Body shifting is the changing of body position by stepping, sliding, turning, ducking, bobbing, jumping, spinning or any combination of these movements. While shifting the body:
- Movements are quick, but smooth and natural.
- Maintain balance and stability. Minimum stability occurs when the two feet are at their closest point.
- Smoothly shift body weight. Do not shift weight until supporting foot has a strong grip.
- Maintain proper fighting posture.
- Maintain guard throughout all movements as added protection.
- Attacks or blocks may be used during the movement.
- Do not move hips up and down. Keep them level and only moving linearly.
- Lightly slide feet over feet (in most shifts do not raise or drag the feet). The sliding foot is feeling for a clear path (such as the foot pushing bottles out of the way in an alley) and a firm place to stop (such as not on a magazine laying in an alley).
- To move quicker when stepping, initially use the muscles on insides of the legs to bring legs together, and then switch to pushing with support foot.
When shifting your stance, such as shifting from a left hand/foot forward (orthodox) fighting position to a right hand/foot forward (southpaw) fighting position, always make your shift from outside of the opponent's range. If the shift is made while inside opponent's range, you leave yourself vulnerable to attack.
For maximum protection during a movement, preceed it with an attack. For example: before stepping backward, preceed it with a lead leg front kick.