Repetition and equal attention to both sides of the body is key to instinctive reaction.

primaries

kneeling position - seiza

  1. Kneel on the floor with the legs folded underneath the thighs and the buttocks resting on the heels
  2. The ankles are turned slightly outward, and the tops of the feet are flat on the floor, forming a slight "V" shape.
  3. The right big toe should be touching or slightly overlapping the left big toe.
  4. Keep the back straight while resting the hands, palms down, on the knees with fingers slightly spread for uninterrupted flow of ki.

contemplation position - anza

  1. Sit on the floor with legs crossed
  2. Keep back straight and eyes closed; hands should rest on the knees with fingers spread for uninterrupted flow of ki
  3. Breath deeply (in through the nose and out through the mouth) from lower abdomen (itten)

standing bow - ritsu rei

  1. From attention stance (heiko dachi) bring left foot to right foot
  2. Place palms flat to side of thighs, arms slightly bent
  3. Bend at waist, looking straight ahead
  4. Straighten body, hands making circular crossing motion to chamber position
  5. Step with left foot back into attention stance (heiko dachi)
  6. Fists extend naturally downward as in a double groin strike, exhale

kneeling bow - za rei

  1. Start from kneeling position (seiza)
  2. Place palms flat on the floor with opposing thumbs and index fingers touching (i.e. to form an empty triangle space) slightly out and in front of knees
  3. Bend from waist until upper body is parallel to floor, touch forehead to hands, exhale
  4. Return to kneeling position (seiza)

stances (15)

Everything in the art of Cheonjikido begins with stance and ensuing foot movement and proceeds from the physical center of the body (itten). The following 14 stances appear in order of difficulty and importance; all are to be PLANTED BUT NOT ROOTED.

*denotes one of kung fu’s (chuan fa's) Eight Basic Stances **stances derived from traditional karate kata

attention stance - heiko dachi, shizentai

  1. Place feet parallel and shoulder-width apart
  2. Center fists in front of body, slightly below belt level at itten
  3. Knees should be slightly bent with the back straight
  4. Each leg should support 50% of the body’s weight

half-body stance - hanmi

  1. Place front foot forward and angled slightly out with rear foot angled out at approximately 45-degrees (a natural position)
  2. The distance between the front and back foot is less than shoulder-depth with stability generated from the center
  3. Both hands are open and centered with front hand matching front foot, shoulders relaxed
  4. Knees should be slightly bent with the back straight
  5. Weight distribution is basically equal with perhaps a very slight concentration toward the rear leg
  6. This stance looks non-threatening and offers ease of motion and dynamic stability
  7. Ai-Hanmi is when the feet of uke/tori mirror each other
  8. Gyaku-Hanmi is when the feet of uke/tori are in opposition or "same-side"
  9. To rise into hanmi from seiza position, lift right knee and put right foot forward, rise up on the toes, lower heels to floor without shifting weight; to return to seiza, lower left leg down, then right leg down 
  10. Right / Left determined by front foot

*horse stance - kiba dachi, qi ma shi

  1. Place feet parallel and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes should be turned slightly inward
  2. Place feet parallel and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart; toes should be turned slightly inward
  3. Keep knees well bent and back straight; the height of this stance should be lower than one’s comfort zone, but rear end is to rest above the level of the knees
  4. Hold fists in attention stance position
  5. Each leg should support 50% of the body’s weight

front-forward stance - zenkutsu dachi

  1. Place feet shoulder-width and slightly wider than shoulder-depth apart; feet should be parallel, pointing forward, and flat on the floor
  2. Front knee should be bent so that toes of the front foot are not visible
  3. Back leg should be straight without locking the knee
  4. 50/50 weight distribution, body should not be leaning or turned
  5. Stepping in Front Forward Stance: back foot slides past front foot in semi-circular or c-step motion, becoming the front foot; body stays erect with back straight; center of gravity remains constant without bouncing; stepping foot glides across the floor, maintaining contact with forefront
  6. Right / Left determined by front foot

