How to do Sanchin Dachi in Karate

Sanchin Dachi in Karate

Sanchin Dachi

Also called closed position and position of the triangle, because the feet, legs, and arms form, respectively, as many triangles. It is the basic position of the School “Goju Ryu” and Uechi-Ryu is fundamental in most other Karate Schools.

The feet are separated by the distance equivalent to the width of the shoulders and point both inwards, at 45 ° angles, although in some Schools (“Shotokan”) the back foot points to the front and only turns inwards on the forward foot The knees are flexed and press inwards. The body remains vertical and its weight is distributed on both legs.

To check the correct transverse separation between the feet, once the Sanchin Dachi position is adopted, bend the knee of the back leg and check that it touches the heel of the forward foot.
Sanchin Dachi in Karate

  • In some schools (Shito Ryu, Shotokan), the Sanchin dachi position the back foot points to the front. The Kyokushinkai School, to adopt this position, part of the “Musubi dachi”, separates the heels to pass to “Uchi hachiji dachi” and, finally, advances one foot, sweeping the ground with it in front of the other, to stay in the final position of “Sanchin dachi”, while executing with the arms a double stop “Uchi uke”, placing in front the arm corresponding to the forward leg.

Sanchin dachi is a very solid position, used in blockings and evolutions in small spaces. If the right leg is delayed, it is called the “Migi Sanchin dachi” position. Otherwise, it is called “Hidari Sanchin dachi”.

  • A very common mistake when executing the Sanchin dachi position, is to elevate the hips each time it is advanced, returning it down after the displacement. The hip when moving in Sanchin dachi must remain low all the time.
  • Another characteristic of Sanchin dachi is that the toes must “grip” the floor, while the heels perform an inward pull.
  • Possibly the most complicated thing to do turns (mawatte) with Sanchin dachi is not to lose the center of gravity, it is easy to get unbalanced in them, so it is advisable not to lift the heels while turning. It is important to “drop the weight of the body”, ie reaffirm the center of gravity and then put your feet solidly on the floor before starting the turn.
  • Another characteristic of Sanchin dachi is that it must be executed with specific contractions of the abdominal muscles, glutes, and legs. This is done by turning the hip backward and the abdomen forward while contracting the muscles of the feet.

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Image attributions:

Sanchin Dachi illustration By Matzu – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,