Red dot indicates center of mass
The back stance is one of the five basic, highly used fighting stances: front, back, sitting, fixed, and cat. It offers stability, quick movement, quick kicks (with front leg), minimized target area to attacks, and quick changes to other stances.
- Stance Width. Heels aligned
- Stance Depth. 1 shoulder width
- Front Foot Position. Foot pointed straight ahead
- Back Foot Position. Foot pointed toward outside
- Front Leg Position. Knee bent, shin vertical
- Back Leg Position. Knee bent
- Shoulder Position. Angled 45° toward outside
- Hip Position. Parallel with shoulders
- Weight Distribution. 30% front foot; 70% back foot
- Center of Mass. Centered nearly over back foot
Another of the three basic fighting stances (sitting, front, back), the back stance is used in practically every form/pattern and by many practitioners as their primary fighting stance.
- The back stance is relatively strong in all directions, but not as strong as the front stance.
- The stance does not expose much of body to frontal assault and permits a wide range of attacks by both hands and feet but limits the amount of body mass that may be applied to a technique.
- Since most of the body weight is on the rear leg, the front leg is free to move with a minor weight shift permitting quick lead leg kicks. For the same reason, rear leg kicks are limited.
- The back stance is more a defensive stance than the front stance.
- As with the front stance, back stance is suited for movement to the front and back. It provides more mobility to the sides than the front stance, due to the rear foot's angle to the side. However, it still takes some time for transition to the sides, due to the feet being in aligned one behind the other.
- Moving weight forward or backward, moving feet wider or further apart, angling feet further out or in than 90-degrees, making stance higher or lower, or having knees facing other than the same direction as the toes affect the strength, stability, and mobility. As the feet move further from each other, the stance may become more stable (to a certain point).
- Shifting the center of mass closer to the center of the stance, adds stability to the front leg. Although this may be desirable at times, a main advantage of the back stance is the stability of the back leg. With the weight forward, the stability of the back leg is diminished. When the feet are situated closer to each other, mobility may be enhanced. With the feet angled out further, movement to directions outside a 90-degree range become more easily attainable.
- When the left leg is forward, the stance a left back stance. When the right leg is forward, it is a right back stance.
- Stand with feet parallel, 1 shoulder width apart. Step left foot forward 1/2 shoulder width deep into a back stance with the heel aligned with rear foot's heel. Imagine an "L" shape drawn on the floor. The right foot will align with the bottom of the "L" with the heel at the corner and the front foot will align along the long side of the "L."
- The shoulders angle 45 degrees toward the right. Keep hips parallel with the shoulders so upper body is angled toward the right. Narrow profile and strongly turned hips limit an opponent's direct access to body targets. The hips are pulled back 45 degrees from forward facing. Any more seriously restricts movement and power in techniques. Do not pull the trailing shoulder back too far because it opens you to counter attack and delays response time.
- Keep body erect; do not hunch the shoulders.
- Front foot is pointed toward the opponent.
- Bend the front leg at the knee, with the shin vertical. Front foot merely rests on the floor.
- Distance between feet varies between styles. Longer stances allow you to pull back further whereas shorter stances permit faster movement. Longer stances curtail quick movements while short stances prevent you from bracing effectively in the face of a determined attack.\
- Rear leg is bent so 70 % of the weight is on the back foot (hence the name back stance) and 30 percent of the weight is on the front foot.
- The center of mass is centered nearly over the rear foot. The weight is settled mostly over the rear leg.
- Back stance cannot effectively resist off balancing forces, due to its uneven weight distribution and narrow base. A good push from the front will cause the lead foot to rise from the floor. This may be minimized by keeping at least 25% of the body weight over the lead foot. The stance is also weak against lateral forces.
- When performing successive back stances, keep the heels in alignment so the "L" shape is maintained.
- To move forward in successive back stances, the lead foot pivots and the back foot merely swings around. Do not step the rear foot forward or too much weight will be transferred to the front foot and a rearward weight shift will have to be made.
- Keep the front side of the body loose and free so all leading techniques will be quick and powerful.
- May be used in a rocking motion, bending back leg to rock body backward to increase fighting distance and to avoid an attack and then straightening back leg to rock forward to decrease fighting distance and counterattack.