Fighting Stance. With small changes, any stance may be used as a fighting stance, but each stance has its own advantages and disadvantages. The best all around fighting stance is the one used by professional fighters, such as boxers. In this stance, both feet and both hands may easily be used as weapons, the body is well protected, and movements may be quick and in any direction.
- For this fighting stance, stand in a shoulder width front stance with arms held in a basic guard.
- Rotate both feet on heels 30 degrees toward rear foot's side.
- Shoulders and hips are parallel and also angled 30 degrees toward the side. Center body weight between feet, and relax weight into the stance.
- Weight distribution will be about 50 percent on front foot and 50 percent on rear foot.
- Stay on balls of feet and keep feet moving.
- Either shift weight from foot to foot, or skip both feet forward and backward simultaneously.
- Move in circles around opponent. Shift stance and guard to left or right leading as desired or necessary.
Avoiding an attack is the best defense, but when avoidance is not possible, blocks are necessary. Sometimes the block is used in conjunction with avoidance as an added safety measure. Blocks are designed to protect certain sections of the body, with some overlapping of other sections as a safety measure.
Low Outer Forearm Block. Typically, the low outer forearm block is the first block taught to new students. It is simple to perform, teaches basic blocking principles, and is used in the first pattern students are taught. A low block protects the front of the body from the solar plexus to almost the knee.
- Stand in a front stance with arms held in the basic guard.
- Trailing arm is used to perform the block.
- Cross arms tightly, one over the other, so one elbow is over the other. Trailing arm crosses on top with palm side of fist touching the opposite ear, leading arm crosses on bottom with palm side of the fist facing upward.
- As the trailing arm crosses over to the leading side, the shoulders and hips twist toward the leading side to chamber them.
- Step forward into a front stance.
- Just as the foot touches the floor, the upper arm sweeps downward in front of the body and then outward as it fully extends.
- Just as stepping foot touches the floor, the arm snap-twists its fist inward so palm is downward at the point of focus; the shoulders and hips snap back toward the front adding power to the block.
- Use hip-snap just as with the fore fist punch learned in Lesson 2.
- Point of impact of an outer forearm block is the outer edge of the forearm.
- The final position of the blocking arm is with elbow straight, wrist locked straight, and hand in a tight fist. Fist of the blocking arm stops moving as fist is just past the outside edge of the leading leg. Stopping the fist before this point could let an attack still hit the leg. Going too far past this point exposes the leg and body to a follow-up attack.
- As the blocking arm is sweeping downward and outward, the other arm chambers to its hip with the palm side upward. The uncrossing action of the arms creates a push-pull action to increase the power of the block.