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 their 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 towards 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.
About the Author
Gabriel Dusil has been a practitioner of Martial Arts for over twenty years. Originally he trained in the traditional style of Shotokan Karate. Gabriel has also trained under Sensei Martin “Sonic” Langley in the United Kingdom and currently trains with Karel Ferus in Prague at the Ferus Fitness Fight Club, fffc.cz. More recently he focuses on circuit training, strength & conditioning, and kickboxing.
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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