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Thread: side stance vs. front stance

  1. #1

    side stance vs. front stance

    Say, what do you prefer for a "fighting stance" - a side-leading stance or a front leading stance? By side leading, I man talking about a stance where one leg is defintely in front of the other, and your torso is turned to its side. Pro: smaller target area, easier to defend. Cons: weak side-to side coverage. By front stance, I mean a stance where the hips and shoulders a more or less square on with the opponent (although it may be a litle bit angled or turned, but not all the way). Pro: easier to use both sides of the body. Cons: larger taret area. Of course there are more Pros and cons for both, I'm sure. So what's your preference and why?
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  2. #2
    Of course, this depends on the situation, and outside of formalized practice, there doesn't tend to be 'fighting stances' which people assume before engaging one another. That said, generally - your hips and shoulders should be aligned to give you a good posture, and pointing at your opponent to maximize the force you can direct at him. Rather than 'squaring off' though, you should use positioning so that you have this posture with respect to him, but he does not have it with respect to you. That way, his ability to exert force against you is minimized, and you have also profiled yourself, but using angles rather than by impairing your posture.

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    For basic students we teach the side stance first for the smaller target, etc., but I square up a bit more as I find it's more powerful and allows for a greater range of movement than the side stance which is great for forward/backward movement, but more awkward to move laterally.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oso View Post
    AND, yea, a good bit of it is about whether you can fight with what you know...kinda all of it is about that.

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    I think of them more as attitudes than "stances" because stances has a tendency to relate to a set or stagnate position.

    My aproaching is normal. But upon closing I like to step into what looks like a side stance for an instance because it is longer -- the "T" formation. But the back foot quickly comes back in. Sort of like a bull fighter.

    Side-to-side defense is not an issue. The alley way in which one can be hit is very narrow. The lead hand should be able to defend against strikes from either side.

    Of course, things change and nothing is set in stone.

  5. #5
    As jp said, mobility in the side stance is more awkward. Also, even though your target area is smaller, two of your weapons are now further away from your opponent. From a judo perspective, you can't throw anyone like that. From a thai boxing perspective, my power shots will be slower.
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  6. #6
    Definitely more square. Kind of a combination between a boxer and a wrestler. I can strike and defend better from this “stance”. Movement is easier for me and it is easier for me to defend takedowns from this position.
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    Re: side stance vs. front stance

    Originally posted by Falcor
    Say, what do you prefer for a "fighting stance" - a side-leading stance or a front leading stance? By side leading, I man talking about a stance where one leg is defintely in front of the other, and your torso is turned to its side. Pro: smaller target area, easier to defend. Cons: weak side-to side coverage. ...
    I disagree with this - a side stance presents the back as a target area as well. It presents a smaller profile to front-on attacks, but swinging attacks (roundhouses etc) can still be used against the back. And as 7* has already pointed out, it puts two of your weapons further back. It also effectively only gives you one hand to defend with.
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    Side stance. Strong side fwd (I'm a lefty). Maybe I'll try front next sparring class (Monday).
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    I think I only use the side stance transitionally as I'm sliding forward or backward, but I'll slip into a more natual position as soon as possible.

    As far a swinging attacks they are, as 7* said slower and more powerful so you may have more time to counter them; however, the risk to reward ratio is higher as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oso View Post
    AND, yea, a good bit of it is about whether you can fight with what you know...kinda all of it is about that.

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    Re: Re: side stance vs. front stance

    Originally posted by joedoe


    I disagree with this - a side stance presents the back as a target area as well. It presents a smaller profile to front-on attacks, but swinging attacks (roundhouses etc) can still be used against the back. And as 7* has already pointed out, it puts two of your weapons further back. It also effectively only gives you one hand to defend with.
    Uh-Uh! You forgot about point figh-en!

    Sweet chrimmany. Had a dude at my saturday class that I coach. used to be at our school, went to another guy's when he got in trouble for teaching a new kid a kata. Anyway. he wase talking about his fighting experiences, showed me his stance. His side was so fo far forward, I had a decent shot at his right kidney! Then , when I demonstrated the forward stance, he kinda chuckled and pointed out all the targets I had open. I asked him to to hit any of them whilst he was in that side stance. Now, I'm still a broke down ol' gimp, but in the time it took him to throwa friggin reverse punch, I stood up out of my stance, walked in straight past his guard, and stood nose to nose with him.

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    Re: Re: Re: side stance vs. front stance

    Originally posted by Vash


    Uh-Uh! You forgot about point figh-en!

    Sweet chrimmany. Had a dude at my saturday class that I coach. used to be at our school, went to another guy's when he got in trouble for teaching a new kid a kata. Anyway. he wase talking about his fighting experiences, showed me his stance. His side was so fo far forward, I had a decent shot at his right kidney! Then , when I demonstrated the forward stance, he kinda chuckled and pointed out all the targets I had open. I asked him to to hit any of them whilst he was in that side stance. Now, I'm still a broke down ol' gimp, but in the time it took him to throwa friggin reverse punch, I stood up out of my stance, walked in straight past his guard, and stood nose to nose with him.

    The point sparring tournaments have polluted karate! Garh!
    Obvioulsy he should have jumped up and thrown a backfist! That's the number on point-sparring technique and MUCH faster than his reverse punch!
    Quote Originally Posted by Oso View Post
    AND, yea, a good bit of it is about whether you can fight with what you know...kinda all of it is about that.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by SevenStar
    As jp said, mobility in the side stance is more awkward. Also, even though your target area is smaller, two of your weapons are now further away from your opponent. From a judo perspective, you can't throw anyone like that. From a thai boxing perspective, my power shots will be slower.
    And from a CMA perspective, you're just begging for someone to take your outside gate (big trouble for you)

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    Back, outside gate

    These are not necessarily given due to a side stance.

    Any rounded attack is nuetralized quite easily by simply stepping in. Many times I'll aproach square and when the round hosue comes step in with what looks like a side stance. The force is jammed by stepping in and what's left is spread out across the back .... but the lead hand should be doing wedging anyway sending the kick upwards.

    As far as outside gate, that can be taken anytime from anystance if the other guy is better. If I take a right lead and throw a committed heavy right and the guy breaks for my outside gate, I have to know that is my exposed weakness and right away step into it giving the guy the elbow, closing up that door.

    Any move opens up an area. The importance is knowing that, and not reacting to the other: heavy right which glances off.... automiatically shut down the hole with the elbow and step in hopefully jamming things up and chi sau from there.

    Not sure if I painted the proper mental picture here. But again, I stress NO Stances. Simply a moment in time.

  14. #14
    I'm just assuming this from all the clips i've downloaded so correct me if i'm wrong. But people who tend to punch more use front stance (eg. boxers) and people who tend to kick use side stance (eg. Kickboxers )?

  15. #15
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    I think people who like fast front leg kicks, like a side, hook, or non MT roundhouse, feel comfortable in a side stance since these techniques are readily available; however, there are just has many kicks easily ready from a more forward stance and the rear leg techniques are generally more powerful. You can throw a rear leg kick from the side stance (most notably the roundhouse) but you need to open up your hips and shift forward so you are taking yourself out of the side stance for a moment to throw that technique.
    Quote Originally Posted by Oso View Post
    AND, yea, a good bit of it is about whether you can fight with what you know...kinda all of it is about that.

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