Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Description of “Stances” utilized in Oyata's Methodology

   Because of recent inquiries and requests for clarification, I've chosen to re-post the stance descriptions (that we utilize). I will also be re-posting lists of the hand and tuite techniques that we utilize/teach.

   The majority of Stances that are used in Oyata's Methodology are also used by most of the other Okinawan or Japanese systems (though possibly by various names). More often, the difference is in how they are instructed to be utilized in Oyata's system. Here, I will provide an explanation of how we (at our school) teach them to be performed.
  The “Left/Right” designation is determined by the Foot that carries the majority of the user's Body Weight. If the weight distribution is “equal”, the direction that the student is facing is the designator.
  These will only be basic explanations, covering general positioning and use.

Natural Stance
This stance is a “neutral” (ie. “non-threatening”) position..
Ready Position (Stance)   Similar in appearance to the “Natural” stance, it has certain advantages to it's use. Although “appearing” to be a “weak” position, it offers the user the most variance of possibilities for defensive purposes (without limiting their options, nor “exposing” their strengths and/or weaknesses). This is our most used stance (being one that an individual is most often in). Body weight is distributed evenly between both feet. (And being such a common position, we feel the best for practicing self defense from). Weight distribution is 50-50
Horse Stance (Side Stance, Naihanchi Stance)

  Horse Stance (and it's “variance”, the “Side Stance”), This is (yet another) stance to project stability in a required direction (in this case either “Forward” or to one side). Although most often used when practicing “Hand” motions & techniques, this stance is commonly used (as a temporary position) during the execution of various combination and Tuite techniques. For “practice” purposes, the Horse stance forces the student to concentrate on the motion being practiced (with the hands/arms) and still maintaining the position the body is in. (And also, for “practice” purposes) The feet are placed approximately 2 shoulder widths apart from each other, both knees are bent, back is straight and Weight is 50/50 between both feet

Forward Stance (Seisan Stance)
  Usually “taught” as a means of projecting power forward (which it does) it's improper use often places the user at an angle to the target (and is often from being taught incorrectly as well, thereby placing the user “off-balance”). It is important to note that the heel's of both feet project outward slightly (this aids in squaring the hip's). This stance has the user's body weight being distributed  70-30 with both feet pointing forward, and “inward” slightly (ideally foot placement being at approximately 45deg. Position from one another). Both knee's are bent slightly. It is often the "ending" position of the execution of a technique or a "body" weight shift.

Back Stance
  This stance shifts the user's body weight to the rear leg, while positioning the forward leg (“bent”) in readiness for a forward weight shift(with a 60-40% weight distribution). It is commonly taught with the rear leg “pointed” at 90° (as opposed to the 45° angle illustrated below) by “other” systems.The "Alternate" method is often seen in some of the higher ranked exercises ("Spiderweb", "Turtle", "Kumiawasi" etc.). 

Hourglass Stance
  This is a “transitional” position (stance). It's “purpose”, is to pre-position the body for use in many techniques including Tuite and Combination techniques. The Weight distribution is 50-50. As shown, the motion of “entering” this stance will place the “user”, at approximately a 45° angle (to an aggressor). This stance, (could) be “entered”, from either moving rearward (and to either side) as shown, or forward.

Cat Stance (“Special”)
“Technically” (as per Taika), there is no “Cat Stance”, yet, the position exists in several kata (?). The “position” is actually the ending position for (several) techniques. The heel of the forward foot is raised only far enough for a piece of paper to slide under it.  
 To observe someone who is utilizing it, it could/should/would be difficult to identify it as being such. The weight distribution is 90-10.

Step Stance

  This stance has the same placement as a (“shallow”) Forward Stance, and amounts to a forward“weight shift” with weight distribution to 60/40 (it is very close to what Taika considers to be a “Bo Stance”which has a weight distribution of 50/50).

  We also teach the “Crane Stance”, and the “Reverse Stance”.

The “Crane Stance”, we use for “Balance” practice and the “Reverse” stance is similar to the “Cat” stance (in that it is a transitional/ending position for several techniques. At our school, we don't feel that these stances necessitate excessive practice. They (both) are performed in (several) kata, and (actually) have “legitimate” application for techniques in those instances.

  As a General description, The stances are not positions that an individual would be “standing in” and/or maintained necessarily. They are positions that will be utilized "during" or at the conclusion of various technique motions.

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