Northwind Martial Arts LLC is super excited about all of the new students these past few months! As we start with out with new curriculum, or if we’re just starting out in general, it is a great time to review stances!
Gimase has knees and toes pointed in. Knees and toes need to be pointed in the same direction to prevent damage to knees and ankles, as well as falling off balance, falling over, or hurting your back. The knees are bent, visibly bent, and demonstration is at least a 45-degree angle there. If your knees are not visibly bent through your poofy pants, then they aren’t bent enough. The butt and hips are back, past the heels, and the upper body is forward and arched. This means that only your upper chest and head are straight up and down. Don’t look like you’re standing up from the waist up. It’s all bent. In the second illustration, notice that the head and chest are still closer to the knees than straight up and down. Don’t miss the proper hand placement for your sword ready.
Moving on through Gibon Doncha: Dedose. The issue we have here is depth of stance. This stance is simultaneously extending forward and balanced to turn. The front foot is forty-five degrees, and the back foot is as close to front as you can make it. Having the feet at forty-five degrees each is functional. That is the only real difference between this and a fencing lunge. Remember that we turn on the balls of our feet, not the heels, and the balls of the feet are in the same line, so that when we turn we’re still on the same line. Once again this picture shows the proper ready position for Kagum and arms.
Sodose: The front foot is at a forty-five-degree angle, the back foot faces forward. Hips should also face forward. Your knees are at about a ninety-degree angle, with the bottom knee one fist distance over the ground. Watch that the back leg does not creep further forward. The back thigh should point straight up and down. The back heel should hold a ninety-degree bed. You all know the step-travel requirement for a good short stance. Step out into a good daedose, and then bring the back leg underneath with the knee facing your target.
Bumse: This stance is ideally at the same height as the Sodose, so once again notice the significant bend in the knees that is clearly visible through the pants. The knees are together and the back leg carries most of the weight. Master Kim has repeatedly emphasized knees-together at Master’s training. If you are cutting forward, the front knee is much closer to facing front, if you are cutting or clearing to the side, the front knee is turned at a deeper angle. Once again this is a travelling stance, like sodose. Step back with the rear leg into daedose and then pull the front leg back like a string is tied between the insides of your knees.
Walking stance is more than just standing normally. Ninety-five percent of the weight should rest on your front foot. You should be able to pick up your back foot without shifting your weight. If you feel like you’re about to fall forward if you go one more inch, then you are about right.
Things to remember about moving in walking stance: Do not cross your legs. Whichever direction you step, use that foot first and bring the other one towards it.
Pakose: ’nuff said.