Perhaps one of the most difficult stances to master (because of the strength and flexibility required in the standing leg), nekoashi dachi is known as the “cat stance,” or “cat’s foot stance.”
It is marked by its ability to move rapidly to advance, retreat or sidestep.
The stance is performed with 75% of weight on rear leg, 25% on front, with ball of front foot resting on the floor, heel raised.
Note the hip of the standing leg is several inches BEHIND the standing knee. Variations include hip over knee, though this is frowned upon in goju practice.
Movement forward is achieved either by pivoting the front foot 45° to the outside, then stepping through with the rear foot along a straight line forward, or by slide-stepping with the forward foot moving first.
Slide stepping is accomplished by reaching out with the front heel as you push forward off the rear leg. Heel touches ground, rear foot slides forward into nekoashi as if connected by rubber bands to the front leg. Front heel raises up as rear foot takes its new position.
Slide step can either be short (reached by extending the leg forward), or by a long step as far as the rear leg can thrust you forward.
Turn by stepping slightly across the center line with the front foot, then rotating to face opposite direction, assuming nekoashi dachi as the rotation is completed.
Keep eyes level throughout the exercise.
Work to build strength in legs through movements (kihon ido).