T Nation

Facing the Center Line Question

Hello this has been on my mind for a while now about the concept of facing the centerline…I have been taught by numerous trainers since day one to always be “bladed” giving them the lead shoulder,and NOT be square. But there’s a huge thread on another forum about the complete opposite and having your foot and body face the centerline.
It wont let me get the full link but I just tried my self and if anyone wants a full understanding of what im talking about go to google and type in – Facing the center line sherdog forums — it should be the first link.

Not only learning and being around boxing have I not seen this in advanced guys but nor in any world champs today atleast I dont think I see any of the fighting with their lead foot and body facing their opponents center.
My question is why? Im bringing this up now also because Ive seen another quick post of someone saying the same thing, the insert Ill type here from another website is:

–The final important aspect of stance is the positioning of the lead foot. To best defend against punches, the lead foot, and likewise the lead hand, should point at the centerline of the opponent’s body. This ensures that you are always properly facing him–in position to hit him without being hit yourself. Next time you watch a boxing match, or any other high level striking exhibition, take note of the “most boring” moments. Watch the fighters’ feet as they constantly make tiny adjustments, jockeying for dominant position on one another. This is the invisible battle of positioning that makes a fighter truly dangerous to any opponent.–

After seeing that for the 2nd time I had to post this to a website like here to see what everyone thinks of this, and is right/wrong, should I change my stance Ive been with for years because of this new hype?
Is it REALLY qorth it? I like to stand bladed and give them that lead shoulder, I find my presence hard to hit by not giving them openings, but if this is worth adding than I will.

Better if anyone could support their anwser with video-examples.
Thoughts?

I believe B-Hop demonstrates what you’re asking about (if I read you right):

My (limited) understanding is that this comes down to the difference between boxing and MMA/Kickboxing, namely the inclusion of leg kicks and takedowns.

Turning the lead foot in seems to make it harder to check leg kicks, and exposes the meat of the hamstring to damage. It also seems to make it harder to keep up with an opponent circling to your lead side (at least that’s the case with both Diaz brothers and BJ). Guys who fight side on also tend to give up their lead leg for a single, though in BJ’s case, that’s rarely a bad thing.

I think that’s why most successful MMA strikers stand more square on. Machida, Aldo, Cruz and Anderson are good examples, though Anderson has pulled off shoulder roll defense while toying with his opponents.

Interested to here opinions on this from people who actually train striking arts, unlike myself, lol.

Standing square gives you an advantage in that you can strike with both hands. However, it has the drawback in that you’re also presenting a larger target to be hit.

[quote]shs101 wrote:
Hello this has been on my mind for a while now about the concept of facing the centerline…I have been taught by numerous trainers since day one to always be “bladed” giving them the lead shoulder,and NOT be square. But there’s a huge thread on another forum about the complete opposite and having your foot and body face the centerline.
It wont let me get the full link but I just tried my self and if anyone wants a full understanding of what im talking about go to google and type in – Facing the center line sherdog forums — it should be the first link.

Not only learning and being around boxing have I not seen this in advanced guys but nor in any world champs today atleast I dont think I see any of the fighting with their lead foot and body facing their opponents center.
My question is why? Im bringing this up now also because Ive seen another quick post of someone saying the same thing, the insert Ill type here from another website is:

–The final important aspect of stance is the positioning of the lead foot. To best defend against punches, the lead foot, and likewise the lead hand, should point at the centerline of the opponent’s body. This ensures that you are always properly facing him–in position to hit him without being hit yourself. Next time you watch a boxing match, or any other high level striking exhibition, take note of the “most boring” moments. Watch the fighters’ feet as they constantly make tiny adjustments, jockeying for dominant position on one another. This is the invisible battle of positioning that makes a fighter truly dangerous to any opponent.–

After seeing that for the 2nd time I had to post this to a website like here to see what everyone thinks of this, and is right/wrong, should I change my stance Ive been with for years because of this new hype?
Is it REALLY qorth it? I like to stand bladed and give them that lead shoulder, I find my presence hard to hit by not giving them openings, but if this is worth adding than I will.

Better if anyone could support their anwser with video-examples.
Thoughts?[/quote]

Basically the first post on the thread in that forum sums up exactly how you should position yourself in regards to your opponent. From what I can tell, the guy who posted it knows what he is talking about.

By bladed, do you mean standing more at 45 degrees? Inevitably, if your trying to keep your lead foot pointing at the centre line you will inevitably end up being slightly angled. If you look at any great fighter, the do box exactly how the coach in that first post is saying, and are constantly fighting for control. It is something I’ve always been conscious of and always tried to do.

The video of B-Hop that Jim posted is a great example of how you should be looking to fight from a technical perspective.

rundymc pretty much nailed it. In an MMA context the lead foot is generally pointed at the opponent’s chin or even straight ahead as this puts one in a better position to shoot takedowns, check outside leg kicks, and pivot their own hips to throw their rear leg round kick.

