I need help with finding a new fighting stance

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by Ivan, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Ivan

    Ivan Orange Belt

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    I mainly do Boxing and Tae Kwon Do. However, I am having a lot of trouble mixing the skills that I have learnt from from both of these styles together. Everything is fine when I am sparring in boxing, since I don't have to worry about my boxing stance not being comfortable for kicks. To clarify, I use the Philly Shell boxing stance.
    However, my normal fighting stance (my most natural one, the one I would jump into instinctively should I find myself in an altercation, is a sideways Tae Kwon Do stance. The stance is good because it allows me to comfortable use almost all kicks; it's comfortable for side kicks, round kicks, spins, etc.

    Taking all this into account, I find it extremely uncomfortable to block and punch with this stance. I've been using it for a long time but I finally realized that it's holding me back. Since I am completely sideways, and my feet are in line, I have very bad access to my back hand (right). I use my left hand to pressure my opponents with constant jabs; these are usually followed up by a kick. Sometimes I want to follow it up with a right cross but because I am sideways, I have to shift my entire body so that I can punch with my back hand correctly. I also find myself only blocking with my left hand since it's my closest limb to incoming strikes, although this makes it difficult to fight more aggressive opponents.

    Can anyone help me out with this issue, by recommending or describing some fighting stances for me to try, so that I can incorporate my entire arsenal fluidly? Thank you very much :)
     
  2. wab25

    wab25 Black Belt

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    The TKD or Shotokan front stance.

    Depending on the situation you could easily go sideways for your kicks or into your philly shell for punching. The front stance itself allows both punching and kicking as well as blocking... both hands and both feet.
     
  3. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not much help here, but I like the question - and the self-analysis it evinces - and am looking forward to responses from folks better equipped (especially in relation to TKD kicks).

    I'll share my own solution to a similar (but not the same) problem. I actually flow through (approximately) 3 stances, and guards can vary within each stance. I've worked (still am working) on using movement transitions between stances to mask what's next, because I'm definitely more likely to use a side kick from a sharply angled stance, a front kick from a shallow-angle stance, and hands from a 45-degree stance. I don't know that's the best approach though. It works for me, but I suspect finding an intermediate stance (something that fits both of your skill sets) and making it primary is more effective. Which is what you've asked for.
     
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  4. Mitlov

    Mitlov Blue Belt

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    Watch how Superfoot Wallace fights from a mostly sideways stance with a loose Philly shell, without being so completely sideways that he can't cross punch.

     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  5. CB Jones

    CB Jones Senior Master

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    Interesting....

    My son utilizes a philly shell type defense and a straight type punch with the back hand is his main technique. The rotation in his hips and step with his front foot helps him to create power.
     
  6. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    You can move around while in fighting stance. So if you sideways to kick you can then pivot and frontways to punch.

    Otherwise yeah. Karate MMAers. Wonderboy Thompson goes pretty well.

     
  7. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    You're better off switching back and forth between the two until you get more comfortable and experienced with the whole thing. You should experiment with every degree in the circle from straight side stance to Philly Shell stance, adjusting your arm position as you do so.

    You'll find changes in certain things dependent on who you're fighting - real tall vs real short, real fast aggressor vs counter puncher etc. It's all part of experimenting the parts of your ever adjusting stance.

    One more thing that's always important to keep in mind. Under extreme pressure in a real life self defense situation - whatever stance your body drops into under that pressure - that's your go to stance.
     
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  8. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    In the real streety streets I stand front on so I can run.

    But it is a pretty minor change for a specific device.
     
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  9. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    Random thoughts compiled into a list:
    • Why are you exclusively using a sideways stance as your TKD stance? My TKD sparring stance is about 45 degrees, with similar upper body positions compared to boxing (although the footwork is a bit different). There's also the more traditional TKD stances, which include front and back stance.
    • What is wrong with your boxing stance? You said you like it, and it works. Why not use that?
    • Why are you trying to block and punch from this sideways stance? Use your footwork to evade and to kick. Use your lead hand to deflect when they come at you, use your rear hand if they move towards that side.
    • You can use your feet to change your stance. If you're in an "orthodox" side stance (with your left foot forward) you can move your left leg to the left to open up your hips and shoulders, or your right foot to the right. (Sort of like the knife-hand block -> punch combo in the middle of Taegeuk #3, if you're in a KKW school). Alternatively, as you throw a block with the left hand, you can step through with the right leg into a front stance and punch or elbow strike.
     
  10. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    Try both. Practice your boxing strikes in the sideway stance, and your kicks in your boxing stance. You'll suck at both, for sure, but it will be a good experience and help you learn how to transition between the two.
     
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  11. Rat

    Rat 2nd Black Belt

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    How the hell have you done that? i dont precisely know what a phily stance is (in terms of how much you are angled) but isnt that close to a 90% angle? If its similar to the 90degree one then maybe try changing that to see if it makes a impact in the long run or not.

    You could try switching to just a generic 45 degree one. I personally use a 45 degree one.

    I dont know if putting you in a stressful situation with the focus on changing your stance ASAP would help switch that from being your go to response or not.