*back stance - kokutsu dachi, si liu shi

  1. Place feet slightly wider than shoulder-depth apart, perpendicular to one another
  2. Heel of front foot should be in line with heel of back foot
  3. Knees should be well bent and aligned with feet
  4. Thigh and hip of rear leg should be turned slightly outward
  5. Body should face the same direction as the back foot
  6. 60-70% of weight on back foot; 30-40% of weight on front foot
  7. Transition in Back Stance: back leg pivots 90-degrees on the heel to become front leg; front foot follows suit to become rear leg
  8. Stepping in Back Stance: rear leg pivots 90-degrees on ball of foot, then slides straight through to become front leg; front leg pivots 90-degree on the heel to become rear leg; shift weight
  9. Right / Left determined by back foot
  10. With a 50/50 weight distribution, this stance has been referred to as a T Stance or an L Stance

side stance - yoko dachi

  1. Place feet parallel and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart; toes should be turned slightly inward
  2. Keep knees well bent and back straight; the height of this stance should be lower than one’s comfort zone, but rear end is to rest above the level of the knees
  3. Hold fists at approximately shoulder and solar plexus height over the leading foot
  4. Right / Left determined by leading foot

**sochin dachi - planted stance

  1. Place feet shoulder-width and slightly wider than shoulder-depth apart; feet should be parallel with the front foot pointed inward at a 45-degree angle and the back foot pointed outward at a 45-degree angle; feet flat on the floor
  2. Both knees should be bent and over the toes, exerting force outward with the center of gravity positioned slightly toward the front leg
  3. 50/50 weight distribution, body should not be leaning or turned
  4. Stepping in So-chin Dachi Stance: back foot slides past front foot in semi-circular motion, becoming the front foot; body stays erect with back straight; center of gravity remains constant without bouncing; stepping foot glides across the floor, maintaining contact
  5. Hand positioning: front hand performs a downward block while rear hand performs a rising block as the feet slide into place
  6. Right / Left determined by front foot
  7. This stance, a cross between a front-forward stance and a straddle stance, is featured in So-chin, a traditional Shotokan form that consists of solid and robust technique strong both in front and on the sides

*cat stance - nekoashi dachi, xi shi

  1. Rear leg turns 45-degrees to the outside and assumes nearly all of the body’s weight
  2. Front leg, or “empty leg,” rests slightly on the toes, facing forward
  3. Front leg rotated slightly in at the hip to cover the groin
  4. This is a narrow stance which trains the student to maintain stability on one leg
  5. Hand positioning: upper hand (opposite of empty leg) extends at nose level to slightly bent position; lower hand reaches to below the elbow of the upper arm; both arms should be in line with the forward knee and toe
  6. Right / Left determined by planted rear leg

*low-leg stretching stance - pu tui chi

  1. This stance is primarily a balance and stretching stance whereby the student slowly crouches on one leg while the other leg slides the foot along the ground until the leg is completely straight
  2. Both feet must remain absolutely flat upon the ground
  3. Back remains straight without leaning forward
  4. Hand positioning: when the right leg is crouched, the right hand is positioned above the head, palm out; the left hand then is placed in front of the groin, palm down; when the left leg is crouched, the hand positioning falls opposite
  5. If this stance cannot be accomplished without the student leaning forward or being able to move the stretched leg in and out smoothly as he transitions from or back to horse stance, or from one low leg-stretching stance to another, the student’s legs are not strong or flexible enough
  6. Right / Left determined by stretched leg
  7. The stance appears in lines 3, 4, and 6 of Tan-Tui, a Kung Fu form (Northern Islamic Longfist style) that is undoubtedly similar to the chuan fa forms that In Yoon Byung originally brought into Chang Moo Kwan from his training in Manchuria

**hangetsu dachi - half-moon stance

  1. Place feet shoulder-width and slightly wider than shoulder-depth apart; feet should be parallel with the front foot pointed inward at a 45-degree angle and the back foot pointed outward at a 45-degree angle; feet flat on the floor
  2. Both knees are bent and drawn inward as if being pulled together toward the groin (i.e. as opposed to the outward exertion of sochin dachi stance)
  3. 50/50 weight distribution, back should be straight
  4. Stepping in San-chin Dachi Stance: back foot slides past front foot in semi-circular motion, becoming the front foot; body stays erect with back straight; center of gravity remains constant without bouncing; stepping foot glides across the floor, maintaining contact
  5. Right / Left determined by front foot
  6. By tightening the sides of the upper body and constricting the anus while positioned in this half- moon stance, it is possible for male practitioners to develop muscles that will retract the testicles into the lower abdomen as a means of protection from a groin attack
  7. Hangetsu-dachi is utilized in Hangetsu, a traditional Shotokan form known for its semi-circular half- moon movement and advanced techniques

