Judo - Since this form of fighting is based upon the technique of grappling, Judo practitioners tend to stand with the weight spread very equally between both feet. The body is usually facing towards the opponent so that both of the defenders hands are ready to parry any attempts by the opponent to grab on to the jacket and make a grab themselves. In judo, it is quite common practice to do all of the above, however the position of the hands is varied a lot by fighters, in that it is usually down to personal taste. Some keep the hands close to the chest to cover as much of the lapels as possible to avoid being grabbed. Some reach out and put one hand high and one hand low to be able to intercept any incoming attempts at grabs, as well as to confuse an opponent as to where they are going to grab.

Karate - This tends to have a very low and rigid stance, concentrating very heavily on balance and stability. The picture shown above is based on the Shotokan style of Karate, but the style of stance varies on the style of Karate.


Being such a solid stance, it is very difficult to off-balance a person in this stance. A lot of power can be generated from this stance since a solid base means more forward force from an attack.


The main problem with this stance is its lack of flexibility when it comes to movement. To move the body much out of this position takes a lot of time and energy compared with other stances. This makes attacks slow albeit powerful.

Kickboxing - One of the best stances for offence techniques, this stance keeps the majority of the weight on the back foot and keeps the front foot light on the toes, ready for a very quick attack. The body faces forward and remains upright and there is constant movement within the arms and leading leg.


The main advantage of this stance is the minimal weight that is put on the front leg. Because of this, any front kick executed from this foot can be as fast as any punch. The leg is almost in the chamber position as it is for any front facing kick.


Being very front-on leaves the body open for attack.

Taekwondo - This is a very upright stance that keeps the weight evenly spread on both feet. One of the most important aspects of this type of stance is that it is completely side-on to a facing opponent. This is to ensure that there is as little showing to the opponent as possible. The entire body should be moving at all times by jumping on the balls of the feet, keeping the arms up and relaxed yet controlled.


Any attacks coming from the front are quite easily avoided without really trying since the body is angled so that as little of the body as possible is shown. Because of the extreme side-on nature of this stance, any attack using both the leading hand and the leading foot can be executed very quickly and easily.


One of the disadvantages I can see is that both the back foot and the back hand are very far away from the target meaning that any move executed from there is 'telegraphed' to the opponent. This means constant changing of stance. This is widely practised within Taekwondo clubs because of the encouragement it gets from its tutors.

Mine - Suffice to say that even though I find this type of stance very effective in all types of competition, I will not say it is better than the other stances I have mentioned previously. Every stance has its benefits and downfalls, including mine but what I will say is that I have found this stance to be very effective for me, and I would encourage anyone to give it a go. Compared with others, this stance is a complex one, taking a lot of practice, not only just getting the right positioning for the feet, but also being able to get back in to the stance once an attack has been executed.

Step 1) Stand so that the body is facing half side-on and half face-on to the opponent.

Step 2) Bend the back leg slightly so that there is about a 70/30 weight on the back foot and front foot respectively. The back foot should be facing out at 90o to the opponent, whereas the front should be facing more towards the opponent. This is the basic position for the feet.

Step 3) The hips should be turned slightly more towards the opponent than the feet. The reason for this being is that the leading leg is now ready to execute any side-facing or front-facing kick without much movement from the rest of the body.

Step 4) The torso is turned even more so that it should be close to facing the opponent. I find that the position of the hands is very dependent on what sort of attacks your opponent uses, so I tend to change their position an awful lot. But to complete beginners, I would recommend keeping one hand high and one hand low.

The whole body should look a bit twisted, but this is the idea in that the leading leg is in the prime position to execute any side and front kick quickly and effectively.

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