Published On: Sat, Jul 13th, 2019

Kiba Dachi insights in Traditional Karate

Kiba Dachi

Kiba Dachi, also known as Horse Stance

The Kiba Dachi which is a training stance that is also seen on many Katas. Found in Traditional Karate, Kiba Dachi is one of those stances that are really helpful to work on basic strikes, punches, and bocks. Instructors love this stance because it keeps all students working on their entire body while developing the right posture. It is important to keep the back straight, your knees bent; just like riding a horse.

Important insights into this Stance:

  • In Kiba Dachi the legs remain very open, separated by the distance equivalent to twice the width of the shoulders, with the feet parallel, pointing to the front and the heels in the same line. The knees are bent in the vertical alignment of the big toe of each foot, pressing outwards.
  • The buttocks are contracted and the pelvis is projected to the front and up.
  • Kiba Dachi is a fundamental position and is used, above all, in strong blocks and as a starting point for attacks in “Yoko Geri” and “Mawashi Geri”.
  • In Kiba Dachi The arms, like in all the positions, admit several forms: they can be placed in normal guard (“kamae”) towards a lateral one, with the turned head towards the same, or arm themselves to the respective sides, and also it is usually armed a fist while the other arm makes a stop of “Uchi uke” in front.
  • Kiba Dachi uses the same foot separation as Zenkutsu Dachi and Kokutsu Dachi.

Most of the traditional forms use this stance either at the beginning or at the end of it. Common mistakes:

  • If the knee flexion is insufficient, it will leave the position too high and unstable.
  • Avoid opening the knees beyond the vertical line of the toes.
  • Avoid exaggerated knee strain when trying to locate them beyond the inside line of the feet.
  • Avoid knees pointing inwards, as well as too much weight in the inner area of the foot and the arches.


Recommendations for your Kiba Dachi or horse stance:

  • Keep your knees bent as if you were riding a horse.
  • Keep your back straight.
  • Your feet should face forward not to the sides.
  • If you have your knees bent and there is a pain in your knees it means you are doing it wrong.
  • Contract your abdomen and keep your posture.
  • Your legs should not be too far apart because you won’t be able to move freely at all.
  • Train with a strong stance, do not allow yourself to do this wrong.
  • Be the example to follow by doing a perfect Kiba Dachi.

Recommended Karate Stances:

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