Don’t Skip the Basics! They’re Fundamental to Kickboxing
All schools of kickboxing have certain things in common. As with most martial arts, there is a necessity to learn the basics before we can expand further upon the techniques. For kick boxing, and many other arts, the very first thing you learn is something you may think you already have down pat. However, an expert fighter would tell you “You’re doing it all wrong”. That beginning lesson? How to stand up. I know, it doesn’t seem like it would be a hard concept to learn, but standing the way most people do in everyday life leaves them wide open to strikes, kicks, sweeps, and throws. So before we go any further, we’re going to have to teach you how to stand.
Stance is incredibly important, and for the basics of kickboxing, even more so. Every single one of your techniques will originate from your first stance position. This is your sparring or fighting stance. To begin, we’ll need a reference point. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, and have a friend mark the distance between your feet with some tape. Turn sideways and mark it again. Outline the plus sign into a square, so you end up with a large square made up of four smaller ones.
Whichever side is your strong side (the hand you use to write with), place that foot in the back square, and whichever side is your weak hand, place that in the front square. Your feet should now be diagonal from each other, with right handed people having their right foot in the back right square, and left handed people having their left foot in the back left square. Pretty simple stuff. Now that we’ve got the placement down, you need to work on your center of gravity. Keep your knees slightly bent, lowering yourself a bit over the center of the big square where the corners meet. Angle your strong back foot about 45 degrees, forming a diagonal line across whichever square it is in, while standing on the ball of your weak leading foot. Your weight should be evenly distributed between the two feet, not leaning forward as many beginners are prone to. This plants your body firmly against sweeps, pushes, and most kicks, while allowing your upper body to maintain fluidity for dodging or blocking any strikes aimed at your face and torso.
Portland Kickboxing Technique: Kickboxing Combo #10
Now that you are used to standing properly, we need to position your hands as well. Having them hang limply at your sides is not the best defense, so we need to utilize our new stance effectively by making sure that you can still strike and block with your hands. Raise your lead hand (same side as your leading foot) and hold it in position away from your face, your elbow forming a 45 degree crook. Keep the hand open, as a closed fist limits your options for blocking or striking. Raise your weak hand (same side as your weak foot) and keep it near your head, protecting your temple. Your hands should be at the same height, both of them open and relaxed.
After you find your center of balance using this stance, simply practice standing there for a good bit of time. When that gets to be boring, you can practice “assuming the stance” from a regular standing position over and over. This trains you to be combat ready faster than other people, and will give you an advantage in the beginning moves of any close quarters encounter. I know it seems odd to practice standing, but get used to doing it all the time. After all, you’ll be doing this over and over again as we go through these next techniques.