Blogs / CTS / Footwork Friday / Jack Slack / Martial Arts

Footwork Friday: The Art of the Stance

It’s another footwork Friday. In this edition, we’re going to look at a specific part of the whole footwork process. We’re talking stance, today. If the movement portion of footwork is equivalent to the inhalation part of breathing, then stance is the exhalation. It does a fighter no good to move to a spot yet be off balance or overextended or whatever. Footwork’s objective is to move the body, but the fighter doesn’t strike or absorb blows while moving. It is the stance that supports striking. The great martial arts writer Jack Slack is working on a video series detailing ring craft. The first edition is about the stance, and it does a much, much better job than I can in breaking down this crucial part of body mechanics. Mr. Slack uses examples from sport fighting – specifically, boxing and mixed martial arts, but the concepts are applicable to the Filipino martial arts. I recommend taking one specific concept and adding it into your footwork.

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Disclaimer: The footwork I learned is from Counterpoint Tactical System under Master Zach Whitson. Any errors or inconsistencies are mine. The spirit of this series is that I am studying footwork in more depth. I don’t claim to know everything, and I will make mistakes. But, again, those mistakes are mine. Also, this article is for reference only and should be used as a secondary source only. Please, see a Filipino martial arts instructor if you wish to really and accurately learn these techniques.

This video covers more than just balance and weight distribution. It discusses head movement, weight distribution, and why flattening a stance removes power from the strikes. The stance is where power initiates. The transfer of weight from front to back or side to side is so important in putting body weight into a strike. It is just a small sample of Mr. Slack’s work, and I highly, highly recommend his articles. Jack Slack is the best technical martial arts writer if not the best martial arts writer overall. I am a regular reader of Mr. Slacks work, and below is a link to one of my favorite articles of his. See you next Friday!

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