Hangetsu dachi: Another Shotoism!

The founders of Shotokan changed many techniques and katas purely to make karate contests more dramatic. Then they told us it was all "traditional" and we should never change it.
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Hangetsu dachi: Another Shotoism!

Postby HanshiClayton » Sun May 01, 2011 1:22 pm

A shotoism is something found only in Shotokan.

Kousaku Yokota, writing in Shotokan Myths, points out on page 165, that:

  • All styles of karate do some form of hangetsu (seisan) kata. It is the one kata they all share.
  • Shotokan is the only style that uses hangetsu dachi, in this or any other kata.

Yokota's conclusion, reached after several pages of unsupported speculation, is that Shotokan needed an inward-tension stance, but Funakoshi didn't like short stances, so he made up hangetsu dachi.

It might just be that the long stance looked good in kata competitions. Certainly it was never an Okinawan combat stance. It's a dance move.
Bruce D. Clayton, Ph.D.
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