The L 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.

The L stance is a back-weighted stance, and is primarily used as a defensive stance to increase distance from the attacking weapon or opponent. Most of the weight is on the back leg. hip is directly over the foot (see picture, below). In the L stance, the back foot points in a 90 degree turn relative to the front foot.

The Low L stance has the body’s center gravity over the back foot.

Shift into a middle L stance (also called a “cat” stance) by bringing the front foot closer to the back foot. Don’t rise up; bend the back knee more to keep the head at a constant level as you shorten the stance.

Raise the front knee to enter a high L stance. The knee should be pointing in the direction of the oncoming attack and serves as protection for the body’s centerline.

In addition to practicing the L stance today, try shifting between an L stance and an N stance. Start in an N stance, both feet pointing forward. Shift the weight to the back leg, turning the back foot 90 degrees before putting all of your weight on the back foot, pivoting on the ball of the foot. To shift back into the N stance, pivot on the ball of the back foot until it’s facing forward, and then shift your weight into more of it is in the front foot. Work this first with your dominant side forward, then the other side.

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