In boxing kicking and takedowns are a non factor, so the lead foot is generally turned in further to further blade the torso, making one harder to hit with punches to the body or even head. In kickboxing, where kicking is common but not takedowns there have even been some very successful fighters (Wallace) who have gone full on side stance and been highly successful in doing so.

This generally requires a very forward side dominant attack though, and obviously doesn’t work for everyone.

Standing square gives you an advantage in that you can strike with both hands. However, it has the drawback in that you’re also presenting a larger target to be hit.

I was lucky enough to attend a Bas Rutten seminar and he spoke about this topic. The main advantage he listed to standing squared up was that it made your jab more similar in power to a right straight. His response to the criticism that it exposed the body as a larger target was “do more abs!”

To be fair, I love Rutten and respect the hell out of him, but lets be real:

he never fought any elite strikers. Most of the dudes he cleaned up in pancrase and the UFC were average at best on their feet.

I don’t like the square on stance as rutten teaches it. I believe you can get power out of your jab by minor changes in positioning without coming completely square on like kimbo slice would when he wants to play bumpy knuckles.

For a great example of this, see mike tyson. Mike tyson is regarded as squared up moreso than most boxers, but I disagree with that, his stance is actually textbook perfection in many ways and if you notice the positioning of the lead foot, his is slightly turned inwards like most boxers, the lead shoulder is also ahead of the rear should like most, as opposed to what Rutten teaches which is REALLY squared up. Tyson got power out of the jab by shifting the placement of his hips and weight when it was required, see any of the many examples of him ramrodding a jab through someone’s face. A minor change in positioning can turn the jab into effectively a straight.

Sinister of sherdog forums actually had a really good post on the Cus Damato system when someone posted that they thought he would be rather critical of it (he’s actually not dissimilar from you London, in his views IIRC). Instead sinister pointed out that while he may teach different philosophies on technique, he respects the cus d’amato system greatly for two reasons:

  1. It’s refined - Each D’amato fighter was better and more pure than the next, starting with Torres, and of course ending with Tyson. And as we’ve talked about many times on this forum I think, a guy who can fire rapid ACCURATE combinations and still maintain good defensive skills is just a huge problem for anyone to deal with. It’s no wonder the typical gameplan for a Tyson fight was to try to drag him out into the late rounds.

  2. It’s virtually complete - As sinister pointed out, while it may not necessarily have the BEST answer for everything, it’s got an answer none the less and that’s rare. One of the criticisms that I see of tyson on many boards was that his style was too predictable??? That’s silly to me. It’s one thing to know what a guy is likely to do, it’s another thing entirely to stop him from doing something he’s practiced to perfection. You know Mayweather is going to roll your right and come back with his own - how many have succeeded?

[quote]Aussie Davo wrote:
To be fair, I love Rutten and respect the hell out of him, but lets be real:

he never fought any elite strikers. Most of the dudes he cleaned up in pancrase and the UFC were average at best on their feet.

I don’t like the square on stance as rutten teaches it. I believe you can get power out of your jab by minor changes in positioning without coming completely square on like kimbo slice would when he wants to play bumpy knuckles.

For a great example of this, see mike tyson. Mike tyson is regarded as squared up moreso than most boxers, but I disagree with that, his stance is actually textbook perfection in many ways and if you notice the positioning of the lead foot, his is slightly turned inwards like most boxers, the lead shoulder is also ahead of the rear should like most, as opposed to what Rutten teaches which is REALLY squared up. Tyson got power out of the jab by shifting the placement of his hips and weight when it was required, see any of the many examples of him ramrodding a jab through someone’s face. A minor change in positioning can turn the jab into effectively a straight.

Sinister of sherdog forums actually had a really good post on the Cus Damato system when someone posted that they thought he would be rather critical of it (he’s actually not dissimilar from you London, in his views IIRC). Instead sinister pointed out that while he may teach different philosophies on technique, he respects the cus d’amato system greatly for two reasons:

  1. It’s refined - Each D’amato fighter was better and more pure than the next, starting with Torres, and of course ending with Tyson. And as we’ve talked about many times on this forum I think, a guy who can fire rapid ACCURATE combinations and still maintain good defensive skills is just a huge problem for anyone to deal with. It’s no wonder the typical gameplan for a Tyson fight was to try to drag him out into the late rounds.

  2. It’s virtually complete - As sinister pointed out, while it may not necessarily have the BEST answer for everything, it’s got an answer none the less and that’s rare. One of the criticisms that I see of tyson on many boards was that his style was too predictable??? That’s silly to me. It’s one thing to know what a guy is likely to do, it’s another thing entirely to stop him from doing something he’s practiced to perfection. You know Mayweather is going to roll your right and come back with his own - how many have succeeded?[/quote]

Fantastic post - great read.