Martial Arts with Integrity

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At-Home Training #4

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If class weren’t canceled today, it would be a form class. For this particular lesson, I want to explore stances a little bit.

First off, stances aren’t really stances. We think of stances as being a position that you adopt and hold firm, but in the martial arts a stance is nothing like that. Stances are momentary snapshots of positions that are useful in self defense. It’s the movement BETWEEN the stances that is what’s really important.

Part 1

Try this. Starting from a left-foot-forward front stance. See how many different ways you can step into a new front stance. Keep your head level (not bouncing up and down) and keep your movement smooth. Then switch feet and try the other side. Here are some ideas:

  • step forward into a right-foot-forward front stance
  • step to face the right in a right-foot-forward front stance
  • step to face the back in a right-foot-forward front stance
  • step to face the left in a left-foot-forward front stance
  • step straight back (still facing the front) with a right-foot-forward front stance

Part 2

Try them all again with back stances instead of front stances.

Part 3

Try them all again starting in a front stance but ending in a back stance .

Part 4

Try them all again starting in a back stance but ending in a front stance.

Part 5

Overachievers: Try it with a book balanced on your head.

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