In Krav Maga, two stances exist : the neutral position and the fighting stance. They both have their advantages and drawbacks but most of all, they don’t apply in the same situation. Krav Maga techniques are all based on these two stances.
Neutral stance or passive stance
The neutral stance is the most natural way to stand in front of someone. You are facing your opponent with your two foot aligned. As you are threatened, you naturally raise your hands in front of you. This stance is a nonaggressive body position whereas the fighting stance which clearly states that you are preparing to fight. Being nonaggressive has two advantages. First of all, it gives you the opportunity to talk the situation out. If this doesn’t work, you still have the element of surprise in your favor since you’re pretending that you’re not willing to fight.
Krav Maga teaches how to start a fight from this position. You will learn how to throw a punch or a kick with your body weight engaged and all. But this position is not advised once the fight has started. If your hips are facing your opponent then your groin is an easy target.
In this stance, your hands are up in order to protect your head if your opponent attacks you first. If he’s armed with a knife, be careful not to expose the inside of your wrists. If you get hit with the knife on this part of your arm, the knife is likely to cut your artery and you will lose a lot of blood which will incapacitate you if not kill you.
The fighting stance of Krav Maga is basically the same as in the other modern martial arts such as MMA. A few details as been adapted to fit the street reality and not a boxing ring environment.
1. Dominant side
First, you will have to determine your dominant side. If you’re right-handed, put your left foot front and your right foot back. This is called the orthodox stance. If you’re left handed, the southpaw stance is just the contrary. Your foot and arm that are in front are your quick attacks. And your backhand and leg, which must be your strong side, are your power hit. You will eventually practice in both stances to be able to perform all Krav Maga equally well from both sides (to be ready for all possibilities). So learn to execute them perfectly from one stance then try the other one.
2. Feet position
Your feet must point towards your opponent. They must be on a slight diagonal as described in the scheme. Your back heel must be raised a few centimeters from the ground. You want to be able to move in every direction in a flash. If your back foot is flat on the ground, it will take more effort to move.
3. Hands position
Your hands are raised to the chin level. Same as your feet, one hand is slightly in front of the other. Your arms must be bent at an approximately 90 degrees angle.You don’t want to have them too close to your head neither too away. Having your hands are there to protect you. You usually want to protect your head first. A kick to the rest of your body will hurt you a lot but you will not faint from this.
Your hand should be relaxed. Don’t close your fist, we don’t wear gloves in the street. Having our arms tensed will also slow you down from punching.
The weight of your body must be balanced between your two legs. Those should not be fully extended. Keep them a bit bent, you must be able to squat at any time to dodge.
Krav Maga stance tips
- When you throw a punch, tuck your head inside your shoulder to protect yourself from an attack coming from the side.