIMONJI O SEIGAN NO  NO KAMAE, is come from the kenj jutsu

Marc
Marc's picture

Graziano wrote:

For me kokutsu dachi, and similar stance are born from the instict of the men of going to the back in front of attack read this article

http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.it/2011/03/flinch-reflex.html

True, evasion is a natural flinch response, as is raising your hands (in the direction of the percieved threat). The article explains this well.

However, although Kokutsu-Dachi at first glance resembles this behaviour, I think it requires a closer look:

1. With the natural flinch response (as described in the article) your upper body instantly leans away from the threat. Your feet might step away from the threat as well, but only after the upper body to then regain your balance. - When moving in Kokutsu-Dachi you move your legs while your upper body remains upright.

2. Most Kokutsu-Dachi steps in the 26 (Shotokan) katas I know are forward steps. Some to the sides or with turns, but still in the direction you're facing. Only few actually step backwards. If the idea behind Kokutsu-Dachi would be a formalised form of the flinch reaction, we would see more backwards steps and almost no forward steps.

3. While stepping in Kokutsu-Dachi in kata you usually do some complex arm movements while stepping. If it would represent a flinch reflex the Kokutsu-Dachi would be combined with just raising or stretching out your arms, not moving them in opposite directions twice (as in Shuto-Uke or Manji-Uke).

To me the idea of manipulating the combined center of gravity of you and your opponent makes much more sense. - But I might be wrong.

That is not to say that karate katas do not contain formalised flinch responses. They do. Like the beginning of Kanku-Dai and similar moves.

One paragraph from the article is important in this respect:

Quote:

People can even modify the flinch reflex so as to "enter" or move forwards. This is consistent with traditional martial arts techniques, particularly at an intermediate or advanced level, where forwards (or at least forwards-angled) taisabaki or tenshin (body movement or evasion) is taught as a response to attack.

I believe that that is exactly what karate katas teach us: Utilise your natural flinching and make it into something even more useful. You will flinch automatically, it's a reflex. Not much you can do about it, and no need to encode it into kata. But with training you can optimise the shape of how you flinch, and it makes sense to encode that into kata.

Regards

Marc

/em

calaveraz
calaveraz's picture

While supporting anything said in this thread, there is indeed a very good application of this "stance" for Jiyu-Kumite. In Jiyu-Kumite (in contradiction to self defense application) you always have the "close-the-gap" problem if you want to attack an opponent. KK-Dachi can be used as a "sneak-in" movement. It allows you to leave your opponent in a false sense of security since your upper body and arms appear far more distant than they really are. This is especially useful if you are the smaller but faster fighter.  

But in fact the lower part of your body is already deep inside his distance (Maai) which gives you the opportunity to surprise him with your attack by releasing the force stored in your back leg pushing forward. This fast movement together with the fact that even a well trained human eye needs 120-150 ms to realise a movement, gives you an incredible advantage in momentum. Even if your first technique might get blocked in a flinch reaction, most of the time it opens another gap in the defense. Of course this has nothing to do with a "stance", which is a quite ridiculous term as pointed out by the others.