Tucking under?

Stances in karate are very important they are the basis of your techniques and however you use them, they can make or break your technique.

Most people when they are told to sit in the Horse riding stance, do so and will always stick there derrieres out a little.  They can bend their knees, but are unable to keep their backs straight.  The trick to any of the stances is to keep your back straight, therefore if your posture is correct then the stance will be correct.

One method of getting the students to straighten their backs is for them to make the horse riding stance then, stand behind them with a bong (staff) for them to push the small of their backs towards and hopefully touch.  To achieve this you have to tuck your pelvic area under.  There is a chance that this tuck comes naturally if you are working on our Nihanchi Set of Forms.  They use your core and this when engaged with arm techniques can show a visible pelvic shift forwards.

In a front stance, most of your weight is on your front leg, so should you tuck or not? Experimenting with this, it causes your legs to turn to a different position, we aim to have both feet pointing forward. With a pelvic tuck in this stance to make it feel natural, you have to let your back foot splay out a little, or should I make it shorter.  It does provide you with a more upright stance but there does not seem to be any particular benefit in this, as in our Kong Sudo, we engage our hips in our stances to provide power.

Back stance, however, does benefit from a tuck under.  It helps you portray the straightness required so you do not look like you are bending over forwards when in the stance.

Tucking under is improving my movement in my T'ai Chi Form.  I have found that by making sure I have tucked under, I can move more easily into the next stance, whether this is correct or not I do not know, but it is allowing me to move more centrally especially in the transition from dragon to monkey/duck and then onto dragon again, going round a corner.


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