Techniques>Stances>Crane stance

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Crane stance


The crane stance is the one-legged stance popularized in the 1984 movie Karate Kid. It has very little practical use, but it’s lit and looks cool.


  • Width. Zero.
  • Depth. Zero.
  • Front foot position. The front foot is pointed forward.
  • Back foot position. The back foot is pointed toward the outside.
  • Front leg position. The front knee is raised, knee bent, with the shin vertical.
  • Back leg position. The back knee is slightly bent.
  • Shoulder position. The shoulders are perpendicular to the opponent.
  • Hip position. The hips are parallel with the shoulders.
  • Weight distribution. 100% of the weight is on the back foot.
  • Center of mass. The center of mass is centered over the back foot.


The crane stance is used as a preparatory stance for kicking attacks or as a leg block.
  • When the left leg is forward, the stance a left crane stance. When the right leg is forward, it is a right crane stance.
  • Stand with feet parallel, one shoulder width apart. Pivot the right foot 90-degrees clockwise so it points toward the right. As you pivot, shift all weight to the right foot and raise the left foot in front of the right knee. Pull the toes of the left foot back toward its knee and point the ball of the foot toward the floor.
  • The right leg is slightly bent.
  • The body faces the opponent. Keep the hips parallel with the shoulders and perpendicular to the opponent.
  • Left foot is pointed toward the opponent.
  • The center of mass is centered over the right foot. You are only standing on the right leg.


  • This is not a very stable stance, but it is more stable than it seems. By shifting the center of mass around the rear foot, balance may be easily maintained. 

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