Photo courtesy of Tomer Gabel
Funakoshi, in his beginner's text, Karate-Do Nyumon, says the back stance, kokutsu dachi, is just the opposite of the front stance, zenkutsu. But in what sense is this true? Well, it turns out that kokutsu is the opposite of zenjutsu in several ways, and not all of them are superficially obvious.
- There's the obvious opposite weight distribution - in zenkutsu, the front leg is bent, bearing most of the weight, while in kokutsu the back leg is bent and bears most of the weight.
- Zenkutsu is more forward-facing, kokutsu is more side-facing
- Zenkutsu is all about lunging through ma-ai into touching distance - aggressive movement forward. Kokutsu is about shifting your weight distribution without gving up ground - standing your ground but being defensive and oblique instead of direct.
- Zenkutsu is hard (it is about piercing through the center of enemy) - kokutsu is soft (it is about turning and fading and rolling his force off of you)