Positions and Stances

Overall Self Defense Table of Contents

Stay in a Neutral Position when possible 

Neutral, Non-verbal = calm

Neutral Position

·       Do not show that you are ready to fight

·       Instead take a non-threatening position that covers your head and throat


Hand ready to block or strike

Here is another example of such a position.


This type of position could include rubbing chin and allows for a quick strike to the attacker’s head or face

Left hand ready, not tucked in

Here is yet another example of such a position.


Do not fold both hands under or you won’t be able to move when you need to.


Your Stance should change with the Threat Levels



You can tell him what he might want to hear, keep your distance safe, and stay alert.  Keep a SAFE distance.  Use calm tone

There is no reason for physical action until he goes to put his hands on you, then it is your call as to what happens next.

Stay relaxed and Stay Ready


Negotiating Position

·       Palms Up

·       Hands Apart

·       Neutral expression

·       Eyebrows slightly raised


Use Verbal Responses:

All in a conversational tone


·       I don’t want any trouble”

·       “Why don’t I just leave?”

·       “I am sorry, you are right; let me buy you a beer.”

Defuse with calm attitude and words, if at all possible.

Just remember you cannot predict his intentions, so stay alert!

Distance equal time to react

More on Threat Levels

This Video Clip show the various Positions and some suggested verbal responses as the potential threat escalates .





Size-Body Type =    Danger!   


Number, 2 or More = Danger!      


Weapons =     Danger!

·      Yellow = Talk

   with Caution

Hands Down,

Palms up  = Helpful


·      Orange = Threat

   or Warning

Be ready to Act

Hands Up,

Palms Out =  "Stop!"

·      Red = Danger   

  Act Now! Move!


What to look out for:

·       Intent

·       Range and Position

·       Skills (Perceived)

·       Size-Body Type =       


·       Number, 2 or More =  Danger!     

·       Weapons =     Danger!



Ready Stance – Condition Red – “Trouble is here, Now!” 


Here is the View the Defender would have


Here is another view of  a Ready Stance

Overall Self Defense Table of Contents


© 2010 - Victor M. Cushing

International Modern Hapkido Federation

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