Stances are one of the Level 1 basics of Motion Science™, one of the basics of Kenpo. As per Ed Parker, stances are "postures of defense and offense." They form the foundation of all self-defense moves. "They improve balance, give automatic protection to vulnerable areas, can be used to increase or decrease distance, aid in increasing one's power, assist in buckling, checking, or breaking an opponent's leg, allow for greater maneuverability, enhance an individual's peripheral vision, and much more."
Following are the basic stances studied in Motion Science™.
|Attention--used for receiving instructions and to begin formal exercises.|
|Square Horse--used to isolate the upper body to practice blocks, parries, hand strikes, and other upper body movements.|
|Rear Horse--used when fighting to minimize target areas by closing off the center line and also to set up certain kicks.|
|Neutral Bow--The neutral bow is a 50/50 weight-balanced stance, and is the primary stance used in katas, techniques, and basics. It is one of the two most important stances to learn the dynamics of movement.|
|Forward Bow--This is the other most important stance to learn proper movement. It can be used to extend reach of back hand, give greater power by shifting weight to front leg, brace against an attack, and also as a transition stance between neutral bows.|
|Reverse Bow--used to create distance by pivoting away, increase the power of certain movements by rotating into the stance, and help buckle or sweep an opponent.|
|Cat--used as a transition stance, such as for a front kick off the front leg, or to minimize the opponent's ability to sweep or attack the front leg. Used to create distance.|
|Rear Cat--this is the back side of a cat stance and has the same benefits, but from the rear.|
|Twist--used to implement the power principle of torque without using distance. Generates energy at close range.|
|Back--Japanese-style stance, puts more weight on the back foot to allow for quicker kicks off of the front foot or to increase power on a reverse punch; also to create extra distance from the opponent|
|Crane--moves the leg out of harm's way and closes off the center line for defense.|
|Wide Kneel--dropping height gives power through "gravitational marriage". Transitions from and to a neutral bow.|
|Close Kneel--same benefits and purpose as a wide kneel; transition from and to a forward bow.|
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