*crossed feet stance - kosa dachi, zuo pan shi

  1. Rear leg steps behind stationary leg, locking the knee against the front calf for support
  2. Rear leg rests on ball of foot at a 45-degree angle toward the stationary foot
  3. Knees well bent, with rear leg acting as a rudder to determine angle
  4. Hands assume on-guard position while upper-body can shift within 90-degrees of front foot
  5. This stance allows one to quickly change position without weakening defensive posture by shifting the stationary leg
  6. Right / Left determined by front foot

*crane stance - du li shi

  1. The crane stance promotes balance and stability
  2. Pivot at the waist 45-degrees to the inside of the supporting leg
  3. Supporting leg is slightly bent, acting as a shock absorber (i.e. as opposed to a rigid and off-balance straight leg)
  4. Empty leg comes up to protect the groin with the respective foot covering the knee of the supporting leg
  5. Hand positioning: when the right leg is supporting, the right hand reaches over the empty leg to cover the exposed ribs, palm down; the left hand (same side as empty leg) is the positioned as a rising block, palm up
  6. Right / Left determined by supporting leg

*bow & arrow stance - gong jian shi

  1. This stance is formed from a horse stance as the leg that is to become the front leg pivots OUTWARD ON THE HEEL OF THE FOOT while the leg that is to become the rear leg pivots INWARD ON THE BALL OF THE FOOT
  2. Feet are slightly angled so that if a line were drawn laterally between the legs, it would touch the toes of the front foot and the heel of the rear foot
  3. 60-70% of the weight is on the front leg
  4. If pivot is executed correctly from horse stance, the student should have a good base; incorrect pivoting the stance may become too narrow, lacking balance and stability
  5. When transitioning back to horse stance from the bow & arrow position, the student must use the same pivot points; correcting pivoting motion will result in a correct horse stance
  6. Hand positioning: when the right leg is forward, the left hand is extended forward at nose level and in line with the forward knee and toes; the right hand is approximately two palm spans above the head; when the left leg is forward, the hand positioning falls opposite
  7. Right / Left determined by front foot
  8. Repetitious shifting with correct pivot points between a horse stance and a bow and arrow stance is an effective means of teaching opposite sides of the body to respond simultaneously and with disparate movement

*70-30 stance - san qi shi

  1. This stance, though similar to a back stance, involves more of an extreme twist in the waist and both feet are less than perpendicular, in more of a natural position; spacing less than shoulder-depth
  2. 70/30 weight distribution
  3. Thigh and hip turned of rear leg are turned slightly inward
  4. Pivot at the waist 45-degrees toward the outside of the front leg
  5. Hand positioning: the forward arm (same side as rear leg) is extended and slightly bent at nose level, palm up; the rear hand (same side as forward leg) is pulled back behind the eye, palm facing out
  6. Right / Left determined by back foot

**sanchin dachi - hourglass stance, dynamic tension stance

  1. This stance is formed by placing the heels together to form a V-shape; from this position, pivot on the balls of the feet, pushing the heels outward to form inward-facing 45-degree angles; maintaining this angle, one foot the takes a half-step forward
  2. Both knees are bent and exerting force inward, back is straight, 50/50 weight distribution
  3. From the outside heels, the feet should only be shoulder-width apart
  4. Stepping in San-chin Dachi Stance: back foot slides past front foot in semi-circular motion, becoming the front foot; body stays erect with back straight; center of gravity remains constant without bouncing; stepping foot glides across the floor, maintaining contact
  5. Right / Left determined by front foot
  6. This tight isometric stance is featured in Sanchin, a traditional Isshin-ryu form that is designed to develop ki and strengthen the body’s ability to to absorb attack
  7. The V-shaped chamber position of this stance is utilized at the beginning and ending of Cheonjikido’s Sam-Geup Kata (Tekki-Sho) and is termed “V-Stance”

