One phrase you will likely hear over and over again is, “Stances Down!” There is good reason for this. Very low stances may not be needed in an encounter, but practicing very low while training will give you the ability to maintain low stances (read: low center of gravity) while continuing to stay loose, smooth, and agile. This is because your legs will be extremely strong from training very low stances and holding low stances won’t be a problem.
Pushing yourself to lower stances while holding proper postures is something to focus on in each class. Practicing stances at home is also a very important self-study exercise. See how low you can go before you start bending your back, lose balance, tighten up, or break form. Utilize mirrors both at home and at the school to ensure your back is perpendicular to the ground and all looks correct. And most of all…. sink. Practically perfect stances won’t come overnight – as always, progress is fought for with daily practice for months and years. You should be low enough to feel that the the brunt of the weight shifted from your thigh muscles to a balance between your thighs and the muscles of your rump. Those muscles should be actively engaged when stances are held low, in fact, they should eventually shake from exhaustion before switching stances.