Tachi Waza


Tachi waza (立ち技) is the Japanese term for stance/s (tachi/dachi). Shotokan karateka apply all techniques from specific stances. All stances feature advantages and disadvantages. Some offer very stable positions. Others prepare powerful techniques. And some make it possible to move quickly and create momentum and dynamic.

Shotokan Stances vs. Other Karate Style Stances

The tachi-waza distinguish Shotokan clearly from other karate styles. Shotokan applies deep stances in order to generate more power and being more dynamic. While it also offers a variety of short range strikes, kicks, and blocks its main focus lies on mid- and long-range techniques. Therefore, Shotokan seeks to keep opponents out of ones own critic perimeter. As a result, it offers smaller and weaker people an effective mean to defend themselves. Above all, many practitioners deem the long and strong techniques as very aesthetic.

List of Tachi Waza

Fudo dachi: rooted stance (e.g. in the kata Bassai Dai)

Gankaku dachi: crane stance (e.g. in the kata Gankaku)

Hachiji dachi: outward feet stance

Hangetsu dachi: half-moon stance (e.g. in the kata Hangetsu)

Heiko dachi: parallel attention stance (e.g. in the kata Kanku Dai)

Heisoku dachi: formal attention stance

Iaigoshi dachi: kneeling stance (e.g. in the kata Enpi)

Katashi dachi: crane-like stance (e.g. in the kata Enpi)

Kiba dachi: horse stance/side stance (e.g. in the Tekki katas)

Kokutsu dachi: back stance (in almost all Shotokan katas; usually first learned in Heian Shodan)

Kosa dachi: cross-legged stance (e.g. in the kata Heian Yondan)

Mitsurin dachi: jungle stance

Musubi dachi: informal attention stance, both heels touching and feet at 45° angle


Neco ashi dachi: cat stance (e.g. in the kata Bassai Sho)

Renoji dachi: l-stance, or relaxed stance (e.g. in the kata Kanku Dai)

Sagi ashi dachi: heron stance (e.g. in the kata Jitte)

Sanchin dachi: hourglass stance (e.g. in the kata Sanchin)

Sochin dachi: high-low blocking rooted stance

Teiji dachi: t-stance

Tsuru ashi dachi: hanging leg stance

Uchi hachiji dachi: inward feet stance; reverse of hachiji dachi

Yama dachi: mountain stance (e.g. in the kata Jitte)

Zenkutsu dachi: front stance

List of Authors:

Dr. Christian Tribowski