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Positioning your feet in what we will refer to as a Zero Stance, feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward and knees slightly bent with your weight on the balls of your feet and your pelvis thrust slightly upwards and forward, the objective is to concentrate on your breathing, focus your attention and center yourself:

1. Breathe in, raising your arms slowly up over head, bringing your air into your diaphragm and raising your ribcage

2. Breathe out, lowering your arms slowly to torso level, feeling a slight tightening in your stomach as your breathe out your air

3. Breathe in, bringing your arms in to the center of you torso (almost like giving someone a loose hug), bringing your air into your diaphragm and raising your ribcage.

4. Breathe out, bring your arms out to torso level as described in step 2

5. Repeat steps 1-4 until you are focused, centered and in control of your breathing




As in all all areas of fighting, there is no ultimate right or wrong in stance, only more effective or less effective for you.  What we recommend have proven the most effective for the greatest number of time.  If you are not comfortable with this approach, feel free to modify it as need be to your personal needs (but we would recommend first trying this approach and then asking a senior trainer for the impact of any modifications).  Regardless of the stance you choose to be in, a fighter should always be in an appropriately defended stance.  The goal of all combinations, feints, fakes, and fighting in general is to get the opponent out of their stance, and thus poorly defended.

  • Zero Stance -- feet shoulder width apart facing forward, toes pointed forward, knees slightly bent, weight on the balls of your feet, pelvis thrust slightly upwards and forward.
  • Fighting Stance - Advance your left foot a Half-Pass step (approximately the size of your foot) and turn both your feet to the 2:00pm clockwise position so that they are both parallel and not facing straight forward or in a fencers-T position.  NOTE: For lefties, they must reverse these directions and lead with the right foot.
    • Your feet should be about shoulder-width apart, with your knees slightly bent and the weight on the balls of your feet with approximately 60-70% of your weight on your front (left).
    • You should be standing comfortably and firmly, able to resist a charge or someone pressuring against you, with a solid stance and good balance.
    • You should be able to freely rotate around the balls of both the front and back foot and to twist/rotate your hips in both directions
    • Keeping one leg back and turned slightly behind is to keep it "denied" to the offense of the opponent by ensuring that it will be passively defended by your shield at all times.




Killing force in SCA blows are primarily generate from putting the weight of the body behind the blow by rotating (or turning) into a blow around the hips.

  • Zero Stance Explosive Hip Rotation -- rotate explosively around your hips clockwise as if swinging a golf club or baseball bat.  Note that both feet want to rotate up on the balls of the feet, the right foot more than the left.  Rotate counter-clockwise around your hips.  Note the small amount of rotation possible from Zero Stance.
  • Fighting Stance Explosive Hip Rotation - Assume fighting stance with your right leg denied behind your left leg.  Rotate explosively around your hips clockwise as if swinging a golf club or baseball bat.  Note that both feet want to rotate up on the balls of teh feet, the right foot more than the left.  It is alright if your right foot comes off the ground and rotates on the balls of your feet as you push forward with your rear leg.  You can assist the rotation of the hip with the thrust of the leg.  In Karate, this is known as Jun Kaeshi (Rotation with the Technique)




Movement - proper movement is the cornerstone of power generation, proper shot setup, the basis for proper defensive maneuvers, and the premise for all unit actions.  Understanding and implementing proper movements can make the critical difference between poor, good, and great fighting.

  • Five Movements
    • Half-Pass/Half
    • Full-Pass/Pass
    • Traverse
    • Gather
    • Compass
  • Six Directions
    • Forward/Advance
    • Reverse/Backwards
    • Left
    • Right
    • Cross (Left)
    • Cross (Right)
  • Lead-Leg
    • Left (Fighting Stance)
    • Right (Funny Leg)


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