blocking technique (7)

rising block - age uke

  1. Bring blocking fist across the body at belt level, palm facing abdomen
  2. Bring reaction-force or chamber fist across the body at shoulder level, palm facing shoulder
  3. Raise blocking arm straight up, keeping palm-facing chest
  4. At approximately eye level, snap blocking fist out, pull reaction-force fist to chamber position
  5. Blocking arm stops in front of and slightly above the head at a 45-degree angle (a natural position)
  6. Transition to opposite rising block: chamber moves across body at belt level, palm facing abdomen; blocking hand drops to position across shoulder, palm facing shoulder

outside block - soto uke

  1. Bring blocking fist across the body at belt level, palm facing abdomen
  2. Bring reaction-force or chamber fist across the body at shoulder level, palm facing shoulder
  3. Snap blocking arm outward, stopping with fist level with top of shoulder, there should be a 3/4 twist (i.e. natural position) in arm with the palm facing opposite shoulder
  4. Snap reaction-force fist to chamber position
  5. Transition to opposite outside block: chamber moves across body at belt level, palm facing abdomen; blocking hand drops to position across chest with elbow as a hinge, palm facing shoulder

inside block - uchi uke

  1. Raise blocking fist to ear, palm facing outward
  2. Bring reaction-force fist or chamber across the body, palm facing abdomen
  3. Snap blocking arm inward, stopping with fist at shoulder-level in front of opposite shoulder, palm facing opposite shoulder at 45-degree angle (i.e. natural position)
  4. Snap reaction-force fist to chamber position
  5. Transition to opposite inside block: bring chamber to ear, palm facing outward; blocking arm drops to belt level using elbow as hinge, palm facing inward

downward block - gedan barai

  1. Bring blocking fist to the opposite ear, palm facing inward
  2. Bring reaction-force fist across the body at belt level, palm-facing abdomen
  3. Snap blocking fist down to the front knee, simultaneously pull reaction-force fist to chamber position
  4. Blocking fist should stop approximately 4 inches above knee at a 45-degree angle (a natural position)
  5. Body should stay erect, keep back straight
  6. Transition to opposite downward block: chamber moves to opposite ear, palm inward; blocking arm moves from knee to position across body at belt level, palm inward
  7. Transition to opposite downward block: chamber moves to opposite ear, palm inward; blocking arm moves from knee to position across body at belt level, palm inward

knife block - tanto uke

  1. Blocking arm retains an unbendable arm position (i.e. slightly bent) at the side of the body with the open palm rear-facing at approximately hip level
  2. Chamber hand moves to opposite shoulder with palm facing out to protect the face
  3. With this block, depending upon the type and level of attack, the chamber hand can move up and down the unbendable blocking arm and/or the blocking arm can extend outward and away from the body
  4. The slightly bent position of the blocking arm is extremely important, providing strength and shock absorption
  5. This block is primarily used to defend against a knife, hence termed knife block; but it is also effective against a variety of armed or unarmed attacks

cross block - juji uke

  1. Snap both fists into an "X" position, palms facing outward
  2. Arms stop in front of and slightly above head (should be able to see out from under block)
  3. Snap arms back to guard position

shuto block - shuto uke

  1. Blocking arm comes to opposite ear (i.e. similar to downward block chamber), hand is open with palm facing ear and fingers slightly bent
  2. Reaction force arm extends out and down, slightly bent with palm facing out
  3. Snap blocking arm outward at chest level to an unbendable arm (i.e. slightly bent) position; simultaneously, open palm should twist and snap outward to an angled position whereby if contact is made, it involves the blade of the blocking hand
  4. Pull reaction force arm inward to a chamber position just off the chest at solar-plexus level; outward- facing palm should twist inward to an upward-facing position; chamber should not be touching the body
  5. When transitioning between right and left knife-hand blocks, chamber moves to opposite ear while blocking arm naturally extends out and down before snapping back to chamber
  6. Hands remain open in this block with fingers together and slightly bent and thumb straight; positioning should be firm, yet relaxed, with little to no tension
  7. This block, after the Chang Moo Kwan tradition, can also be performed with an open chamber.

