Every boxer should know how to get in their stance. This article details the basic stance and introduces some of the variations on the basic stance. However, stance is largely dictated by the individual. That’s why I offer two methods for finding a boxer’s stance and some principles to keep in mind.
What Is Stance:
Stance is the position a boxer takes to initiate their offense or defense. There are two general types of stance: orthodox and southpaw. If your dominant hand is your right hand, your stance should be orthodox, where your rear and power hand is your right hand. And if your dominant hand is your left, your stance should be southpaw, where your rear and power hand is your left hand. From here, there are some variations depending on fighting height and feet distance.
How to Get In Your Stance:
- Imagine there is a straight line from your would-be opponent to you. Stand facing approximately 45 degrees from that line towards your non-dominant-hand side. This way your feet should cut across the line diagonally.
- Test your feet distance by squatting down. Get a comfortable distance (shoulder-width) between your feet.
- While keeping your rear foot (foot farthest from your opponent) still, turn your lead foot (foot closest to your opponent) towards your opponent until you are comfortable. Make sure there is a slight bend in your hips and also both your knees and ankles.
- Keeping your elbows close to your ribs, bring your hands up to your cheeks. Your hands should be relaxed fists, and your shoulders should be relaxed as well (so that your arms are almost as if they are resting on your ribs).
- Shift your weight to the balls of your feet. Keep in mind that this does not require you to simulate high heels. And make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your feet.
- Stand directly facing your would-be opponent with your feet shoulder-width apart. To determine how far your feet should be, start by placing them under your shoulders and widening them until you are comfortable.
- Depending on your handedness, take a step back with the foot on your dominant side, keeping the other foot in place and ending with a slight bend in both knees and ankles. If you are right-handed (orthodox), take a step back with your right foot. If you are left-handed, take a step back with your left foot. Adjust until you are stable.
- Rotate your torso towards your dominant side until your head is over your groin (or until you feel there is no tension (torsion) around your hips). Make sure there is a slight bend in your hips.
- Keeping your elbows close to your ribs, bring your hands up to your cheeks. Your hands should be relaxed fists, and your shoulders should be relaxed too.
- Shift your weight to the balls of your feet and make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your feet.
What Are the Variations of Stance:
Since stance is largely dictated by the fighter, there are too many stance variations to name. And many more that don’t deserve a name. However, a few variations come up more often than others. You can see fighters like Guillermo Rigondeaux using the wide stance, a stance where the distance between the feet far exceeds the boxer’s shoulders. Among other uses, this stance allows the boxer to deceive their opponents into thinking that they are farther than they are. Another stance you see often is the squared stance, which is necessary for the peekaboo style. This stance requires the boxer to face their opponent more directly than the basic stance. If you know Mike Tyson, then you know what this stance is tailored for.
Stance is up to the individual as there are different stances for different fighters. However, the basic stance is a general stance; if you master the basic stance, you will adapt and adopt new stances to compliment your basic stance.