How to choose the right guard stance
After introducing the concept of “guard stance” in 6 Dragons Kung Fu (read The guard stances in 6DKF), we will now review some of the most important questions that we have to instinctively answer when choosing the position to be taken.
We will never stop to repeat it: it does not exist a perfect guard stance.
All vary in relation to ourselves and the context that we are facing, therefore, here are the topics to think about:
- Fighting scenario – Everything is inside the area where the combat is evolving (including its conformation)
- Psychology – All the interactions between our mind, the ones of who is with us, against us and / or neutral
- Personal conditions – Our physical conditions in general terms and in the specific moment of the fight
- Technique and strategy – What we want / need to do and what we would avoid (as in the chess game)
- Actions and reactions – What we and all the active elements of the scenario are doing
- How many opponents are we facing? Are there others who might be involved (actively or passively)?
- Do opponents have (or could have) weapons?
- The opponents seem to know martial arts (read The signals that identify an attacker who practices martial arts)?
- Are the aggressors humans or animals (eg. a dog)?
- Can we protect ourselves from environmental dangers (eg. fighting on a staircase)?
- Can we move abruptly and easily in all directions (including top and bottom, eg. a low ceiling)?
- Do we have a good view of the scenario (or there is something that could surprise us)?
- The guard stance can (even lightly) intimidate our opponents (eg. demonstrating competence, read Self-defense: aggression in front of a supermarket)?
- The guard stance can trick our opponents (eg. hiding our competence)?
- Can we hide the fact that we had taken a guard stance (eg. hidden guards, read A self-defense trick: the secret guard stances)?
- Can we use our posture to invite the opponent to make mistakes (eg. offering a target to trap him, read Hitting effectively: distances and targets)?
- What kind of performance in terms of power / speed / reactivity / flexibility can we express in the present moment?
- What is the relationship between our body and the opponent’s one (height, weight, muscle mass, agility, etc.)?
- What is the current state of health of our body? What can we expose and what not?
- What limbs should we prepare for the use (hands to grasp, knees to strike, etc.)?
- Do we feel at ease maintaining our pose or we feel “forced”?
Technique and strategy
- Are we able to easily perform our best techniques?
- Which guard stance allows us to perform our tactic / strategy?
- Which guard stance allows us to (truly) hide our tactic / strategy?
- Are we near or far from the opponent? Which guard stance allows us to do defense / attack movements better?
- What kind of stability / mobility allows us our guard stance?
- Our guard stance allows us to be unpredictable or limit our action?
- What is the technical level of our opponent? Is he trying to reach advanced targets or is he attacking randomly?
- What is the focus of our opponent (grappòling, striking, etc.)?
Actions and reactions
- What are the implications of a failure of our defensive tactic?
- How much should our opponent expose himself to get some useful targets?
- How should we expose to reach good targets on the opponent?
- What types of contact (eg. force against force) promotes our guard stance?
- Are we risking of being easily blocked / seized or not being able to withstand the impact of the opponent’s force?
A few conclusive considerations:
- Some of the questions considered may appear banal but we cannot leave anything to the fortune, a good work is the result of the cure of all the minimum details
- In general, unless we are not well prepared (read How to train to master the 6 Dragons Kung Fu Style), we will have to limit as much as possible the exposure of our body
- The more we are fast, responsive, skilled and equipped with physical resistance, more choice of guard stances we can have
In future articles, we will see more about the 6DKF’s guard positions combined with their strengths and weaknesses (read).
- How to study an opponent – How to rapidly gain useful information about who we are facing
- How to deal with a taller opponent: 12 functional tips – How to face a person that is taller than us
- What is your favorite guard stance?
Author: Master Kongling
Founder of 6 Dragons Kung Fu.