The Twenty Precepts of Gichin Funakoshi – No. 17

‘Beginners must master low stance and posture, natural body positions are for the advanced’

In Karate, a beginner’s body must be given time to adapt to the new movements being demanded of it.

In the junior grades, everything must be done ‘by the book’.  This is so that your body learns to move properly, contracting and releasing the right muscles at the right time in order to perform techniques correctly, enabling you to get the most out of your karate.  These regimented techniques give a solid base for more senior grades when students are encouraged to think more for themselves and find their owns ways of making techniques work.

However, in the beginning, stances must be low, executed perfectly and with the feet in the right places.  You should not feel comfortable.  If your stance is easy to maintain, then make it longer, sink lower, and make sure you are in the correct position.  You should stay in stance as much as possible in class so that your body gets used to it and your legs and core become stronger.  In time, your stances will get easier and your techniques from stance will become quicker.  Later, when your stances become more natural, your karate will be stronger and faster because of the solid techniques you learnt at the start.

By Karly West

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