Why all the squats?

If you have been in Karatedo as long as me, you must have racked up a decent amount of squats over the years!

Karatedo and the squats are a match made in heaven: Loading those legs and building up the strength and depth needed for stances. The “prettier” the stance – is often down to ankle flexibility so… if you’re like me then your stances will never look like the picture perfect Japanese

We start our karate-journey with a easy enough starting position:

Our feet under our shoulders. Easy? For children – our starting position is under perennial change. As we grow our stance grows with us; sitting under our new frame.

Next. Bringing our feet together we would lose stability if not for the depth we create.

Heisoku Dachi

From this stance the techniques we learn need a stance to land in at a height about equal to the feet together stance and that starts to require a degree of athletic development.

Front stance (Zenkutsu Dachi) hips forward
Front stance (Zenkutsu dachi) hips back

The front leg’s “right angle” can be the beginners first taste of lactic acid and lifelong journey of building up resistance. So you are going to need:

Though an exaggerated position, front stance seems to be treated well by the vast majority of students. However, the backstance…

Putting the weight over the back leg until a right angle is achieved whilst trying to keep the foot underneath the knee and underneath the foot requires an increase in athletic ability and flexibility…

So we Squat more

Moving on to the horse (riding) stance

Kiba Dachi

Putting the weight in the middle and bending the knees to as closed to a right angle as possible can be aided by…

More squats

Building up the quadriceps and tolerance for deep stances we can take our legs to newer and unfamiliar positions:

Cat Stance (Neko ashi Dachi)
Squat. Some more

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