    If it cant be helped, probably better getting good with both as your main sort of stance.
     
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  12. ShortBridge

    ShortBridge Black Belt

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    If you have an opportunity to take a few Muay Thai classes it might help you find the stance that you're looking for or at least a 1/2 way stop between your boxing stance and your TKD stance. Just a thought.
     
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  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    A lot of good advice has been given, and mine will be redundant, so I’ll say what I haven’t seen covered...

    What solidified my stance was time with a heavy bag. My natural southpaw stance proved very weak for me when hitting the bag. I’m faster and far more comfortable with it, but it just painfully proved an orthodox stance is what I should be using.

    I didn’t get really comfortable until I started hitting the bag consistently in orthodox stance. I started working combos slowly and with a little power, focusing on mechanics. I started adding power and speed as I got more comfortable. Then I forced myself to stay in that stance during sparring. Muscle memory gets developed and it gets easier. I still find myself resorting to the southpaw stance every now and then, but it’s only when I’m really outclassed by my sparring partner and I’m in maximum defensive mode. I consciously correct it and end up doing better than I would’ve in southpaw.

    Hit the bag. Assess what’s really going to do damage and what’s not. Then get comfortable with the best way.

    I’ll also add look into Kyokushin stance. There’s some videos out there where they discuss “kamae” which loosely is Japanese for fighting stance. I saw a really good one by I think Kenji Midori. It was in Japanese with English subtitles.

    All IMO.
     
  14. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    It seems to me as though you are dealing with a range issue. As stated here previously, each situation and opponent may vary to a great degree. In terms of putting it all together, you could keep working with what you got and mixing the two, or you could try some new things/stances. I personally prefer the front kick above all other kicks as it is favorable to use when in close-range/close-quarters, and still packs that power!

    Here is an image of natural stance - as it so happens you may be carrying a bag of groceries or just standing normally, and in order to defend yourself it helps to have some training in this position. To help with this try some tai chi or qigong practice.
    https://taijionmaui.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/wuji01.jpg

    Shotokan Karate has some close-range moves, whereas Okinawan Karate is known for its powerful close-range moves. Try boxing from this stance (Hourglass stance)
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/59/e0/20/59e020b9dcdfc55c3cbb14c8bffdc55d.jpg

    To take it a step further, you could always try out some Wing Chun and see how that works for you.

    Best of luck! :cool:
     
  15. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    This is an excellent point. While I shift stances a lot (partly the nature of my grappling training), my striking stances changed a good deal when I started combining punching and kicking at the bag. I still flow between southpaw and orthodox when moving, but it's now more me working out of an orthodox stance, using southpaw in transitions.
     
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  16. JR 137

    JR 137 Senior Master

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    Same way for me. I’ll flow between orthodox and southpaw, but it’s more of when I’m advancing forward during a combo and stuff like that. Hitting a bag consistently was very eye opening for me.
     
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  17. snake_monkey

    snake_monkey Orange Belt

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    Although I do have a dominant hand, I will switch stances a lot throughout sparring. I found that I if I have a side stance at a range I will have to flow through a number of stances such as your simple side back stance or low front stance back and back to an up right front stance or side stance just in order to check a kick. These stances are trained with time and with forms, kihon, kata, drills, etc. yet they are moved through in a fraction of time as the other opponent may not even see what’s coming next. I should probably learn more of the technical terms for sparring with fighters but you know my style is non-competitive so when I do get in a spar I just throw down with whatever and use control. I don’t even hit the face (I’m fine with taking hits there if I’m comfortable with my parter but I personally do not believe it’s necessary as I can follow up with ‘Fan Sao’ almost every time that I get a hit. Where do you post sparring sessions here? I have a few clips of myself sparring which I think might be helpful.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  18. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I had the opposite experience of you guys. I used to use both stances pretty evenly, after doing a lot of heavy bag work, i started shifting to primarily south paw. I think that might be more related to a shoulder injury though.
     
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  19. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    You may be experiencing first hand where some things simply do not mix well. If you want to train both TKD and boxing, you may need to compartmentalize and keep them separate.

    Boxing on a TKD platform? May not work well.
    TKD on a boxing platform? May not work well.

    When you are boxing, use your boxing training.
    When you are using TKD, use your TKD training.

    Not everything mixes well. Not everyone is able to mix things well. Sometimes more is not better. It is just more, and it can get in the way.
     
  20. JowGaWolf

    JowGaWolf Grandmaster

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    Sounds like you are over-dependent on the side kick. Your solution is simple, learn how to utilize some other kicks like a simple forward kick. Once your learn how to use other techniques then your stance will automatically change with the technique.

    The main problem I see is that you're trying integrate a punching only defense "Philly Shell." this defense does not take kicking into consideration. It puts you in a bad structural position for kicking and it puts you in a really bad position to defend against kicks. If you and I were to spar, I would kick you every time I saw you trying to use the Philly Shell. This means if you use the Philly Shell then you'll have to follow up with punches, then transition into a stance that will allow you to kick.


    If you can't transition between stances then you are at a big disadvantage of the number of things that you can do. Learn how to use more than just a side kick, and your stance will follow.
     

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