Should I Lean Back In Turning Stance?


This was a question put to me on our site forum and was in reference to a Youtube video where the person teaching, had said it is wrong to lean back in a turn?

The concern by this student prompted a series of Q&A points which I felt would be nice to share, so here goes:

Please note:  What follows is only a selection of the questions and snippets of the answers, the full conversation and further information can still be found in the forum pages.



(In reference to the video)

He says in here that we shouldn’t lean when doing the turning stance because it takes you further away from the opponent you are supposed to be striking.

Is this right?

When I shift my weight during the turning stance to my left or right leg, should I not lean over too much so I stay close to my opponent?


You say, ‘It takes you further away from the opponent you are supposed to be striking.’

The only reason for a turn is to AVOID a strike, NEVER to gain reach.

Although there is the advantage of a 3rd extra reach when you do turn, this should not be the deciding factor.

If you have to turn in order to reach someone you are NOT in a punching range.

You WILL be close enough to the attacker anyway because he has already moved in to your space.

Wong Shun Leung is one person who did not sit back in his turning stance because his idea was to meet the attack with aggression, a good idea to many people, but if you do not have the power, do not try to stand and take it?

Next you ask;
‘Should I not lean over too much so I stay close to my opponent?’


When executing a left turning punch (for instance), the left buttock should be over the left heel, this would be perfect, if the base of the spine is over the heel, this is too much.

SHIFT the weight but DO NOT LEAN.



He talks about people leaning too far to the left or right, which takes them too far away from the target they are suppose to be hitting.

I think I may have been doing this.

Now when I do the turning stance, I still try to put around 70-80% of my weight on whichever leg I’m sitting on, but I try not to go too far to the left/right.



When you say

‘ For example, if your opponent is in front of you, and you move over too far left or too far right with the turning stance, then now you’re out of range and can’t even touch him with a strike ‘

This would only happen if you are turning on the toes, and JEEZ you would have to sit back a shed load to finish out of range if turning on the heels!  🙂


So I say again, we ONLY turn to avoid the strike, NOT to reach, AND this is a choice.

SOLID BLOCK, stand your ground (if you wish)

COLLAPSING BLOCK, sit back (no choice!)

If you try for a SOLID BLOCK, it may turn into a COLLAPSING BLOCK regardless, made so by the sheer size and force of your attacker!  This is why I would always encourage the use of shifting weight.


Always remember Wing Chun is for the smaller person against the bigger, stronger opponent, remembering this can so often help to answer your own questions before you even ask them.


We do not lean back, we simply shift the weight across, BIG DIFFERENCE.

Shifting the hip across so the buttock is over the heel, still keeps the back upright and posture strong.

Leaving the hips where they are and arching from the base of the spine is leaning, AND VERY BAD.



As a final  point on turning stance;

DO NOT go more than the 70/30 on one leg, this is already at a maximum.

It is more realistic that a turning stance would be with a 60/40 weight distribution, that way leaving you only a 10% adjustment to either a 50/50 grapple or a 70/30 non-telegraphed kick.

Drilling the turn at a 70/30 distribution is already over training this, 80/20 would simply kill the move.


Hope this all helps.


Many thanks,


Sifu Ward



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