Our focus today will be on controlling distance with the cross stance. One of the 5 basic stances in wushu, the cross stance is used in a variety of kung fu styles. This stance has two main variations. There is a standing version. The distance can be controlled using this version. The other version is executed while sitting. The sitting variation is used to change heights. Today we will focus on the standing version.
The cross stance can be used to control distance in a few ways. First, let’s look at closing the distance. When we want to close the distance, we will generally use the rear leg to step behind the front leg moving towards the opponent. This movement is usually a set up for a follow up technique. Good examples would be the elbow, the back fist, and the hammer fist.
The cross stance can also be used to increase distance. This can be accomplished in two different ways. The first way would be to use a long range follow up technique, such as using the walking side thrust or walking rear kick. While the stance temporarily puts you in a closer position, it can make the distance perfect for a long-range attack, allowing you to knock your opponent further away. The other way this can be done is by stepping away from your opponent. This can be used for hidden strikes such as a hammer fist to the kidney, or it can be used as a simple cover to get away. It’s also a great way to recover from an off-balance kick.