In Lotus Self-Defense you will
notice that the stances we use in our self-defense techniques often differ from
the stances we use when sparring. This apparent disconnect between the different
parts of our style can be confusing for the beginning student.
To help in understanding,
consider that Lotus Self-Defense is a style that uses concepts from many
different arts. Since it originated in Thailand, Muay Thai is an obvious
component. Other important concepts come from Kajukenbo, Judo, Aikido and Tang
When we spar you will see the
fighting stances used in Thai Boxing. Sparring is done from kicking range. The
feet are closer together for mobility-what you typically see from boxers. Muay
Thai uses the high guard, holding the arms and hands high up in front of the
head to protect the neck from high Thai round kicks that have killed more than
one fighter in the ring. This type of guard leaves the trunk exposed and we
train to exploit this apparent problem. We learn what I call “independent
suspension” of the arms. This means that each arm is held in a relaxed manner
while in this guard position allowing for quick downward elbow strikes with
either arm to incoming kicks and punches. The other arm stays in position to
guard the head. We frequently sandwich kicks throw at our mid-section between
our rising front knee and a rapidly executed downward elbow strike. This use of
the knee is a trade mark of Muay Thai. (See Oct 2006 issue of Black Belt
Magazine. 7 Defensive Moves of Thai Boxing by Daniel C. Docto.) Lotus
students are only too familiar with the pain that this type of “block” produces.
Lotus techniques use powerful Muay Thai skills and their mobile stances as to punish an attacker and as
protection while closing the gap from sparring range to grappling range where
the opponent can be disabled. These more mobile stances allow faster kicking, as
However, since not all assaults
start with a flurry of kicks and punches, a person needs tools to deal with
attacks initiated from grappling range. Wrist grabs, lapel grabs, bear hugs and
Many of the 100 self-defense
techniques of Lotus use more “traditional” karate stances for just this purpose.
These stances find their roots in Kajukenbo and Tang Soo Do. Some self-defense
situations require strong stability; “rooting”, as some styles call it. If
defending on a slippery surface, just being able to remain upright may make all
the difference. These stances can also be used to up-root an opponent and are
one of the main reasons they are found in the traditional martial arts where
they are employed from grappling range.
Lotus Self-Defense has a tool
kit that includes tools for close-in use and tools that are used at long-range.
This is why you see a variety of stances. There is no disconnect here, rather, a
choice of which stance is better suited for use in which type of self-defense