Elements of good Kickboxing Stance

Hey Guys,

I was just wondering if you could break down - real simple like - the elements of a good strong kickboxing stance.

Like where your feet and weight should be... etc...


You have to remember that the stance varies from gym-to-gym, and from person-to-person. There are different variations of the stance depending on your body type and your fighting style.

But, the basics are:

1. Feet should be a little more than shoulder-width apart.

2. Your weight should be on your toes, though you don't necessarily have to be standing up on your toes. I do recommend that you stay up on your toes though.

3. Your shoulders need to be up to protect the sides of your jaw

4. Your chin should be tucked down into your chest to minimize it as a target

5. Your elbows should be tucked into your floating ribs.

6. Your hands should be up to further protect the sides of your jaw.

7. Your weight should be 50/50 between front and rear foot. This will vary forwards and backwards depending on whether you are defending or attacking, punching or kicking.

There are variations on where you hold your hands, for instance, depending on how you are trying to defend, or what you're defending against. You may hold your hands higher to protect up near your eyes also, not just your jaw.

You may keep one arm tight to your body, while the other is "floating". Use your "float" arm as a "feeler" against your opponent. Slap at his guard with it.

As I stated in #7, you stand with your weight distributed based on what you are doing. If you are kicking or defending, your weight will tend to be towards your back leg. If you are punching or on the attack, your weight will be more to the front. If you are "on the move", your weight will be more 50/50.

Hope this helps!

Khun Kao

Is the classic MT stance's weight distribution 50/50? I'm referring to the stance where the front feet kind of on the ball of foot and the back looks more rooted.

No, that stance is more 60/40 or 70/30. That stance is a what I refer to as a defensive kicking stance.

Thing is, there is no "Classic Muay Thai Stance". Simple fact of the matter is that there are so many subtle variations to the stance that it just depends on what gym you train with and what you are taught. Fighters use the stance that best complements their fighting style.

I teach 3 basic variations of the Muay Thai stance.

OFFENSIVE BOXING STANCE: The weight distribution is 50/50 and the fighter is in a *slight* crouch (not as much of a crouch as a boxer typically uses). This stance facilitates using the hands to set up your other weapons, but is flexible enough to allow for a leading kick technique too.

(I use this stance as my "base" stance. It allows me to be very mobile, and because of my boxing experience, I prefer to use my hands to setup my Muay Thai weapons)

OFFENSIVE KICKING STANCE: The weight distribution is 60/40 or even 70/30 on the front leg. The fighter stands upright with the his guard covering the sides of his jaw. This stance facilitates rear-legged kicking as well as straight punches. The front leg is kept practically flat-footed (though the weight is centered on the toes) but the rear leg is cocked up on its toes ready to fire in a fast powerful round kick or push kick. Despite the weight distribution, it is very simple to transition to a different weight distribution to defend and move more easily.

(this stance is what I use to stalk or pursue my opponent. If I have an opponent that is moving away from me, I will use this stance as I follow)

DEFENSIVE KICKING STANCE: The weight distribution for this stance is 60/40 or even 70/30 on the rear foot. The body is held upright with the guard high to protect the entire head. The front foot is cocked up on its toes to facilitate front-legged kicking techniques such as the Push Kick or Round Kick. The Push Kicks are typically employed as 'stop hits' from this stance, while Round Kicks and Boxing are counter attacks. Again, it should be relatively easy to transition from this stance into another of the two stances. For instance, after a successful defense and counter, you can rock your weight forward into the OFFENSIVE KICKING STANCE to pursue your opponent (if he's backing away) or the OFFENSIVE BOXING STANCE to move around and create a new angle of attack.

(I like to rock back into this stance when I have an opponent who is trying to pursue me. I rock back into this stance and use Push Kicks and Round Kicks to stop me from moving backwards, then transition to another stance based on how my opponent reacts. I also like to use a variation of this stance to play "Cat & Mouse" with my opponent, when we are both standing in each others "danger zone" (within each others boxing reach) and baiting each other.)

The above stances are the variations of the Muay Thai stance that I use and try to teach to my students. I like to use all three stances, but there are some people that may simply stick with one or two of them.

I just think its important to know a few different variations of the stances as they facilitate different types of fighting. The bottom line is that the type of fighter that you are should dictate the stance that you use.

Khun Kao