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Guest Post: Naihanchi and Jigotai Dachi Stance

This Guest Post is by one of the adult yudansha in our dojo (Hikari Dojo), Peerawut "Peter" Kamlang-ek.

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Naihanchi and Jigotai Dachi Stance

I have to say before I start writing that I do not have any Karate credentials and have been training for a very short time.  I try to train every chance I get because I enjoy it.

The Naihanchi stance is a very strong stance.  When I first started training I remember practicing Naihanchi Shodan over and over and over... because that’s all I knew! I continue to practice and explore Naihanchi kata, because I can learn a lot from it and I believe it makes my movements stronger.

Not only that, but when I first practiced only Naihanchi Shodan I built some very good leg muscles and a stronger and more stable lower body, this helps with everything I do in Karate.

I remember when I first did Pinan Shodan I could not really get the first movement to be as powerful. Other than keeping my elbows close to me and many other things, Sensei told me to try executing the first movement with a Jigotai Dachi stance. I felt like the movements were way stronger when I did just that, it significantly improves the power of my movement especially when combined with using koshi.

Recently I have been trying to fix my Naihanchi stance, particular my feet, but I also tried to execute every first movement of the kata I know in the Naihanchi (or Jigotai Dachi) stance. I tried doing the first movements of the Pinan, Wankan, Fukyugata, and even Naihanchi Nidan and Sandan just so I can get a feel for what a stronger movement should feel like. I then remember the feeling and try to apply it to the actual movement.  After I do one movement with Jigotai Dachi or Naihanchi I then would execute the movement as the kata would regularly dictate afterwards, then alternate between the two. It takes some time but I feel a bit more confident with my movements when I train this way.

Another thing that I’ve been doing alot recently is Oi-zuki (chasing punch) across my apartment room. Every time I am on the computer and want to go somewhere across the room I would then do Oi-zuki to my destination point. After I am done I would come back to the computer desk but instead of punching, I would try to do Shuto, Jodan, Chudan, Gedan uke... I think that helps because I practiced executing movements in the Jigotai Dachi stance and can remember the feeling to apply them to the others.

Actually all this isn’t anything new, I remember we would do this many times at our dojo.

Maybe everyone can benefit from trying to do the same! It is nice to do the kata properly and I would never perform it otherwise. Yet, I believe that if I want to improve I cannot be narrow minded, I must try things that Sensei has taught me and think of other things on my own

I heard that Shinzato Sensei once told Sensei that, “If your mind is fixed, your movement will be fixed.” I try to keep that in mind when I am training. Again, this applies to other aspects in life too, no?

Naihanchi and Jigotai stance do help my movements become stronger. Sensei mentioned that if our kata has a Naihanchi flavor then it would be very strong, it’s very true so far.


Peerawut Kamlangek