Are Karate Stances Bad For You?

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Only when done incorrectly. You’ll note from this picture that the right way to hold a stance is to have the knee point in the same direction as the foot. It’s a natural position. When the knee is at a different angle to the foot, there is a lot of stress placed on this joint and damage to the meniscus cartilage is inevitable.

Our stances are just snapshots of the position we need to be in at any one specific time. Holding low stances helps to develop strong muscles and joints and are good for beginners. When fighting, most stances should be high. If we move correctly between stances, we learn how to create striking power for attacking whilst maintaining good balance for evasion.

‘Karate has many stances; it also has none’ – Gichin Funakoshi.