There are three key assets to a good fighter: strength, conditioning, and technique. In the latter function, an overarching aspect of a fighter’s portfolio is its stability. But stability is not realistically achievable all the time in a fight. The goal at least is to maintain or return to stability as soon as possible.
Each martial art approaches stability from a slightly different perspective. In kickboxing or boxing, stability begins with “guard” – with hands covering the face, and a square stance. Through offensive and defensive movements, this stance becomes “home base”. But a square stance is not always practical in every attack. For example, as when performing a spin kick or spinning back-fist – the mere fact that the fighter is rotating on one leg diverges from their stability. Regardless, after the attack, their goal is to return to “guard” and stability.
In a fight, risks are taken to create or capitalize on opportunities.
Not all styles have the same philosophy toward stability. For example, Taekwondo fighters will stand sideways to an opponent in a linear stance. This is mainly due to the dominance of their kicking portfolio. A Karateka will have a very wide stance, compared to a boxer. Muay Thai fighters, on the other hand, choose to lean back on their hind legs so that they can utilize kicks with their lead leg (i.e. their forward-facing leg), or block leg kicks.
Stability can be learned through slow-motion techniques. Kicking fast has a tendency to mask instability or mistakes. If a fighter can execute a kick slowly, and maintain stability throughout – this demonstrates strength, technique, and accuracy.
Martial Arts • Fighting Science Series
If you would like to read more articles in this “Yin Yang of Fighting Science” series, check out these posts:
• 1 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Power
• 2 • Yin Yang of Speed vs. Timing
• 3 • Yin Yang of Fighting Styles
• 4 • Yin Yang of Technique vs. Instinct
• 5 • Yin Yang of Empty vs. Full Cups
• 6 • Yin Yang of Slow vs. Fast
• 7 • Yin Yang of Perception vs. Reality
• 8 • Yin Yang of Fear vs. Confidence
• 9 • Yin Yang of Threes
• 10 • Yin Yang of Burden vs. Privilege
• 11 • Yin Yang of Anticipation vs. Surprise
• 12 • Yin Yang of Compliance vs. Resistance
• 13 • Yin Yang of Attacking vs. Defending
• 14 • Yin Yang of Fighting 360°
• 15 • Yin Yang of Teachers vs. Students
• 16 • Yin Yang of Physics vs. Physiology
• 17 • Yin Yang of Vulnerability vs. Opportunity
• 18 • Yin Yang of Martial Arts vs. Combat
• 19 • Yin Yang of Sport vs. Violence
• 20 • Yin Yang of Rhythm vs. Random
• 21 • Yin Yang of Stability
• 22 • Yin Yang of Strategy vs. Tactics
• 23 • Yin Yang of Instinct vs. Reason
• 24 • Yin Yang of Unstoppable vs. Immovable
• Fighting Science • Fighter’s Curve
• Fighting Science • Fighting Zones
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