“Secrets” of the Filipino Fighting Arts
Words from a Modern-Day Warrior

The Fighting Stance: Strong, but Mobile

Big Stick Combat has a column called “Poser of the Week“, and it usually involves some bozo in an FMA uniform (whatever that is) standing in a movie pose, thinking s/he looks intimidating because he’s holding weapons in his hand.

It’s funny, because in the effort to look like a fighter, many fighters have taken away any advantage their fighting stance holds. This is a short, simple article and I hope it gives you a lot to think about concerning your own fighting skills.

  • fighting stances should be strong, but mobile. Some people confuse mobile with upright positions. An upright position will allow you move easily, but you will not be able to move longer distances, nor will you be able to explode into movement. Bent knees will help you push off and travel further. However, there is an additional advantage for those knees:  rooting for power. Standing in a stance that is somewhat crouched will aid you in standing your ground when the opponent attacks you while giving you a foundation for your balance and power when you attack.
  • hands should be up around the face, but not fixed in position. When the hands are constantly in motion, the opponent cannot plan for getting around those hands. He will also find difficulty in timing your attacks when he is accustomed to seeing your hands in movement. They do not need to stay up near the face all the time, except for while you are close quarters to the opponent.
  • keep the hands strong, but relaxed. In other words, keep your arms and hands controlled but not stiff. Your fists do not have to be clenched.
  • although your position may be crouched, at least one of your feet should be heels-up. This will help you push off when you are ready to attack.
  • use a combination of leaning in and leaning out when holding your stance. You do not want to limit yourself to just one position, as your movement will become easy to read and plan against. Leaning forward puts you closer to the opponent and leaning away puts you further away; but doing so also gives the perception of being further and closer than you really are. Use this to your advantage.
  • choose between “hands in” and “hands out”:  relative to your opponent’s hands. Either your hands will be outside of his hands or inside of his hands. There are various advantages and disadvantages as well as suitable techniques for either position–both in attacking and in defense.  Study this.

Look at your fighting stance and how you can use it gain the upper hand on the opponent. Thanks for visiting my blog!

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One Response to “The Fighting Stance: Strong, but Mobile”

  1. […] the Week. To me it is obvious that the pose is ridiculous and will not work for real combat. Some readers are able to see the weaknesses of the poser stances. But other readers may not understand the […]


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