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Rising Sun Martial Arts - Hinode-Ryu Karate
White Belt Requirements
The following requirements are needed for advancement to Yellow Belt. These are also the answers to your written test for the White Belt Section.
A ready position is now referred to as 1 RP. RP’s are determined by the length of your shoulder notches. The shoulder notch is that area inside the shoulder and collar bone. Measure the distance between your shoulder notches and that will be your distance for 1 RP. So it is different for every person.
The Horse Stance: The Horse stance is 3 RP’s wide by 0 RP’s long. As you enter that stance, you bend your knees like riding a horse. The toes should be angled forward with pressure on the outside of the foot and outside of the shin. Don’t get too wide or too deep as it is always important to be able to move from the stance without shifting or adjusting your weight. When entering the Horse Stance, our hands are clenched in fists, placed at the hip rotated upward with the knob of skin on the outside of the fist, opposite of the thumb, placed at the hip. I usually call that knob of skin the power pack. So we need to plug in the power pack to re-charge our power.
The Fighting Stance: The Fighting Stance is a bad name for a stance because we avoid fighting when all possible. However, for that time when all options to get away have been exhausted, we may need to fight. A Fighting Stance is 1 RP wide by 1 RP long. It’s basically doing a Ready Position at a 45 degree angle. The knees are slightly bent and the focus is straight forward. Our hands are drawn up to a guard position. The guard includes the hands in clenched fists with the front hand slightly above the back hand, at a level equal to your chin. This stance will be switched from left to right and forward to back directions. For instance, we would give a command to “Step forward with your left into a fighting stance, hands to a guard and Kiai”. After demonstrating techniques on that side, we’ll say “Reverse your guard and stance”. As a Martial Artist, you now want to work harder, go the extra mile in your effort. But when it comes to switching our stance, we want to take the shortest route possible to save balance. So to reverse your guard and stance, we just quickly switch our feet to place the other foot forward and switch the placement of our guard. Don’t jump. Don’t make a loud thud. The feet swiftly glide along the floor as quietly as possible. To reverse the guard and stance behind you, look over the shoulder of the back leg to turn in that direction. For instance, if you have your left foot forward in a fighting stance, you will turn 180 degrees to your right and swiftly adjust your stance to a right fighting stance.
The Front Stance: The Front Stance is the most common and traditional stances, especially when we start to learn Kata and techniques in the Yellow Belt to Orange Belt series. The Front Stance is 3 RP’s wide by 2 RP’s long. The toes should be angled forward as if you were wearing “Roller Blades” and gliding down a large hill. Keeping the toes forward would keep you upright. Toes off at angles would make you fall. Because your stance is slightly wider than it is long, we try to use the example of being on “Railroad Tracks” to keep this stance deep and strong. The front leg should be bent. While keeping your body upright, look down at your “Front Toes”. Bend that front leg just enough so that you can’t see those toes. And your back leg should be locked and straight. Push that “Back Heel” into the ground. This will force you keep that leg straight. Keep these four things in mind when practicing your Front Stance: “Roller Blades”, “Railroad Tracks”, “Front Toes” and “Back Heel”. These four checkpoints will help you develop the proper Front Stance.
The Back Stance: The Back Stance is another traditional stance that will be used throughout the system, especially in Kata. The Back Stance is 1 RP wide by 3 RP’s long. The front toes are pointed forward toward your target and the back toes face a 90 degree angle to the side. You sit down like you did in your Horse Stance. Because of the foot positioning and dimensions, sitting down will cause a weight distribution of approximately 70% on the back leg with 30% on the front. This will happen naturally if you’re in the right position so there is no need to lean backward or try to distribute your weight on your own.
Balanced Stance Side Stance
Horse Stance Alternatives: The position of the Horse Stance is also used in the Balanced Stance and the Side Stance (or Side Horse Stance). The only thing that makes them different is the focus. When the focus is at a 45 degree angle, it becomes the Balanced Stance. When the focus is at a 90 degree angle, it is the Side Stance. This will come into play in the Yellow Belt level when we make three different moves for our combination blocks. We’ll get back to this when the time comes.These are our basic stances used in the beginning of our training. When entering any stance for the first time, always step with the left foot first unless the command is otherwise. To return to the ready position, if you are in a lateral stance such as a horse stance, use the left foot to return to the ready position. If you have one foot in a forward position such as the fighting stance, front stance, etc., step backwards with the front leg to a ready position.