Stances provide a firm, stable base for execution of block and attacks.
Front Stance. The front stance and back stance are the most frequently used stances. Whereas the sitting stance is very strong to the sides but very weak to the front and back, the front stance is relatively strong in all directions. Since body weight is centered while in the stance, only a small weight shift needs to precede any step or kick. Since the front stance is relatively wide and long, quick movements are limited. However, techniques are powerful due to the firm, stable base and the long range of motion.
- When left leg is forward, the stance is called a “left front stance.” When right leg is forward, it is called a “right front stance."
- Stand in a ready stance with arms held in the basic guard.
- Step a foot forward and outward toward the side until feet are about 1 ½ shoulder widths apart in depth and in width. Feet are positioned parallel and pointing forward.
- Bend front knee until its shin is perpendicular and you cannot see the toes of the foot.
- Rear leg is held straight (variation has back leg slightly bent). Rear foot is rotated until it points directly forward (variation has foot angled outward about 15 degrees),
- Relax body weight down and centered between the feet. Grip floor with toes and outer edges of feet.
- Keep body erect.
- Weight distribution will be about 60 percent on front foot and 40 percent on rear foot.
- Keep shoulders and hips parallel and facing forward, perpendicular to the target.
- Fighting stance. When used as a fighting stance, depth and width of stance is shortened to 1 shoulder width, which causes center of mass to be a little higher to permit quicker movement. Front stance is seldom used as fighting stance due to too much exposure of front of body.
- Moving while in front stance. Shift leading hand of the guard as leading foot of the stance changes.
- To move forward, shift weight onto front foot, step rear foot straight forward into another front stance, and then center the weight between the feet (variation has rear foot swinging inward to a shoulder width from the front foot and then swinging outward into the next front stance, commonly called crescent walking or moon walking).
- To move backward, shift weight onto rear foot, step front foot straight backward into another front stance, and then center the weight between the feet (variation is same as above).
- To move toward trailing side, slide rear foot outward and then slide front foot toward same side into a front stance.
- To move toward leading side, slide front foot outward and then slide rear foot toward the same side into a front stance. Movements may be performed in a hopping motion.