My 7th grade teacher, Miss B, was fond of saying, "Keep things for 7 years before throwing them out." That's not a bad rule. My sock drawer could use a little of this discipline. The point is reducing clutter, getting rid of the useless. If Miss B took a look at a typical karate lesson plan I just know there would be a number of things she'd love to trundle off to the dumpster. Take the tachi waza, stances: kiba dachi, zenkutsu dachi, sanchin dachi, kake ashi dachi. Like sweater vests, how many do you really need? What are they doing in the syllabus except to have students stand in funny ways while developing leg strength and preserving tradition? Miss B would have gotten rid of them all. I am all for reducing clutter, especially as springtime approaches. Before we fill the dustbin with seldom used and appreciated karate technique, let's see what can be put to good use.
In my previous post I spoke of neko ashi dachi, the cat stance, as a counter or defense to leg attacks. The unweighted leg is immune to sweeps, trips and reaps. These leg attacks are found in sanchin dachi (ouchi gari) and kake ashi dachi, the cross legged stance. Kake ashi dachi can be interpreted as almost any of the ashi waza in Judo (deashi baria, kouchi gake, kouchi gari, hiza guruma, sase tsurikomigoshi). Note, I am not implying that Judo is the source of this bunkai. Throwing and leg attacks are found in many martial arts older and contemporaneous with Karate and Judo, Shaolin Kung Fu most importantly. However, Judo is the most refined of martial arts when it comes to throwing and provides handy terminology.
So now we have a great bundle of ashi waza instead of funny ways to stand. Throw them away? I think not. Try out a few of these ashi waza. Your tachi waza will never be the same. Sorry Miss B, I'm keeping my tachi err ashi waza.