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Sparring stances


A strong stance is the starting point for all sparring actions, be it a defensive technique or an offensive technique. From a strong stance and a strong guard, you can fend off attacks until you can mount an effective offense. A weak stance leaves you exposed to attacks and weakens your attacks.

There are some tried and true sparring stances but the stance that's best you is the one that allows you to move effortlessly while maintaining your guard and allowing you to effectively block and attack at will. You should experiment with various stances as you spar hundreds of times until you find the fighting stance that works best for you.

Boxer's stance

A boxer points his or her lead shoulder toward the opponent with hands up with the outside of the front knee pointing toward the opponent. This fighting position makes it difficult for another boxer to land a punch on the upper body, but it exposes the front leg to a kick. The front edge of the leg offers more resistance to kicks than the sides or rear. Therefore, when sparring where low kicks are allowed, it is best to keep the lead knee and shoulder pointed at the opponent.

Exaggerated stances

The overly wide stances and the leaning backward postures you see in tournaments may help prevent the opponent from scoring, but they limit offensive choices and may develop into bad habits. Under other conditions, such as on the street, these bad habits expose you to leg kicks and expose the upper body due to the lowered guard.

A strong, reliable stance

Stand with the lead foot in front with the feet kept wide enough apart for stability yet narrow enough for mobility. Angle the torso enough to the side to present fewer targets yet not so much as to prevent the use of a reverse/cross punch. Keep the knees bent for mobility and jumping. Hold the arms in front with the elbows tucked in close but not forced together. Hold the fists held near cheekbones with the palms inward and angled toward the nose. Keep the chin tucked.

Fighting posture

A part of your stance is the part it plays in presenting your overall fighting posture. Your fighting posture should radiate confidence and intimidate the opponent. You should look like you know what you are doing and that you are ready, willing, and able to do it.

Most fighters use a loosely based front stance with a slight bouncing motion while shifting the bodyweight forward and backward and using footwork to ensure the distance between fighters is not fixed. The knees are bent, and the stance is flexible. The fists guard the body and point toward the opponent ready to punch and they snap back to this position after each hand attack.

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