Hachiji dachi (form of the number eight stance) is the first stance a student of GWK will learn because it is the most basic and comfortable of all our stances. Hachiji dachi gets its name from the Japanese character which represents hachi, or number 8, because a person in this stance will hold their feet slightly apart with their toes pointing out at angles.

Character for hachi and foot position:

external image hachi.gif



Leg and foot position:

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed out at 45 degree angles.

  • Toes aligned and heels aligned along an imaginary line in front and in back.

  • Knees slightly bent with muscles tensed.

Body Position:

  • Keep shoulders over hips.

  • All muscles tense.

  • Arms should be in the ending position of Morote Gedan Barai with fists clenched.


Thoughts on Teaching

  • Use this stance to develop self-defense awareness and defensive/offensive techniques when teaching lower ranks the transition from static development of techniques (i.e from the zenkutsu dachi we use to develop our basic techniques) into moving fighting techniques.

  • Example: From Hachiji dachi, execute forward Age uke. Emphasize landing in a good forward stance. Go through all blocks. Step forward. Step back. Then add a reverse punch to every block. Forward and back. Then a block, reverse punch, Mae geri. Forward and then back again. It will not only be exhausting but will grow toukon, stamina, and build on techniques students are already doing in kata.

  • Now do the same drills but with a partner, one attacks with various tsuki or geri waza while the other blocks. Then add counters. Higher ranks can and should experiment with light contact, or 1/2 power wearing armor. The goal of course is to develop explosive techniques that come from this relatively innocuous stance which is actually a fantastic launch point.

  • It should be explained to students the body can execute Karate from any stance. Hachiji dachi is excellent as it does not give away the intent or possible abilities of the karateka. A karateka confronted with a "situation" that does not warrant (yet) a full blown high drama "ki ah!!" and a give away karate fighting stance as a response. When one is still assessing the situation or negotiating...Standing in Hachiji dachi with one arm folded the other holding the chin, seemingly in contemplation, is not a sign of threat or dominance to the aggressor. Tactical thinking and logic, cunning and strategy should be incorporated into training of this type and discussed. This is an excellent drill/tactic exercise to practice towards that goal. The arms are, in reality, primed in a position over the center line of the body ready to block or strike in conjunction with the rapid movement of dachi from one position to another. Yudansha should experiment enthusiastically with these concepts.

Tips for Mudansha

  • Think that you have an iron rod extending from your belt to your head and you cannot bend in any direction.

Tips for Yudansha