List of Shotokan Stances with Videos & Instructions

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List of Shotokan Stances with Videos & Instructions

To master Shotokan Karate, you will have to learn basic Karate stances such as Front Stance (Zenkutsu Dachi) and Back Stance (Kokutsu Dachi). These stances are used in Shotokan katas, kumite, self-defense, Karate kicking techniques, etc.

This page provides the English and Japanese names for each stance. For other Japanese words, please visit the Karate terminology section.

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Shotokan Karate Stances - Click on the links below in order to watch instructional videos for that specific stance.

  • Back Stance - Kokutsu Dachi
  • Cat Stance - Neko Ashi Dachi
  • Closed Leg Stance (Informal Attention Stance) - Heisoku Dachi
  • Crane Leg Stance - Tsuru Ashi Dachi
  • Crossed Leg Stance - Kosa Dachi
  • Foundational Stance - Moto Dachi
  • Front Stance or Forward Stance - Zenkutsu Dachi
  • Half Moon Stance - Hangetsu Dachi
  • Heron Leg Stance - Sagi Ashi Dachi
  • Horse Stance or Straddle Stance - Kiba Dachi
  • Hour Glass Stance - Sanchin Dachi
  • Immovable Stance or Rooted Stance - Fudo Dachi
  • L Stance - Renoji Dachi
  • Natural Stance - Shizentai Dachi
  • Open Leg Stance - Hachiji Dachi
  • Parallel Stance - Heiko Dachi
  • Ready Stance - Hachinoji Dachi
  • Square Stance - Shiko Dachi
  • Standing Stance - Tachi Dachi
  • T Stance - Teiji Dachi
  • V Stance (Informal Attention Stance) - Musubi Dachi

Instructional Video on Shotokan Stances


  1. Hinode karate, Kihon,, Added - 05/27/14
  2. Shotokan Karate-Do Club at the University of Houston, Terminology, Added - 05/27/14
  3. Japan Karate Association of India, Stances,, Added - 05/28/14

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