striking technique (10)

For purposes of training, all strikes utilize a chamber position; the reaction-force hand is in chamber position when the fist is resting at the side palm just above the hip, palm facing upward.

punch - zuki

  1. Form the fist with fingers tucked in and thumb on top of the fist or slightly covering index finger (not bent over knuckles)
  2. Fist moves from chamber position in straight line
  3. Wrist snaps over to 3/4 position (natural position in which bones in the arm are not crossed and therefore weakened) during the last 2 - 6 inches of punch, sinking into the target
  4. Arm should be straight without locking the elbow
  5. Striking surface is the first two knuckles
  6. Opposite fist moves simultaneously from it's previous position to the chamber position as a reaction force
  7. Keep back straight with shoulders square to center
  8. Body relaxes during the travel of the punch, tenses at the moment of impact, and then relaxes at the end of the punch
  9. Exhale audibly, tightening the abdominal muscles

reverse punch - gyaku zuki

  1. Step into front-forward stance with fist in chamber position on the same side as the supporting foot
  2. Release punch as stepping foot passes supporting foot
  3. Punch stops as the stepping foot stops
  4. Punching fist and reaction-force fist move simultaneously (at end of the step)

back-fist strike - uraken uchi

  1. Cross striking arm and reaction-force arm in front of the body, palms facing inward toward the body (similar to rising block chamber position)
  2. Snap striking fist into target, striking with back of first two knuckles
  3. Snap reaction-force fist to chamber position

palm-heel strike - shote uchi

  1. Striking hand moves from chamber position to the target, angled slightly upward
  2. Striking hand should be open and slightly cupped with fingers straight but not locked; strike with the heel of the palm
  3. Arm is straight, but elbow is not locked
  4. Snap reaction-force fist to chamber position

hammer-fist strike - kentsui uchi

  1. With this strike, the fist swings and sinks like a hammer
  2. Utilizing a downward motion, the bottom of the fist acts as the striking surface
  3. Utilizing an upward motion, the top of the fist acts as the striking surface
  4. Utilizing an inward or side-swinging motion, the top or bottom of the fists acts as the striking surface dependent upon the direction of travel

spear-hand strike - yonhon nukite uchi

  1. This striking technique chambers, snaps, and travels like a punch
  2. Striking hand should be slightly cupped (i.e. for the pooling of ki), and like a ridge hand, the fingers should be straight but not locked; pinky finger should angle slightly under the ring finger; thumb should be straight or slightly bent while lining up just under the index finger.
  3. Striking surface involves the tips of the four fingers as they sink straight inward and are reinforced by the thumb and an unbendable arm

shuto strike - shuto uchi

  1. Striking hand moves from chamber with snapping outside wrist rotation to a palm-up position with the blade of the hand (i.e. striking surface) angled slightly downward
  2. Fingers should be straight but not locked; pinky finger should angle slightly under the ring finger; thumb should be straight or slightly bent while lining up just under the index finger
  3. Striking surface is the blade of the hand
  4. Technique should snap and sink slightly downward into the target with an unbendable arm

ridge hand - gyaju shuto uchi

  1. Striking hand moves from chamber with snapping inside wrist rotation to a palm-down position with thumb-side (i.e. striking surface) angled slightly downward
  2. Fingers should be straight but not locked; pinky finger should angle slightly under the ring finger; thumb should be straight or slightly bent while lining up just under the index finger
  3. Striking surface should include the outside of the index finger and the top or knuckle of the thumb
  4. Technique should snap and sink slightly downward into the target with an unbendable arm

phoenix-fist - hooken zuki

  1. Form the phoenix-fist with the knuckle of the middle finger protruding and the thumb covering the index and middle fingers
  2. Striking surface is the protruding knuckle of the middle finger
  3. Technique should snap and rotate slightly into the target with an unbendable arm

ox-jaw strike - seiyuto

  1. Ox-jaw hand is formed by a downward bend of the wrist with fingers/thumb hanging loosely downward and touching at the tips (shape of the hand then resembles an ox jawbone); this is a relaxed gravity-friendly position
  2. Typically, the ox-jaw strike travels at an upward angle from chamber and sinks into the opponent with the top of the hand as the striking surface
  3. However, an ox-jaw strike can angle downward and involve the knuckles as part of the striking surface; it can also rotate outward, thus striking with a snapping motion of the fingers and thumb
  4. Any ox-jaw strike should terminate with a slightly bent arm

