The N Stance

This week, our Bando minute updates will focus on the three basic combative stances: the N stance, the L stance, and the H stance. Each of these has a Low, Middle, and High expression of the stance. A good stance establishes a balance between stability and mobility; depending on the context you may want a stance that’s more weighted to one or the other.

Practice all three versions of the N stance, below, making sure you can easily transition from one to the other without raising the level of your crown relative to the ground. Work the stance with both right and left leg forward. While you may have a dominant side, you can’t always plan on having that leg/foot forward.

The Low N stance: Weight is distributed approximately 60/40 front foot to back foot. There should be about three of your own foot lengths between the back toe and the front heel. Shoulders stay over hips. While the back heel is low, it skims the ground. (If you can’t bring your back heel down, this is a sign to work on your leg flexibility!)

To move into the Middle L stance, bring the back foot forward about one foot length. The front knee will have to bend more to maintain a constant height.

In the Low N stance, bring the back knee up, tucking the back foot behind the knee of the front foot. This requires balance and strength in the supporting leg. If you’re wobbly, think about working your quads and your ankle muscles.