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Rateh
Red Belt
Red Belt

Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 848
Location: USA
Styles: WTF Taekwondo

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Stance Training Reply with quote

Most styles of martial arts use stances as an integral part of their training. In most cases, this training consists of repetitions down the floor, either with or without hand techniques, or as part of forms practice. I prefer to use other methods, in addition to the two listed above, to train and perfect stances. Below are examples of five different drills that can be used to strengthen ones stances. These drills were written for instructors, however if you have a training partner you can do many of them with your partner. Although front stance is used as an example, these drills can be used with most traditional stances.

Drill #1: Stop the Stances

Equipment needed: one belt
Number of partners: one

Student A will turn their belt around while student B grabs onto the ends. Student A will then step into a strong front stance and student B will pull tight on the belt to try and get student A out of their stance. Once student A has a solid, rooted stance, then student B will loosen up on their pull a bit while student A steps forward into a new stance. Once student A is in their new stance student B will tighten the reigns again. Continue the drill until the students have gone all the way across the floor, then switch roles.

The purpose of this drill is to help students lock into a strong rooted stance.

Drill #2: Stances Under the Belt

Equipment needed: one belt
Number of partners: two

Student A will be performing the stances. Students B and C will stretch a belt tight between them, just above the level that student A's head should be when they are in a strong front stance. Student A will then get in a front stance between the two students, under the belt (so that student B is in front, student A is in the middle in a front stance, followed by student C in the back). As student A steps forward into their front stances, student B and C will step forward with the belt, keeping it tight between them. The goal for student A is to keep their head level, without bending at the waist, so that their head never touches the belt.

The purpose of this drill is to help the students keep their head level as they transition from stance to stance. You can substitute a bo staff for the belt.

Drill #3: Shove Over

Equipment needed: mat
Number of partners: one instructor

The student will stand in the middle of the mat and get in the best stance that they can. The instructor will then "shove" the student where they think they are vulnerable, to see if they can knock them off balance, or even to the ground. If the student falls or is knocked off balance, the instructor will then correct that student's stance and shove them again. Continue until the student's stance is strong enough that they do not fall or get knocked off balance.

This drill is an excellent student-instructor drill for teaching correct stances as they get immediate feedback and correction.

Drill #4: Stance Sparring

Equipment needed: none
Number of partners: one

Students will pair off like regular sparring, but without gear. Student A will get into any traditional stance. Student B will then get into a traditional stance, and in so doing try to knock student A over. Student A will then change their stance, trying to knock student B over. Continue until someone has fallen.

Students must transition correctly between stances, no standing up then going into a new stance.

The purpose of this drill is to teach strong transitions and solid stances. It also helps students to learn to use their hips effectively.

Drill #5: North, South, East, West

Equipment needed: none
Partners needed: one instructor

Students will spread out on the mat. The instructor will call out a stance, and a cardinal direction (north, south, east or west). The student will then get into that stance, facing that direction. (With north always being toward the front of the room). When the instructor calls out the next stance and direction, the students must transition correctly into that direction. Now, there is often more than one correct way to transition (for example, going 180 degrees you may cross your legs then turn, or you may put one foot to the other, then the other foot out). This makes it more fun, as people end up facing the same way, in the same stance, with different feet in front, so now they are going to be transitioning completely differently for the next command.

The purpose of this drill is to help students learn how to transition and end with their feet in the correct positions. This is often difficult for beginner students.

These are just five drills that can be used to develop stances. I hope that they help make your stance training more interesting. Good luck and good stances.
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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
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Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for the submission.

Patrick
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KyungYet
Yellow Belt
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Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 50

Styles: 100% powered by Tang Soo Do for nearly 30 years.

PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, Rateh -

I love love LOVE these drills! Thank you so much for the ideas! You're right that I generally use the boring old "stances across the mat" routine, and these are an excellent change from that.

One question: can you talk a little more about stance sparring? I'm imagining student A in a back stance and then student B stepping into them with a front stance (thus kneeing them in the groin). I imagine this isn't what you're talking about, but I sort of can't envision it.

Thank you again. Posts like this are why I love this forum! =)

KY
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent read!! Well done!! Thank you for it!!


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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
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Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition,

Your article delves quite specifically in a very needed area that must be embraced and understood: Transitions. Your drills speak to that need.

Well done!!


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bushido_man96
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27757
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice article, with some nice drilling ideas. Stances are one of those things for me that it seems students worry the least about, because they are more concerned about kicking higher or punching faster. In my opinion, stances are comparatively easier to do, so keep at them! All else stems from your base.

Thanks for sharing these drills with us!
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Rateh
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Joined: 02 May 2005
Posts: 848
Location: USA
Styles: WTF Taekwondo

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone!

In response to stance sparring. There is no striking in stance sparring, rather, the students "lock" into their stances, thus unbalancing their opponent.
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mal103
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Joined: 21 May 2011
Posts: 559


PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good post!
Thanks for sharing, in addition we have used another couple of drills, one is pushing a partner or a wall - they naturally drop into lower stance to get more power. The other is holding the belt to provide resistance - the partner must get lower and push into the stance to get anywhere.
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DWx
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Joined: 17 Jan 2007
Posts: 6148
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Styles: Tae Kwon Do & Yang family Tai Chi

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice article, these would be some great drills to integrate into a class
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ninjanurse
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Joined: 13 Feb 2003
Posts: 6154
Location: Upstate NY
Styles: TKD;Shotokan;JuJitsu;Tai Ji

PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good drills to add to the "bag of tricks'"! thanks!


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