Techniques>Stances>Sitting stance

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Sitting stance


The sitting stance resembles the position of a person riding a horse with the rider’s feet in the stirrups, hence it is also called a horseback stance, straddle-leg stance, or riding stance. It is used in practically every pattern. Some martial artists use it as their primary fighting stance, but it is usually used for punching and blocking exercises and for muscle development.


  • Width. One and a half to two shoulder widths.
  • Depth. Zero.
  • Feet positions. The feet are held parallel to each other.
  • Leg positions. The knees are slightly bent.
  • Shoulder position. The shoulders are held perpendicular to the opponent.
  • Hip position. The hips are held parallel with the shoulders.
  • Weight distribution. The weight is equally distributed on each foot.
  • Center of mass. The center of mass is centered between the feet.


The sitting stance is very strong from the sides but very weak from the front or back. When used from the side, it provides minimum expose to frontal assault but severely limits attacks to only the lead hand and foot. The equal weight distribution permits quick forward and backward body shifts.
  • When the left leg is forward, the stance is a left sitting stance. When the right leg is forward, it is a right sitting stance.
  • Stand with the feet parallel, one shoulder width apart. Step left foot forward one and a half to two shoulder widths deep into a sitting stance with feet parallel and pointing toward the right. Keep body erect.
  • The shoulders and hips face toward the right. Keep the hips parallel with the shoulders.
  • Bend both the knees and "sit" the weight down between the feet. Grip the floor with the toes and the outer edges of the feet. Push outward on the knees (outer tension).
  • The center of mass is centered between the feet.


  • Imagine you are riding a horse with your feet in the stirrups.
  • When performing successive sitting stances, ensure you keep the feet parallel.

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