Kiado-Ryu Karate

Aug 22, 2022 - Feature of the Week

The "Still Stance"

The world population in this year of 2022 is nearly eight billion people (8,000,000,000). ( That’s a lot of human beings. Of this extremely large number of souls, how many do you suppose have ever had to stand still, perfectly still, without so much as a finger twitch for 5 minutes? 10 minutes? 15 minutes? 20 minutes? 30 minutes? 40 minutes? 50 minutes? One hour? The lower amount of time, 5 to 20 minutes, is pretty easy to master. But what about the higher units of time: 30, 40, 50, 60 minutes?

“Why,” you ask, would anyone even want to stand still for any length of time?" And what does standing still have to do with martial arts? Answer: A lot. In fact, standing still for each of the minute increments above is an integral aspect of martial arts training at the Karate Institute of Americatm. Here’s why.

Martial arts training is about self-control, discipline, centeredness, i.e., stillness. If a martial artist can’t be still in the face of a potential threat, he/she is in a dangerous predicament. Too, if any individual can’t remain calm, disciplined and controlled in any stressful, even dire, situation, how tragic could the situation be or become?

It’s extremely easy to get out of control at any time in any day, in any place. People lose their tempers at the drop of a hat, an indignant smirk, a caustic comment or any number of distasteful annoyances, actions and behaviors. Being out of control can also lead to dangerous results such as hurt feelings, broken friendships, destroyed relationships, even death—all of which could possibly be avoided if people were focused on being self-controlled, disciplined and still.

Obviously, training ourselves to be controlled—emotionally, verbally, physically, etc. is critical to our well-being and … survival.

And how dangerous would it be to learn martial arts skills and their potential for harm if self-control were not an aspect of self-defense training? In fact, self-control is as integral to martial arts development as learning and mastering its skills.

Therefore, every student studying at the Karate Institute of Americatm in the Kiado-Ryutm Martial Arts system is required to do a “Still Stance” at every belt level from Orange belt to Black Belt per the following time criteria.

  • Orange Belt: 5 minutes
  • Purple Belt: 10 minutes
  • Blue Belt: 15 minutes
  • Green Belt: 20 minutes
  • First Brown Belt: 30 minutes
  • Second Brown Belt: 40 minutes
  • Third Brown Belt: 50 minutes
  • Black Belt (1st Dan): 60 minutes

Here’s how it works. Students stand with their feet approximately shoulder width apart. Hands (closed, as in a fist) are placed on the sides of the hip; eyes are closed, too (no peeking). In this position they must stand for the allotted time pursuant to the rank they’re working toward. If a student so much as moves a finger, opens his/her eyes for an instant, moves the torso, wipes so much as a drop of sweat off the face or speaks, the student fails and must redo the exercise. The goal is perfect stillness. Basically, “You move, you lose,” is the test. This is a great exercise and it is one way of learning the critical and difficult skill of being still.

The “Still Stance” requirement at the KIA is not an option, nor will it ever be. The greater the power one possesses, the greater his/her self control and discipline must be. Power without control is perilous, even lethal. On the other hand, a strong ability to be self-controlled, disciplined, calm, centered and still, generates a high degree of confidence and self-assuredness and keeps us from hurting others and ourselves as well. Therefore, executing a “Still Stance” garners great benefits to martial artists, elevating them to a high level of expertise in martial arts, as well as in life.