Easy Way to Correct Karate Stances

So it’s been a busy month… my daughter turned 6, Uncle Sam wanted his share on April 15 and we also ventured to Las Vegas for the US Open and Junior International Cup.

In addition to that I’ve been really busy putting together (at your request) a special video training to help you get more students, which should be finalized later this month barring any further interruptions.

Anyhow, with all this commotion I’ve barely had time to scratch, let alone put together anything for the blog. But as my duty to you is to provide you with helpful content to make your teaching life easier, I wanted to share with you a quick photo I took last week in one of my junior classes.

I mentioned this some time back, but I thought a visual would help get the point across. You and I both know how challenging it can be sometimes to get students to stand properly. And the less experienced or younger the student, the more difficult it is to communicate the simple geometry involved. I’m a big believer in using training tools to help achieve results. One simple tool I use a lot is a bo.

This photo taken during a novice class. The bo helps students learn correct stance width. (Now we just gotta get the length correct!)
This photo taken during a novice class while doing some basic reps. The bo helps students learn correct stance width. Now we just gotta get the length correct, plus all the other finer points, but at least the width is taken care of!

As you can see each student has a bo laying on the floor, with their feet either side. This helps them avoid the narrow/side-on stance and forces them to have better posture. I do this with my classes every now and again when I see they need a reminder. From their forward position I’ll have my students practice basic kicks and punches, moving forward and backward.

Of course students are careful to avoid standing on the bo. The only challenge using this method is to have your students look forward (and not at the floor) while doing their repetitions. Other than that it’s a great way to help your novice grades with their basics.

There are tons of other ways to use the bo to help with stances and posture – for example you might require the front knee is bent over the toes, in which case you can randomly check a student’s stance by holding the bo vertically.

Or during kata practice to help with transitions to new directions, you might lay the bo on the floor to help students identify the next direction more precisely.

What other ways can you use a bo to help your students learn?

6 thoughts on “Easy Way to Correct Karate Stances”

  1. Sir,

    I have used this technique but instead have used an old white belt. This does not roll on the floor and the students feel more confident that hey will not fall if they step on the belt. This allows them to look up/forward more readily and simply feel the belt when they step down.

    Thank you for all of these great ideas.

  2. Hi Michael,

    I never thought of using a belt, but I see that could also work and like you say they can still feel it if stepped on.

    Thanks for your input.


  3. Thank you for taking your time to provide us with these great tips! We just acquired some fresh faces in class and this will be a great technique to use with them! Happy Birthday to your little one 🙂

  4. A great idea, and if we use belts, at least everyone can carry their own equipment with them. I’m glad to hear that we aren’t the only dojo that has students who appear to be standing on a 2X4, instead of straddling one.

  5. For those who have multiple dojos with limited storage space for keeping bo’s or pads. I do the same drills simply using the joins in the mats. BTW I enjoy reading all these posts from Jason.


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