Adjustments Based On Distance
1. Chin - 2. Back/Shoulders - 3. Hands - 4. Legs
This video covers in great detail how to adjust these four positions to maximize the effectiveness of your Fighting Stance as well as how to conserve energy while training or sparring.
"Hello, this is Randall and Glenda with KravMagaTraining.com. What I'm going to discuss in this particular video is how to adjust your fighting positioning properly based off the distance between you and your opponent.
So we'll pretend that Glenda is my opponent and we're both squared up in our fighting stance but we're really far away from each other. So far away, if I backup way up here, Glenda backs up a little bit, in order for her to punch, kick me, or pretty much do anything, she's going to have to take a really large step, if not a few steps, to be able to attack me. Which means I have plenty of time to see it coming. Now, the general rule is, you always hear instructors say 'always keep your hands up!', 'always keep your chin down!' Well, that's not entirely true. There is a little bit of bullshit behind that. Let me explain why. At this distance, what the fuck, I can stand here like this and unless she has like a stick or a gun or some shit, she's not, really can't do anything to me unless she gets closer. So anytime that like your neck is a little tired from keeping your chin down, or maybe your shoulders a little tired from sparring, especially if you've been doing a lot of hard rounds, you're not used to wearing big gloves, your shoulders get fatigued, well here's your chance to just lift your chin up, shake your arms out. Because from this distance, in order for Glenda to attack me, she's going to have to step in. So if Glenda does anything towards me I'll have plenty of time to see it coming. Do anything you want Glenda. Then I can put my hands up. But if she's out this far away, way far out here, I can relax. I can do anything I want.
Now here's the thing. First off, I'm going to talk about the chin positioning. The rule is the closer that she gets to me the lower my chin needs to get down. So this is what I mean. Like right here, I can stand really tall. Chin up, she can't do shit about it. But as she walks closer with her fighting stance, notice how my chin gets lower as she comes in, lower, and lower, and lower. And the reason why is the closer she gets to me the easier it is for her to hit me. The less time I have to react and be held to see it coming. So because the chances of me getting hit are increased, it's that much more important to keep my chin down. To protect my throat. Protect the soft tissues of my face. That way if I do get hit it's going to be on the top of my head where it's bonier. And I'm less likely with my chin tucked down to get my head snapped back and have my brain slam up against my skull. You get hit like this, not only am I more likely to get hit more, I'm in a terrible position to get hit not just with one shot but with more shots and I'm in a poor position to counterstrike. So the rule is the closer your opponent gets the lower your chin gets down. So that parts adjustable. All right. You don't always have to have your chin down like this. That parts adjustable but the closer they get to lower the chin gets down. I do see a lot of this crap from beginners. Their training at this distance and their sitting here like this. This is bullshit. This obviously people who do that I can tell have never sparred a day in their life and never got hit in the face. Trust me, you want to develop good habits now as a beginner because at the advanced level when you start sparring you don't want to be sitting here like this getting hit. Glenda hits me like this, 'boom!', this is what's going to happen. All right. Trust me, it doesn't feel good. You want that chin tucked down. So that's the first thing you can adjust is your chin positioning.
Now the second thing you can adjust is the rounding of your back and the rounding of your shoulders. So if Glenda backs way way up, same thing. I can stand tall, like this, no big deal. I might even be talking my way out of the fight. As she gets closer and starts walking in, notice my back curves, my shoulders get rounder as my chin tucks down. Okay, this is really important for a few reasons. One, when I round my back and my shoulders it actually drops my chin down. So it indirectly helps with that positioning. But also it shortens up my torso. When I'm really tall like this it's hard for me to protect all this. And also the muscles in my abdomen are really relaxed. So Glenda is able to hit me in the body really hard, it's harder for me to defend, I'm more likely to get the wind knocked out of me and get injured. So watch how as I round my back, notice how it shortens up the distance here on my torso. It makes it easier for me to keep my elbows tucked in tight to my body to protect that. Also it indirectly tightens up my abs so if an attack does slip through and I get hit I'm less likely to get the wind knocked out of me and less likely to get injured. Also when you do this it makes it easier for you to still keep your hands up. If I'm up really tall like this it's hard for me to protect my head and my torso at the same time. But as soon as I start rounding my body, notice how my elbows are in a great position to defend my body but the hands are still up to protect myself. So once again, that's another rule. The closer the opponent gets to you the more you need to round your back, the more you need a hunch your shoulders forward. So a good nickname for this is it's like a 'hunchback' stance. All right. So that's the next thing you want to think about.
And now the next thing is your hand positioning. All right. So the same thing. If Glenda's really far away my hands can be really low. But as she comes closer to me my hands get higher, higher, and extremely high. So lets back it up just a little bit, let's go at kind of a mid range. This is your normal fighting stance in Krav Maga. All right. We have all learned this. This is a good neutral position to do all your inside defenses, your 360 blocks. But I don't suggest doing this position all the time because as she comes closer to me my hands also need to come closer to me and they also need to go higher. Because at this range there's no way you're going to have time to do inside defenses and 360 blocks. In this position you're going to use more covering defenses against punches and elbows. So with that in mind, my hands come closer and they come higher like this as she gets really tight to me. And from here it's not only really easy to defend those quick sneaky punches but when she's throwing elbows this is a much better position to cover from. As I can't do inside defenses and 360 blocks against that. But as Glenda backs up I can start dropping my hands, I can start extending them out farther from my body. So that parts very adjustable as well. And of course if she really backs away and my shoulders are tired I can drop my hands a little bit to loosen them up. This is okay because I'm at a safe distance where she's not going to be able to attack me unless she really steps into it and if that happens I can put my hands back up.
Now the final thing that you can adjust is your leg positioning. All right. When we're this far away I can stand tall. Like I'm in a tactical stance. I could be trying to talk my way out of the fight and kind of let my legs relax. But you'll notice that as she comes closer to me that my stance gets wider and my knees bend more. I need to get more grounded and get my stance more solidified. so as she comes in notice how, what I did with my knees. The closer she gets the wider my feet get. The more you can see the knees bending through my pants. I need to be very grounded. Especially if we're clinching and stuff like this, I need to have a good solid base. I can't be standing tall like this because she can just throw me around and ragdoll me. I need to get my knees bent and really grounded so I'm in a good position to fight. As she backs up from me my knees can start straightening out a little bit, my stance can get a little bit more narrow. If she's really far away I can practically just stand here and let my legs relax and loosen up. As she walks in my stance gets bigger, wider, and deeper. All right. So that's the other thing that you can adjust.
So keep in mind your fighting stance is adjustable but it has to be done at the appropriate range. And the four things you can adjust are your chin positioning. The closer they get the lower it needs to get. Your hand positioning. The closer they get to you the closer your hands need to get you and the higher they need to get. Next is your back. The closer they get to you the more your back needs round, your shoulders need to round. And the fourth thing is your leg positioning. The closer they get to you the wider your stance needs to get. The lower your knees need to bend. The lower your hips need to be to get yourself grounded.
So when you're training with your training partners, regardless of whether you're sparring, doing punching defenses, kicking defenses, be aware of how you can adjust your fighting stance properly based off the distance between you and your partner or your opponent. So here's some, I think, really helpful tips that will help you out with your fighting stance. Make sure you do it properly so you're protecting yourself but also you're not wearing yourself out. You're not fatiguing yourself unnecessarily."
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