Bruce Lee on guard position


A Perfect Stance

A stance too narrow provides you speed,

But leaves you imbalance which you don’t need.

A stance too wide gives you power,

But you’ll soon learn you’re a bit slower.

There must be a stance that you can use

To keep you in balance and to refine.

The perfect stance that will not confuse

Is the on-guard position which does not confine.

You can maneuver with ease of motion

As you are free from any notion.


The most effective

position. This semi-crouch stance is perfect for fighting because your body is

sturdy at all times, in a comfortably balanced position to attack, counter or defend

without any forewarning movements. It provides your body with complete ease and

relaxation but at the same time allows quick reaction time. From this stance the

movement is not jerky but smooth, and prepares your next move without any

restriction. It creates an illusion or ” -body” to your opponent – concealing your

intended movements.


The on-guard position is perfect for mobility. It allows you to take small steps for

speed and controlled balance while bridging the distance to your opponent, and

camouflages your timing. Since the leading hand and foot are closest to the target,

80 percent of the hitting is done by them. Bruce Lee, a natural right-hander,

adopted the “southpaw” or “unorthodox” stance because he belive that the

stronger hand and foot should do most of the work.

It is important to position your arms, feet and head. From the southpaw stance, the

chin and shoulder should meet halfway – the right shoulder raised an inch or two

and the chin dropped about the same distance. At this position the muscles and

bone structure are in the best possible alignment, protecting the point of the chin.

In close-in fighting, the head is held vertically with the edge of the chin, pressed to

the collarbone, and one side of the chin is tucked to the lead shoulder. Only in rare,

extreme, defensive maneuvers would the point of the chin be tucked into the lead

shoulder. This would angle your head and turn your neck into an unnatural

position. Fighting in this position would tense the lead shoulder and arm, prevent

free action and cause fatigue because you would lack support of the muscles and

straight bone alignment.

Jeet Kune Do stance for attacking and defending is the onguard