kicking technique (9)

hip kick - name gaeshi

  1. With the hip, lift the kicking foot across the body at a 45-degree angle from the floor
  2. Kick should sink into the target at an angle with the sole of the foot and then return with the motion of an ocean wave; the strength of the strike is in the hip
  3. This is a low kick that typically targets the knee or vulnerable points on the inner gate of the opponent

front kick - mae geri keage

  1. Lift the kicking leg, pointing toes toward floor and pulling knee toward chest (chamber position)
  2. Snap kicking leg and point foot forward toward target, curling toes backward (snap kick) or turning foot back toward knee (thrust kick)
  3. Impact should be with the ball of the foot (snap kick) or heel (thrust kick)
  4. Keep upper body erect
  5. Bring kicking foot back to chamber position (toes pointed toward floor and knee pulled toward chest)
  6. Return kicking foot to floor

side kick - yoko geri

  1. Lift the kicking foot parallel to the floor as high as the knee of the supporting leg
  2. Angle kicking foot toward knee and open hip
  3. Snap or thrust kicking foot from the hip, striking the target with the heel
  4. At impact, body should be turned perpendicular to target with upper body leaning slightly away from opponent to maintain balance, supporting foot should pivot toward the rear with heel pointing at target (i.e. perpendicular to body) as the kick extends out
  5. At full extension, the heel should be higher than the toes of the kicking foot
  6. Supporting foot should return to position parallel with body, kicking foot returns to chamber position (foot parallel to floor at as high as knee of supporting leg)
  7. Return kicking foot to floor

roundhouse kick - mawashi geri

  1. Lift kicking foot and point knee toward target to open up the hip
  2. Snap kicking foot into the target with hip, striking with either the ball or top of the foot at a slight downward angle
  3. At impact, body should be turned perpendicular to target with upper body leaning slightly away to maintain balance, supporting foot should turn toward the rear (perpendicular to body)
  4. Supporting foot should return to position parallel with body, kicking foot returns to chamber position (i.e. knee pointed toward target)
  5. Return kicking foot to floor

inside crescent kick - mikazuki geri uchigawa

  1. Assume front snap kick chamber position
  2. Angle foot inward and with whipping motion (i.e. utilizing the hip), kick along a small inside arc (clockwise for left leg, counter-clockwise for right leg), striking through target with the sole of the foot
  3. After striking through target, kick should continue along the same inside arc and return to front snap kick chamber position
  4. Return kicking foot to floor

outside crescent kick - mikazuki geri soto

  1. Assume front snap kick chamber position
  2. Angle foot inward and with whipping motion (i.e. utilizing the hip), kick along a small outside arc (counter-clockwise for left leg, clockwise for right leg), striking through target with the blade or top outside of the foot
  3. After striking through target, kick should continue along the same outside arc and return to front snap kick chamber position
  4. Return kicking foot to floor

back kick - ushiro geri

  1. Lift kicking foot with toes pointed toward the floor and heel only as high as the knee of the supporting leg (lower chamber position than front snap kick)
  2. Look at target over the shoulder on the same side as the kicking leg
  3. Leaning slightly forward to maintain balance, thrust kicking leg into target, striking with the heel (toes should stay pointed toward the floor)
  4. Bring kicking foot back to low chamber position and then return to floor

hatchet kick - kakato geri

  1. Assume front snap kick chamber position
  2. Begin performing a crescent kick (with an inside or outside whipping motion), stopping at the top of the arc
  3. Drop the kicking foot suddenly, striking through the target from above with the heel
  4. Kick should descend like the blade of an axe and continue to the floor

hook kick - kagi geri

  1. Assume side kick chamber position
  2. Open hip and thrust kicking foot outward like a side kick but intentionally aim slightly off-target in the direction of the kicking foot’s toes
  3. At full extension, point the toes, bend the knee, and snap foot back toward target, striking through with the heel or sole of the foot
  4. Kicking foot should return to side kick chamber position and then to floor