Fighting Stance: Messing up the fundamentals

Martial arts and self defense training is an ongoing learning process. You never “win” at Krav Maga. You’ve never mastered all the techniques. There’s always work to be done. I had a funny (and embarrassing) experience with this a few weeks ago.

I was in a small class with Francisco, one of my favorite instructors. We were playing the shoulder touch game—a game where you try to tap your opponent’s shoulders, knees, and head. Kate and I were circling each other shooting our hands out to touch each other on the shoulders when Francisco came over to correct me.

“Kaci! Don’t cross your legs!”

I looked at him, confusion and concern radiating through me. “What?!”

“You’re crossing your legs!” he said, demonstrating how my left front leg would cross in front of my right leg as I moved around Kate. It’s a fundamental no-no.

My face burned.

Your fighting stance is the most basic of all self defense concepts. Your fighting stance is how you stand: how wide your feet are spaced, how they’re staggered, how you hold your hands in the ready, and how you move. It’s the first thing you learn when you come to a Krav Maga class. Everything builds on this fundamental technique.

And here I am—a level three student, four years into my practice—mucking up this simple concept.

How can this happen?

I made the necessary correction and continued circling Kate.

This, along with the my level two test, helped me realize you can always learn something about whatever you’re practicing.

And thank goodness too! Getting my ego bruised is good for me. I still have a lot to learn. I may be confident in my skills, but I’m not perfect.

Have you ever realized you’re messing up something fundamental? How did you handle it? How did it help you become better?

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