The fighting stance is the most fundamental position that you will ever learn in any type of martial art. A proper stance allows for strong, effortless movement and an easy transference of force from body to extremity. Furthermore, having a good stance allows you freedom of movement that directly translates into the individual expression of the practitioner’s style.
The stance is the starting position for all martial movement.
- Foot Position
The feet are the most important factor in determining your balance. The feet should be staggered and placed slightly wider than the hips. The weight distribution between both feet should be fifty-fifty. Both feet should be angled slightly to the side and the knees should be facing in the same direction of the feet. Having the feet and knees aligned will minimize any leakage of force and provide a more stable base. The rear heel should be raised with the weight placed on the ball of the foot. The elevated heel acts as the trigger for the majority of your striking arsenal and it allows your feet to be alert and move quickly. Never stand flatfooted on both feet as your movement can easily become sluggish.
- Abdominal Tension and Hip Position
Whenever you are in a fighting stance you want a small amount of tension kept in your abdominal muscles. Also it is important that your pelvis be positioned directly underneath your shoulders. This will allow for a stronger defense, assist you in transferring force to your extremities, and improve balance by keeping your spine in an optimal position.
- Arm Position
The placement of the fists, forearms and elbows is extremely important. The right (or rear) elbow and forearm stays close to the body and protects the solar plexus, the liver, and the ribs. The right (or rear) fist stays close to the face and is positioned on the jaw or cheek bone. This protects the face and gives your fist the appropriate path to attack your opponent. The left (or lead) arm is placed slightly in front of the body to act as a first line of defense and offense. The forearms and elbows aid in protecting the solar plexus and the ribcage. The left fist should be held at nose level. This will help protect your centerline while not obstructing your vision.
We use both sides so the same principle applies. For the front stance both hands has to be close to the face protecting chin and ribs.
- Movement in the Stance
We are going to use both stances to travel to different directions. In fight stance forward and backward always staring with the lead leg followed for the back leg keeping a good stance. In Front stance we are going to travel to the left and to the right starting. In the class we are going to use the beat (MUSIC) allowing to create energy and work everybody at the same time.
Whether you are a martial artist or an athlete of another physical discipline, there is no disadvantage in having a good stance. It will only make you a better at what you do.