One of many Japanese terms describing Karate techniques:

Type : stance

English : front stance

Level : beginner

outside tension

Weight distribution : roughly 40% on the front leg and 60% on the back leg

description : The back leg is positioned so that the toes are about a foot length back from the hips with the knee almost locked. The back foot should face as far forward as you can turn it without extreme pain. The front leg is bent so that the toes are just blocked from view by the knee with the foot facing forward. Laterally, both feet should be at least a shoulder length apart. The karateka should attempt to get low enough in the stance to feel a little discomfort upon first learning it, to improve flexibility. Both feet are flat on the floor, including the toes and heels and a slight pressure should be felt on the soles, as if attempting to part the floorboards outwards. The back should be straight and perpendicular to the ground.

assume: To assume front stance from yoi, with the left leg (most common) pull the left leg in until it's together with the right, bending the knees as you do so. Thrust the left leg out, keeping the right one stationary and assume the position described above.

movement: The back leg is pulled in until it is beside the front leg. The karateka bends the knees to remain at the same level. At this point, the hips should be facing directly ahead. The front leg remains stationary. The back leg, which becomes the front leg, is pushed out and forwards using the hips and the stance is reassumed with the legs reversed. The foot should remain flat, gliding along so that it almost scrapes the floor as it does so. The torso should remain at the same height the entire time as if the karateka is on a moving sidewalk.

common mistakes:

-failing to bend the front leg enough so that it resembles a fighting stance

-placing the feet laterally too close together or leaning, compensating the stability of the stance.

-lifting the heels off the ground when moving, compensating stability and balance

-failing to bend the knees when moving so that you bob up and down as you move across the floor.

Notes: Zenkutsu-Dachi is the first stance karateka learn to use with movement. It is also one of the most commonly (if not the most commonly) used stances in training. Most of the time, classes will use it to perform kihon (basics) in unison during the first few minutes. It's designed mostly for conditioning, building flexibility and strength in the legs. It's an extremely stable stance, and, when assuming the stance properly, one can remain stationary when pushed, kicked or punched.

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