Karate in Everyday Life: Riding the Bus
I like riding the bus. It gives me 30 minutes each day to read, daydream, nap or… practice karate.
Since returning to karate again from a 1.5 year hiatus, I’ve looked for ways to get back into shape and hone my skills. After having to stand occasionally on the bus I realized it was a good opportunity to get more in touch with my muscles and even strengthen my stances.
So while everyone else is sitting or holding the overhead rails, I try various shallow karate stances to see what works best. Give it a try. Here’s what I’ve found.
At first I thought sochin dachi would work the best since it has almost equal side-to-side support as front-to-back support. This is true, bus the majority of the motion on the bus is front-to-back, largely because of the incredibly wasteful stop-and-go traffic. So sochin dachi was good, but I needed more forward support.
The next try was with zenkutsu dachi. This is all about frontal support and works great when the bus driver slams the brakes. But then he nails the gas peddle almost as aggressively and the 70/30 weight split of zenkutsu dachi fails and I found myself switching to kokutsu dachi.
I should take a moment to point out that these are not full, deep stances. You’re eelcome to try that out on the bus, but the awkward stares grow more and more sinister.
So, kokutsu dachi. This was actually the most useful stance in practice on the bus. A shallow kokutsu looks more natural than most others and provides all the front to back support you might need. Turning my stance so that it was maybe 20 or 30 degrees off center on the bus let me deal a kittle better with the side-to-side motion too, although not as well as sochin. But again, most of the motion is front to back, and if I could maintain a light of sight out the front window of the bus I was able to tilt my whole body in anticipation of turns and still keep a shallow kokutsu dachi without holding onto the hand rails on the bus.
So far, that’s what works. Tomorrow: hangetsu dachi.