Front Stance

The Front Stance or Zenkutsu Dachi is another important and popular stance. It too has an animal name equivalent which is the Bull Stance. The Front / Bull stance is a strong stance with 80% of the weight on the front leg. With a high percentage of the weight on the front leg the stance is primarily an offensive stance. This is also one of the dangers of this stance, as the student may be the target of a sweeping technique to the front leg. Like a bull waiting to charge, the student who uses this stance is ready to move forward with a lunge punch or a step-in front kick.

To perform this stance the student begins in a Natural stance and takes a large step forward and slightly out toward the side. The position of the feet should be at least 3 to 4 feet (1 metre) forward and 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) apart. It is important that the width of the stance is appropriate, not being too shallow or too wide. If the width of the stance is too shallow then the student is easily knocked off position. If the stance is too wide then the student is in danger of not being able to move quickly enough to avoid an attack.

Front Stance

The diagram above shows the appropriate position of the feet when looked at from above. As you can see the torso body position is somewhat forward (not centered as in horse stance) as the weight is placed 80% on the front leg. The other important aspect is that the knee of the left leg does not pass beyond the toes of the left foot. This is a common mistake and can place unnecessary strain on the knee joint. Also, pay particular attention to the back foot and make sure that the foot is not pointed in a wrong direction but is facing either forward in a parallel fashion or slightly turned to the outside.

Front Stance

Front Stance

Front Stance

Front Stance

In many Budo styles the front stance is referred to as the Bull Stance. This reflects the strong posture of the stance and the fact that from this stance the lung punch with the back hand is often used. Thus, the opponent comes charging in with a lung punch reminiscent of a bull charging the Matador.

Front Stance