This is a manner of standing in preparation for hand to hand combat common to many styles of fighting. Variations of method and nomenclature abound, but the Tae Kwon Do method of the L-Stance is most familiar to me.

The martial artist starts by standing in the center of a cardinal cross, facing North. She moves her right foot straight back and points it to the East; her left foot stays planted, pointing to the North. Her feet should be perpendicular to each other at the heels, making an "L" shape. The back foot should be directly south of the front foot at a length comparable to the breadth of her shoulders. She leans about seventy percent of her weight on her back leg, and thirty percent on the front. Her back leg should be bent easily with her knee pointing to the East, while her front leg should be straight at the knee (but not locked) and relatively loose on the ground. This setting of the legs provides a firm rooting to the ground in an easily defensible position while allowing some flexibility in the front leg, so that the martial artist does not fall easily if someone strikes that leg.

Her torso should pivot to the Northeast, allowing her ease to strike her opponent with either hand, but giving her opponent a narrower profile at which to strike back. Both her hands come up in tight fists near her face, but not too close, lest a blocked attack translate through her fist into striking herself in the face. Both elbows stay tucked in by her flanks, providing only a small window at which a blow can strike her torso.

This stance is the basis for much of the work done in Tae Kwon Do. It features in forms such as Chon-Ji and Dan-Gun, and is the stance from which students learn most of their individual hand and foot techniques.

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