Basic Training

Most martial artists claim some form of stance training as part of their daily routine, but few really practice it. I had a student show up early for a class, and they caught me in the early stages of my daily stance training.

Here is how I go through it – I assume a low horse stance, and “sit” in the stance for a time. I guess that “for a time” may give a false impression of what is really happening. I do not set the time in my head “I will stay here for three minutes” is nothing like the way I approach it. It is not so much a time I am looking for, as a feeling I wait on. It is the feeling that my legs are not willing to hold me up any longer. So, after whatever length of time it takes to reach this point, I will then shift into, the bow/arrow stance (front or forward stance for you karate and TKD folks). I hold that until it is once again time, then drag back into a cat stance, shift and step to opposite bow/arrow stance, drag to cat, etc.

This is basic to all stand-up martial arts, regardless of origin. The training of stances will provide a solid base from which to execute your techniques. If you cannot stand, the saying goes, you cannot walk or run.

In my view, the solitary training of stances is the most overlooked aspect of training. Many will train kata, many more will spar. But the lack of this really basic training does much damage to one’s future ability. Incorrect stances can lead to injury, both from incorrect alignment, and from the actual technique failing you when you need it.